Neudorf [Russian: Karamanovo]

by Homer Rudolf

Neudorf was founded in 1809 according to the Neudorf 1848 Chronicle and settled in the spring of 1810 according the Glückstal 1848 Chronicle. [Mertens, p. 424] gives only 1809, while [Keller, vol. 1, p. 31] gives 1807, and 1809 is given in the Odessa Kalender [OdKal] beginning in 1896.

It is located in the Tschernenko Valley, which they referred to locally as the Karamonova valley. That is the Russian name for the village today. It is five versts north of Glückstal, 15 versts northeast of Grigoriopol, 45 versts from Tiraspol, and 250 versts from Cherson. Those who arrived in 1808 lived in the Liebental District until the spring of 1809. It is not clear whether they lived in Gregoriopol for any period of time. Glückstal was settled in spring of 1809, and they may have moved directly there from the Liebental District. The Glückstal 1848 Chronicle says they were settled in Neudorf in January of 1810.

The land assigned to the village contained three isolated farms (chutors), three wells, and one dessiatine of vineyards when the colonists arrived. Loans from the crown totaled 51,580 rubles for sustenance, 36,484 rubles for settlement, and 3,360 rubles for the purchase of seed. Most were day laborers and craftsmen, so the value of their possessions was estimated at only 500 rubles.

The Crown constructed 100 houses of stamped earth to accommodate the families, consisting of 490 individuals. The stone quarries were ten to twelve versts away, near the Dniestr River, and by 1848 most of the stamped-earth homes had been replaced by larger stone buildings. An additional 64 homes had also been built, and stone walls and trees lined the streets. Councilor Rosenkampf rejected the name Neustadt proposed by the colonists in favor of Neudorf. By 1915 the village had three main streets, one side street and several connecting alleys. Low-lying parts of the village had become uninhabitable by then, damaged by standing water after rains.

Of the original 100 families – 259 males and 231 females – 28 families came from Württemberg, 37 from Alsace, 7 from the Rhine Palatinate, 11 from Baden, 2 from Saxony, 3 from Prussia, 11 from Hungary and 1 [sic, 2] from Warsaw [Duchy of Warsaw, Posen Province; arrived in 1814]. Thus, Neudorf was at least one-half Franconian. They traveled to South Russia without leaders. Eight more families arrived from Prussia in 1814, and three more from Galicia in 1815. By 1848 the population had increased to 208 families – 657 males and 589 females – despite the exodus of families to Grusinia in 1816 and Hoffnungstal, Bessarabia, in 1836-36. In 1915 the village still had 100 farmsteads , each with 60 dessiatines of land, but contained 301 farmyards in all (201 without land, beyond the farmyard) housing 1,896 individuals – 935 males and 961 females [Glückstal-1915].

Its 5,810 dessiatines of crown land were bordered by the Parkanovka estate on the east, the villages of Thomanov and Shippki on the south, Glückstal lands on the west, and Rehmanovka and Bergdorf to the north. The land owned had not increased by 1859, however the Odessa Kalender [OdKal] gives 7,195 dessiatines in 1896, and 7,196 in 1907,while the 1915 article in
the Odessa Kalender [Glückstal-1915] gives 6,214 of crown land and 928 purchased land, for a total of 7,142 dessiatines. The lack of experience as farmers resulted in many difficulties here, as was also the case in the other Glückstal mother colonies The land to the east was good humus, while the rest of its land was humus heavily mixed with sand. Crops that thrived in 1848 were winter rye, winter wheat, lentils, barley, corn (raised for fodder), and potatoes. Other grains and vegetables were said to be less productive, and flax did poorly. The native woods were oak, ash, linden, alder, apple and pear. However, none were of significant size.

[Mertens, p. 424] is correct in stating that Neudorf was a Protestant village, but he fails to note that it was the headquarters for a Reformed parish. Because Neudorf had a significant population of members of the Reformed faith, they were finally successful in receiving approval from the Crown to establish a Reformed Parish (including Kassel and Glückstal) on 4 January, 1861. In Neudorf a separate church and school building was constructed. The foundation of the building was laid in spring 1863, and it was completed by October 1864, with the prayer hall on the second floor and the school and teachers residence on the ground floor. The first church service was held 18 October 1864. The existence of double religious institutions was a constant source of conflict and a financial drain on the community, beginning with the construction of the Reformed church and school. Before 1915 there was a proposal for the construction of a new Lutheran school. The community fund at that time contained ca. 10,000 rubles, but in the vote of all the heads of households the two sides could not agree on an allocation for the school. An impasse was reached, and the funds were not approved. In 1915 the two schools had 365 students with five teachers.

Progress of the village

1814 - school house was built, and two church bells were purchased
1819 - school attendance very irregular until this year, school teacher had mediocre knowledge
  - Chief mayor elected was Stephan Weiss
  - no preacher in the Glückstal parish
1825 - foundation stone laid for prayer hall, encouraged by Mayor Michael Bollinger
  - Welfare Committee contributed 1,377 rubles, total cost 15,000 rubles
1830 - prayer hall consecrated, new bell purchased
1837 - communal grain storage depot built - used in aiding poor of the village
1840 - new Mayor Johann Schauer leads project to raise money for new school building from community crops
1842 - funds for new school were raised, and school constructed – Councilor von Hahn donated 300 rubles
  - old school remodeled to house the schoolmaster
1847 - Mayor Schauer leads project to raise 300 silver rubles from communal crops to embellish the interior of the church
1848 - village owns 5,810 dessiatines of land
  - crops that thrive best: winter rye, winter wheat, lentils, barley, corn (raised for animal feed and fodder), potatoes. Other grains & vegetables are less productive. Flax does poorly
  - raising of livestock & grapes have been most productive enterprises (helping in years of crop failures)
  - fruit trees not doing well, generally only survive 15-20 yrs. - insect damage common
  - most stamped earth homes now replaced by larger stone buildings (obtained 10-12 versts away, near the Dniester)
  - 208 families (657 m; 589 f) - not counting departures to Grusinia (1818) & Bessarabia (ca.1834-1836)
  - 64 additional homes built
  - stone walls built along street & trees planted
  - stone wall to be built this year around the church, and avenues of trees planted
  - communal policy exists that losses to fire are compensated by collective contributions of settlers, and medical expenses of physical injury are handled in the same way
  - schools have better schoolmasters, with regular attendance – much improved
1861 - Neudorf Reformed Parish established with congregations and schools in Neudorf, Glückstal and Kassel
1862 - 1812 residents
  - stone Lutheran church
  - Lutheran school with 2 classes, and 227 students
  - 6 versts from the parish headquarters of the Glückstal Lutheran parish
1863 - foundation for the Reformed prayer hall & school was laid in the spring
1864 - first service in the new Reformed prayer hall on 18 October – the prayer hall was on the second floor and the school and teacher’s residence were on the ground floor
1866 - Lutheran prayer hall had been converted to a church, dedicated 16 Oct. 1866 – capacity of 800.
ca. 1907 - two-manual organ installed by Rieger Bros. of Jägendorf in the Lutheran Church at a cost of 1800 rubles.
1911 - Konsumverein (community cooperative store) established
  - Odessa Kalender [OdKal] reports a fire, 28 Feb., 1910 at the Fr. Lippert residence
1912 - Baptist prayer hall built, value of ca. 5,000 rubles.
  - Baptists referred to as a sectarian group, that includes some Adventists
1915 - community fund of ca. 10,000 rubles
  - Lutheran church painted all white, surrounded by trees and shrubs
  - church garden behind it
  - cemetery behind garden
  - Lutheran school building - now insufficient
  - Reformed bell tower not far from the church/school
  - Reformed parsonage
  - conflict between religious groups causes difficulty in secular matters (because of joint shares in community funds)
  - new Lutheran school construction held up
  - Reformed congregation receives subsidy of 240 rubles annually from the Kreislandschafts-verwaltung (District Land Administration – located in Tiraspol)
  - Burial fund named Humanitas
  - Konsumverein named “Assistance”
  - 2 businesses
  - 1 beer hall
  - 3 milk companies
  - 2 steam mills
  - 3 standard oil mills
  - 1 cement brick/tile factory (Zementziegelei)
  - Handicrafters - who are also farmers

3 blacksmiths
5 carpenters
4 wagon builders
5 shoemakers
1 tailor
1 baker

  - 1154 horses
  - 1191 cows
  - 564 poultry
  - 362 sheep
  - 820 pigs


Agriculture, etc.

1813 - crop failure - only seed harvested
1814 - crop failure - only seed harvested
1816 - good crop
1818 - good crop
1822 - crop failure - only seed harvested
1823 - crop failure - only seed harvested
1823-27 - grasshoppers
1828 - livestock epidemic - 1,400 head of cattle died 1829
1829 - hailstorm caused major damage
1831 - smallpox epidemic
  - 12 died of cholera
1833 - crop failure, not even seed grain harvested
1834 - crop failure, not even seed grain harvested - Welfare Comm. advanced seed & subsistence money - livestock epidemic - 400 head died - smallpox epidemic
1835 - crop failure - only seed harvested
1837 - measles
  - good crop
1838 - good crop
1841 - only double the seed harvested
1843 - measles
  - plague of field mice - 10,120 killed within 4 months
1844 - smallpox epidemic
1845 - only double the seed harvested
1845-46 - 916 sheep died of disease
1846 - villagers died from neural fever
1847 - severe drought - 675 head of livestock perished of malnutrition
1848 - severe frost on 25 April, damaged all fruit trees and vines – loss of 3,000 - 4,000 rubles


– “Das Wolostgebiet Glückstal,” in Neuer Haus- und Landwirthschafts- Kalender für deutsche Aussiedler in südlicher Russland auf das Jahr 1915. Odessa: Druck und Verlag von L. Nitzsche, [1914], pp. 108–128. (English transl. in [Glückstal-2004, pp. 51-56; 68- 69; 86 & 96-97].)

– Height, Joseph S. Homesteaders on the Steppe: Cultural History of the Evangelical- Lutheran Colonies in the Region of Odessa, 1804-1945. Bismarck: North Dakota Historical Society of Germans from Russia [now the Germans from Russia Heritage Society], 1975.

– Leibbandt, Georg. Die deutschen Kolonien in Cherson und Bessarabien: Berichte der Gemeindeämter der lutherischen Kolonien in der ersten Hälfte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Stuttgart: Ausland und Heimat Verlags-Aktiengesellschaft, 1926.

[Matthäi] –
Matthäi, Friedrich. Die deutschen Ansiedelungen in Russland. Ihre Geschichte und ihre volkswirthschafltiche Bedeutung für die Vergangenheit und Zukunft. Leipzig: Hermann Fries, 1866.

[Mertens] –
Mertens, Ulrich. Handbuch Russland-Deutsche: Ein Nachschlagewerk zur russland-deutschen und deutsch-russischen Geschichte und Kultur (mit Ortsverzeichnis ehemaliger Siedlungsgebiete). Darmstadt: Weihert-Druck GmbH, 2001.

– “Chronicle of Neudorf,” transl. by Joseph S. Height. – Copies of this translation are available in three sources: [Height, pp. 193-196]; [Glückstal-2004, pp. 83-85]; and at the website: – /Collections / Village Histories. The original German version can be found in [Leibbrandt, pp. 64-65].

Neuer Haus- und Landwirthschafts- Kalender für deutsche Aussiedler in südlicher Russland auf das Jahr ... Odessa: Druck und Verlag von L. Nitzsche, [published 1863-1915].

Homer Rudolf, 2009

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