The Glückstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) has published many books since its inception. The list here is a catalog of those published by GCRA as well as other materials specifically Glückstal colonies related that may help you in researching your family and gaining a better understanding of your Germans from Russia heritage.
To find out what libraries near you have these items in their holdings for public use, click on the WorldCat link and enter your zip code.
While limited materials are available for purchase directly from GCRA, most items are available from the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GHRC) in Fargo, North Dakota. Links are given to items available from the American Germans from Russia Heritage Society (AHSGR) in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) in Bismarck, North Dakota, where you may also purchase select items at a discount with membership in those societies.
Anthology & Research
Glückstal Colonies Research Association 2021 Data Drive
The latest release of the GCRA Data Drive contains all data previously digitally published in the 2004, 2008, and 2015 releases (images, photos, maps, documents, etc.) plus an updated Points-of-Origin file containing authenticated origins of people living in the Glückstal Colonies and some neighboring colonies. New to this release are MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) File Extractions concerning individuals/families who were relocated during the repression years.
New — MVD File Extractions concerning individuals/families who were relocated during the repression years. The extractions attached are records of individuals and/or families who remained in Russia after the Russian Revolution who were later required to relocate to other areas of Russia. The “specially resettled” is the category of those who were deported/exiled, often “en masse,” from their places of permanent residence, deprived of property, and sent to special resettlements situated in remote regions of the USSR for compulsory labor. GCRA contracted a team in Ukraine to obtain, extract, and translate the material. Individuals and families included were from Glückstal, Hoffnungstal, Beresan and Liebental.
Updated — Points-of-Origin (2021) is a list of family narratives and authenticated origins of people living in the Glückstal Colonies. Originally published in 2004 on CD-ROM, it was republished in 2008 on DVD. The 2008 records were extensively revised by the Editor based on new information obtained after 2004 and 2008 and released on DVD or thumb drive in 2015. The 2021 edition is the latest revision and expansion to this work in progress.
Previously Published Materials
"Passports of colonists entering Russia in 1808-1809" contains images and translation of passports found on Stumpp’s Passport List VI (#1-3 and #63-137) and Passport List VI (#4-62). They were obtained in 2010 from the Dnipropetrovs'k Archives.
Names Lists for Bergdorf, Glückstal, Neudorf, and Kassel prior to and including the 1816 Revisionlist.
Crop Reports for 1810, 1811 and 1814.
The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America:
A Bicentennial Collection of History, Genealogy & Folklore
This volume contains 800 pages of translated and original material that describe how German immigrants made a perilous trip to Russia to settle near the Black Sea in Ukraine and Moldova and claimed it as their new homeland. The story continues with those who remained in Russia to endure the Terror Years, the banishment to the gulag, and those who took on the challenges of pioneering on the American Plains. In addition to the book, 2 CD-ROMs of material is included along with the original documentary, Heaven Is Our Homeland: The Glückstallers of New Russia and North America, in either VHS or DVD format.
View the full table of contents here.
This package is simply a "must have" for all Glückstal Colonies descendants.
The Glückstalers in New Russia, the Soviet Union,
and North America
This volume contains 756 pages of well researched and translated material purchased and prepared since the publication of the GCRA Bicentennial book in 2004. New subjects this time around are articles on the Polish period en route to Russia, the migration to Russia, the early arrivals to North America, several articles on individual memories of the Trek from those who survived the experience, articles on trips to Russia over the years, an exhaustive listing of recently available martyrology records, numerous post 1885 church records, more EWZ records, passenger lists, GEDCOM lists organized by family names, and much more. Some of this data is on the searchable DVD bundled in the envelope on the back cover of the book.
View the full table of contents here.
Another "must have" for all Glückstal Colonies descendants.
Collectivization in the Soviet Union:
German Letters to America, 1927-1932
This work presents a more humanistic view of life in the former German colonist villages of South Russia during the earliest years of the Soviet Union. Most of the letters were written by village correspondents to German-language newspapers published in the United States. The earlier letters contain many names, places and family events. Censorship by the Soviet regime in the late 1920s and early 1930s had become ever more oppressive. This work presents a more humanistic view of life in the former German colonist villages of South Russia during the earliest years of the Soviet Union. Most of the letters were written by village correspondents to German-language newspapers published in the United States. The earlier letters contain many names, places and family events. Censorship by the Soviet regime in the late 1920s and early 1930s had become ever more oppressive.
The Points-of-Origin is a list of authenticated origins of people living in the Glückstal Colonies. It is the result of several decades of continuing research, collecting, and refining information. Points-of-Origin was originally published in 2004 on the CD-ROM, Disc #1, which accompanied the book The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America. They were republished in 2008 on the DVD which accompanied the book The Glückstalers in New Russia, the Soviet Union, and North America. These 2008 records have been extensively revised by the Editor based on new information obtained
The Points-of-Origin file is included in the 2021 GCRA Data Drive.
Researchers Guide to McPherson County, South Dakota Cemeteries
A six-year effort by Selma Job Lapp, Keenan L. Stoecker and Duane E. Stabler, documenting the cemeteries of McPherson County, South Dakota along with thousands of individuals buried along with what details that could be found about them. Eureka, South Dakota was a frequent destination for Glückstal emigrants who arrived in the area before seeking out their homestead in McPherson County and neighboring counties. The book consists of 472 pages includes maps, postcard images, and data.
Census & Church Records
Glückstal Colonies Births and Marriages 1833-1900
Birth and marriage records extracted extracted from St. Petersburg Consistory Records filmed by the Family History Libraries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Includes father, mother, child, date, place and source reference or note. FHL film numbers for each extraction.
German translation available: Glückstal Kolonien Geburten und Eheschließungen 1833-1900.
Glückstal Colonies Deaths 1833-1900
Death records extracted from St. Petersburg Consistory Records filmed by the Family History Libraries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Includes FHL film numbers for each extraction.
German translation available: Glückstal Kolonien Todesfalle 1833-1900.
Glückstal 1858 Census
Government Archive from Kherson District, Fond 22, Writing 1, Case 66, First Edition
Revision list for the Glückstal Colony, Tiraspol Area for the year 1858. Started 13 May 1858 and finished 1858.
Translated and prepared by the Glückstal Colonies Research Association for the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, Bismarck, North Dakota.
Memoir & Village
Marienberg: Schicksal eines Dorfes—Fate of a Village
Marienberg was a daughter colony of the Glückstal mother colony, Bergdorf. The volume includes letters written from 1915-1933 by Marienberg residents to relatives in America, which chronicle everyday life in the Glückstal Colonies area.
In addition, letters which were sent to North America and published in German language newspapers, have been transcribed and translated to English, by Homer Rudolf and Janice Huber Stangl. These are of historical importance, as they describe the difficulties and the plight of our relatives in Ukraine during the starvation years from World War I to the early 1930s.
Through all the hardships, there was still humor. Some letters have "tongue in cheek" humor and clever adages. Several letters sent to America were humorous stories written in Bergdorf dialect. Stories of brauching (faith healing), strong women, mischievous boys, and raucous fests, tell us that they truly are our people (Unsere Leute).
How the East Was Won
A collection of stories of memories by author, Alfred Opp. Stories include memories of summer kitchens, using Mischt for fuel, Schwabian burial customs, Easter, Christmas food, tailor-made clothes, and many other stories.
Table of Contents: 1) How the East Was Won; 2) Land and Estates; 3) In the Shadow of Time; 4) Spiritual Life; 5) Holidays; 6) Special Childhood Memories; 7) War Costs More than Money; 8) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; 9) The Aftermath of the War; 10) A New Life.
Pawns on the World Stage
This autobiographical memoir details the path of the Opp family of Teplitz, Bessarabia, through war-torn Europe in the 1940s to a new life in Canada. Author Alfred Opp traces his ancestry back to Urbanus Opp who came to South Russia in 1807 and was one of the early Glückstal settlers, arriving after a stay in Hungary. The quest for freedom and a decent life had led the Opp ancestors to South Russia, and now the same quest propelled Alfred Opp and his family forward.
Our Roots Grew Deep in the Russen Soil
In this, his third book, Alfred Opp continues to reveal the culture of his ancestors, from the pioneer years of Teplitz, Bessarabia to the deportation of 1940. This book both a tender remembrance of the nurturing family he knew as a young child growing up in Teplitz, Bessarabia, and a frank recounting of the effects of WWII on the lives of everyday people caught in the war. It is a story of fortitude, courage and triumph.
Table of Contents: 1) Prologue; 2) Pioneer Days in Teplitz; 3) Childhood Memories; 4) Church Life in Teplitz; 5) Village Life; 6) Myth of a Dark Night; 7) Uprooted - 1940; 8) Welcome Home; 9) Growing New Roots In a New Land; 10) The Language of Bessarabia.
Glückstal Colonies Research Association Newsletter Archive
The Glückstal Colonies Research Association Newsletter has been published twice a year since 1987. Within this 33-volume, 66-issue digital archive, there is a wealth of information about your Glückstal Colonies ancestors in these past newsletters, including history, family stories, photos, and documented points of origins. Each issue has been digitized and converted into searchable PDF format and put on a convenient USB flash drive. Years covered are 1987-2020.
The Article Listing, Sorted by Issue, Volumes 1-33 is an updated listing of all the articles in volumes 1-33. Whenever credited in the Newsletter, the author is also cited. The list was originally compiled by Homer Rudolf (2009) and updated by Bob Schauer (2021).
Each Newsletter has a surname index. There are two indexes of articles that are sorted by surname. The first is the Newsletter Surname Index, Sorted by Surname, Volumes 1-33. This index is sorted by surname and references in which issue and on which page numbers you'll find the surname. The second is the Newsletter Surname Index, Sorted by Issue, Volumes 1-33. This index is sorted first by issue and then by surnames appearing in that issue, including the page numbers on which you'll find the surname.
Village map of mother colony Bergdorf. Founded 1808-1810. 1,790 residents. Village abandoned in 1944.
Neu-Berlin: Village Map During the Years 1925-1944
Village map of daughter colony Neu-Berlin/Berlin. 218 families, 141 homes and yards.
Glückstal: Village Map During the Years 1941-1944
Village map of mother colony Glückstal during the years 1941-1944.
Hoffnungstal for 1944
Village map of the colony of Hoffnungstal, Odessa District. [Although not a Glückstal colony, there were many ties between Hoffnungstal and the Glückstal Colonies.]
Kassel (version A): August 1989 (mother colony)
Village map of mother colony Kassel. Veliko Komarovka (name of city in Ukraine today).
Marienberg (includes Bergdorf and neighborhood)
No other information given.
Marienberg, Okna Rayon, Odessa Gebiet, circa early 1940s (daughter colony)
Village map of daughter colony Marienberg as published in the book Marienberg: Schicksal eines Dorfes—Fate of a Village.
Neu-Glückstal, 1930 (daughter colony)
Village map of daughter colony Neu-Glückstal. Founded 1860. Persons in village: 519 in 1914, 675 in 1926, 785 in 1944. Village size: 1.8 kilometers long and .8 kilometers wide. Prepared by Dr. Richard Walth, Bruehl, Germany.
Klein Neudorf: Village map from 1944
Village map of daughter colony Klein Neudorf from 1944.
Village map of mother colony Neudorf.
Saratov/Balitzki (Odessa Region)
Village map of daughter colony Saratov/Balitzki in the Glückstal District, South Russia. Circa 1943, 62 farms, 65 families, 298 people. Map prepared by Johann and Anetta Stroh, Germany.
Seebach (Luncha), by Birsula (Kotovski), Ukraine
Prepared by Thomas A. Stangl, copyright 2001, with assistance from Adolph Mainhardt, son of Philipp, Metterzimmern, Bietgheim-Bissingen, Württemberg, Germany, June 2001.
Sophie, as anthropomorphized by a little bear, is introduced to her ancestral heritage by her grandmother. Sophie’s grandparents and great-grandparents came to the United States from German colonies established in South Russia.Young readers and listeners of similar heritage will appreciate learning about this sweep of history during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Heaven Is Our Homeland: The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America
The four villages known as the Glückstal Colonies were established northwest of Odessa in 1809-1810. However, the earliest of these immigrants had already arrived in July, 1804. Eventually 106 families were settled in Glückstal in the spring of 1809. The first 100 families of Neudorf arrived in 1808-1809.
These families lived with other settlers at three different locations before establishing Neudorf in the spring of 1810. In the same spring, the 68 families of Bergdorf (who arrived in 1808-1809) and the 99 families of Kassel (who arrived in the fall of 1809) were also settled.
Glückstalers began the migration to North America in 1874, first settling in Hutchinson County, Dakota Territory. Later they moved north and west as the railroads were completed and land became available. Migration continued to Western Canada, the Pacific Northwest and California. Today, descendants of these Glückstal Colonies are found throughout the United States and Canada, parts of Europe, particularly Germany, in Australia, and in the former Soviet Union.