The Glückstal Colonies Research Association offers a wealth of information on our Research page. GCRA is here to guide you in your research by offering what we have collected in the past 30+ years. Here you will find links to the latest GCRA research releases, research source guides on a number of topics, a master bibliography for this website, external sites, videos, surname lists, tips for getting started, and more.
We offer information from a large number of authoritative sources in which there are sometimes inconsistencies. It is left to you, the researcher, to determine what is correct from the various sources presented.
Tracking Your Research
There are a number of references in the research guides listed here, some of which you may not have seen before. Remember to keep a research log of 1) what you are looking for, 2) what you have looked at, 3) what you have found, and 4) a citation of the source if you found something. There are many free genealogy research logs, pedigree, and family group forms that you can download and use.
National Genealogical Society – Free Charts and Templates
Midwest Genealogy Center – Family History Forms
Cyndi's List – Printable Charts and Forms
Regarding the dates in the research guides, the Julian Calendar was declared effective by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. The Gregorian Calendar, frequently referred to as New Style (N.S.), was established by Pope Gregory XIII on 24 February 1582, and went into effect on 15 October 1582 (5 October, Old Style – O.S.). The Julian Calendar was:
10 days behind the Gregorian Calendar from 15 October 1582 to 18 February 1700
11 days behind the Gregorian Calendar from 19 February 1700 to 17 February 1800
12 days behind the Gregorian Calendar from 18 February 1800 to 16 February 1900
13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar from 17 February 1900 to 31 March 1918
The Imperial Russian Empire used the Julian Calendar until 1918. The dates in the research guides for events in Russia, unless specifically noted, are Old Style dates. The change to the Gregorian Calendar in Russia took place on 1 February 1918, which was changed to be 14 February.
Many Orthodox traditions did not accept the Revised Julian calendar, and continue to celebrate Christmas on 25 December in the Julian calendar, which is 7 January on the Gregorian calendar until the year 2100.
Steve Morse's one-step page Converting between Julian and Gregorian Calendar in One Step is handy for quick conversions.
You may encounter obsolete weights and measures in some of the sources that don't have commentary provided. Googling them will give you articles about them and their values today. You may also want to use a converter. Convertme.com has a wide number of options for historical weight, length, volume and area conversions.
Typing the Extra German Letters
Some of the digital sources use a mix of German special characters (Ä, Ö, Ü, ä, ö, ü, ß), and their English language equivalents (Ae, Oe, Ue, ae, oe, ue, ss). A, O, U, a, o, u are not correct substitutes for the umlauted characters, although they appear often in English. To get the most out of these sources, you should learn how to type these characters on whatever devices you use for research. The Confident German has a current quick guide for Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android. Your searches will be more fruitful if you are able to search both with without the German special characters.
Not knowing a language should never get in the way of your research. Machine learning language translators are not perfect, but they are getting better every year. The two free translators that you may find useful are Google Translate and DeepL.
Google Translate is both a webpage a part of Google's Chrome Browser. Chrome senses webpages that are not your default language and asks if you want them translated. It can also be set to automatically translate web pages of any language you tell it to. Google Translate works with Google Lens on Android devices (smartphones and tablets) so you can use an Android device to do real-time translation of documents, signs, maps, etc., and copy and save the text for later.
DeepL was developed in Germany and is better at correctly translating some nuances of the languages than Google Translate, particularly the German language. DeepL is a webpage. It also offers an application for Mac that automatically brings up the app and translates text when you type "Command+c+c."
Technology is constantly evolving, and you should take advantage of every aspect of it to help you with your research. Regardless of the technology used, you as the researcher have the personal responsibility of citing your sources and understanding and respecting copyright laws.
This website has a master bibliography of all the sources referenced in it. Throughout the site, each time a source is cited with a source notation in brackets (e.g., "—— in [StumppKE]), the full source is listed alphabetically in the bibliography at the end of the page and also in the master bibliography.
[StumppKE] – Stumpp, Karl. Emigration From Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862. Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1982. Digitized version.
The source includes a link to either GCRA's publication page, or to WorldCat, where you can find it in a library near you. If there is a digital version of the source freely available, there is also a link to it.
2021 Research Releases
2021 Data Drive
The GCRA 2021 Data Drive is a re-release of the 2015 Flash Drive (no longer available) with an updated Points-of-Origin file and new collection of MVD Extractions. Included is the collection Passports of Colonists Entering Russia in 1808-1809. While some of the data on the drive is Glückstal specific, much of it is also of interest to other enclaves in the Black Sea area, specifically those in the former Cherson and Bessarabia provinces (today Odessa Oblast, Ukraine and Moldova).
GCRA Newsletter Archive
The GCRA Newsletter Archive is a collection of volumes 1-33 of the GCRA Newsletter. The Newsletter is referenced often in the following research guides.
Research Source Guides
The "Research Source Guide: Glückstal Colonies" is a list of Glückstal Colonies related bibliographies, timelines and important documents in chronological order from circa 550 to 1977.
The "Research Source Guide: Germans from Russia" is a list of general Germans from Russia bibliographies, timelines and important documents in chronological order from circa 550 to 1977. It covers all areas of Russia and is of interest to anyone researching Germans from Russia.
The "Research Source Guide: Settlements in Russia, North America & South America" includes areas of origin, lists of colonies in Russia by area, and sources listing settlements in North America and South America.
The "Research Source Guide: Maps Related to Germans from Russia" is a list of maps in printed sources or on websites.
Surnames found in the GCRA Newsletter
Surnames found in the GCRA Points-of-Origin
Surnames found in the GCRA Passport Collection
Surnames found in the GCRA MVD Extractions, destination Siberia and Central Asia
Surnames found in the GCRA MVD Extractions, destination Chișinău
Surnames found in the St. Petersburg Database [Odessa3] (Glückstal colonies only)
Surnames found in Homesteaders on the Steppe [HeightH, pp. 83-87] (Glückstal colonies only)
Image and Photo Galleries
GCRA Monument in Glückstal — On 24 May 2002, the Glückstal Colonies Research Association erected and dedicated a monument in the former colony of Glückstal to honor all of our ancestors who were born, lived and died there.
Churches — A collection of images and photos related to churches. Time period: circa 1845–2019.
Confirmations — A collection of images and photos related to confirmations. Time period: TBD.
Weddings — A collection of wedding images and photos. Time period: TBD.
Funerals & Obituaries — A collection of images and photos of funerals and obituaries. Time period: TBD.
School Days — A collection of images and photos related to schools. Time period: TBD.
Military — A collection of photos of Glückstalers and their descendants who served in the military in Czarist Russia, Soviet Russia, Germany, Canada, and the United States. Time period: circa 1877–1960s.
Advertising: Travel to the Americas — A collection of period images of advertisements and ephemera related to travel from Russia to the Americas. Time period: circa 1892–1934.
Advertising: Farm Implements — A collection of period images advertising equipment and tools related to farming.
GCRA Collection at GRHC
The Glückstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) Collection at the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) at the North Dakota State University Libraries in Fargo, ND, is an archival collection of genealogical research files. It was created by individual members of the GCRA and other researchers and donated to the GRHC. It includes general family surname files, files relating to Germans from Russia who lived in Glückstal, periodicals, maps, and books about genealogy relating to people of German descent. The collection has a finding aid and a booklist you can consult prior to visiting the GRHC in Fargo.
Glückstal Family Web Sites
Bieber Family - This site contains information on Biebers from Russia. It contains much of the work of the late Rev. Martin Bieber as well as other genealogy resources.
Boschee Family - Family news, photos, and family history of the Boschee and related families
Ehrman Family – Harold Ehrman's webpage of Ehrman and Glückstal colonies research. (archived link)
Eisenbeisz Family – Site by Clyde Eisenbeis.
Raile Family- Genealogy information about the Raile family.
Roll Family- Genealogy information about the Roll family - created by Mitch Roll
Schnaidt Family – Jacob Schnaidt Family Collection, hosted at Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD.
Organizations & Genealogy Web Sites
American Historical Society of Germans From Russia (AHSGR) - An international organization dedicated to the discovery, collection, preservation, and dissemination of information related to the history, cultural heritage and genealogy of Germanic Settlers in the Russian Empire and their descendants."
Black Sea German Research – A free, volunteer-run website that is focused entirely on the Black Sea Germans of South Russia. They have a vast library of documents, translations, photos, maps, as well as a genealogy database comprised of donated GEDCOMs and indexes of EWZ files, town books, and much of the Dale Wahl collection. The site is updated weekly with new information.
Bessarabiendeutscher Verein e.V. (Bessarabian German Association) - A German organization in Stuttgart focused on Germans who settled in Bessarabia and Dobrudscha.
Die Dobrudscha – A German organization focused on the German settlements in the historic region of Dobrudscha (Romania and Bulgaria today) between 1840 and 1940.
Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) - Central (German, Swiss) and East European genealogy site with an index of the over 800,000 Central and East European surnames, locations and other unique words in 5500+ files .
Germans From Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) - The mission of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is to collect, document, preserve, exhibit, translate, publish, promote and make accessible resources on the culture, history, folklore, foodways and textiles & clothing of the Germans from Russia, particularly Bessarabian Germans, Black Sea Germans, Crimean Germans, Dobrudscha Germans and Volhynian Germans and their descendants in North Dakota and the Northern Plains.
Germans From Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) - Its purpose is to bring together people who are interested in discovering the common history unique to Germanic-Russian ethnics and to preserve the many elements of their rich heritage. The Society collects, lists, and catalogues published materials and personal documents that tell of the European migrations and exodus to the United States and Canada and also of the pioneer life on the plains.
Odessa3—A Germans-Russian Genealogical Library - Odessa Digital Library is a state-of-the-art, on-line, digital library supporting genealogical research focused on Germans from Russia. The Library provides a browsable and searchable repository of film indices and research documents that users may download and index in their own personal full text retrieval systems. All documents in the Library are copyrighted, but may be freely used for personal, nonprofit purposes.
Society of German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (SGGEE) - SGGEE devoted to the study of those people with German ancestry who lived in present-day Poland and northwestern Ukraine. Special emphasis is placed on those who lived in the pre-WW I province of Volhynia (generally from the city of Kiev on the east to the present-day Polish border on the west) and on the pre-WW I region of central and eastern modern Poland known as Russian Poland or Congress Poland.
South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center - Housed at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, "Our mission is to preserve the history and heritage of South Dakota Germans from Russia. Located at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, we host collections of documents, relics and recorded oral history interviews. We also feature temporary exhibits highlighting the lifestyle, religion and education of German-Russian culture."
The Volga Germans – The Volga Germans website serves as a global online home for family and historical research of this unique ethnic group that migrated from Western Europe to Russia from 1764 to 1767. It is a free site, volunteer-run site, and actively updated.
Some Germans who went onto settle in the western part of the Russian Empire sometimes first settled in areas of the Austria-Hungary Empire. The sites below may be helpful for researching ancestors in the following areas.
Bukovina Society of the Americas - From 1775 to 1918, Bukovina was in the easternmost crown land of the Austrian Empire, now divided between Romania and Ukraine. As a multi-ethnic province, its name has several spellings: Bukowina or Buchenland in German; Bukowina in Polish; Bucovina in Romanian; and Bukovyna in Ukrainian.
Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands - The Danube Swabian/Donauschwaben society began during the Swabian Migrations that came to be known as "Der Grosse Schwabenzug" or "The Great Swabian Trek" which occurred in three intervals between the years 1722-1787.
Galizien German Descendants - Beginning in 1774 the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire issued Settlement Charters which invited 'foreign' settlers into its newly acquired province of Galicia ('Galizien' in German). German settlers attracted by offers of transportation and special status emigrated from Germany to Galicia. This organization is dedicated to family history research of these German settlers and their descendants.
This is a collection of publicly available video documentaries about Germans from Russia. These documentaries may help you understand various cultural and historical aspects of your Germans from Russia heritage.
Page last updated 26 August 2022