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.

Getting Started 

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. 

Julian Calendar

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: 

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.

Obsolete Measurements

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. 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. 

Language Translators

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.

Master Bibliography

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

Surname Lists 

Births, Marriages, Deaths

There are several places where you can obtain Glückstal colonies births, marriages, and deaths (BMDs). The original translations from the St. Petersburg Archive live on Odessa3 and were later published in hardcopy and are available at the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection bookstore. The GCRA Points-of-Origin file contain BMDs, but narrative format rather than in record format. Harold Ehrman's now defunct site also had BMDs in family group format. The most recent translation of the St. Petersburg records were done by the Black Sea German Research group from the images that were filmed and available at FamilySearch. Notably with the BSGR translations, there are notations of corrections, changes, and additional information not included in prior extracts.

GCRA in Review

The Glückstal Colonies Research Association has researched and published a great deal of genealogical and historical material for over three decades related to the Glückstal enclave of colonies in the former Kherson province of the Russian Empire (Ukraine and Moldova today). Many of the sources are not fully indexed, digitized, or searchable by modern means, and therefore may be overlooked or unknown to many researchers. The purpose of GCRA in Review is to highlight articles, photos, and images of primary documents in GCRA sources related to a specific topic and to encourage researchers to explore this rich repository of Black Sea German history.

Image and Photo Galleries

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. 

External Sites

Glückstal Family Websites

Organizations & Genealogy Web Sites

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.


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 3 March 2024