1847 Molotschna Colony Voters’ List
Extracted by Tim Janzen
Sorted according to Village (Original)
Sorted according to Surname (Modified)
This introduction is to an 1847 voters’ list from the Molotschna Colony in South Russia. The voters’ list was originally compiled in late September to early October, 1847 and contains the names of the 1,075 owners of farms in the 43 villages of the Molotschna Colony at that time.
The original document from which the list has been extracted is located in File #10510 in Fund 6, Inventory 2 in the Odessa State Archives in Odessa, Ukraine. This file was among a large group of files from Fund 6, Inventory 2 which were microfilmed in 1999 and 2000 at the Odessa State Archives. There are a total of five microfilms from this group of files covering the years 1847-1851; File #10510 is found on the first microfilm of the group. These voting records are among the most important material which is found in this set of microfilms.
Microfilms of this material are available at the following Mennonite Archives:
- Center for M. B. Studies, Fresno, California
- Center for M. B. Studies at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas
- Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, Clearbrook, British Columbia
- Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Prior to this time, Mennonite researchers have had no comprehensive listing of the owners of farms in the Molotschna Colony after 1835, which is when the last available census was taken. The voters’ list is especially helpful in that it identifies the early settlers of villages not yet established at the time of the 1835 census, namely Gnadenfeld, Waldheim, Landskrone, and Hutterthal. Unfortunately, the heads of many families, particularly young families, were not included in this Voters’ List because they did not own a farm and thus were not entitled to vote. Delbert Plett has estimated that about 2/3 of families in the Molotschna Colony in 1846 did not own a farm and I believe his estimate is probably reasonably accurate. Researchers studying this voters’ list should thus be careful when attempting to drawing conclusions about the identities of the men included in the list. Even with its limitations, however, this 1847 voters’ list is still a significant addition to the available Mennonite records for the Molotschna Colony for this period.
This extraction of the voters’ list is available in two versions.
- In the “original” version I have attempted to spell the names of both the farm owners as well as the villages exactly as they appear in the original documents. The number of the farm or “Wirtschaft” that each voter owned is given in the orginal document for all of the villages with the exception of Ohrloff and Lichtfelde.
- In the “modified” version I have standardized spellings of the surnames to more typical spellings for certain surnames and have also standardized the spellings of some village names. I have also sorted the “modified” version alphabetically by surname. In the modified version I have arbitrarily chosen to number the farm assigned to each voter from Ohrloff and Lichtfelde based on the order in which the voter appears in the original voters’ list for these two villages. This number is likely to be the same or approximately the same as the number of the farm that the voter owned there.
The original documents also include the names of the candidates for whom the owners voted in the election. However, I have only extracted the names of the owners of the farms and have not included in the extraction the names of the candidates they actually voted for.
If you have any questions about this material feel free to contact me.
© 2002 Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Last Updated 18 Apr 2002
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