of Alberta

Chortitza Colony Document Databases, 1801 to 1814

Extracted by Tim Janzen

GEDCOM Files . . .Each of these databases is available as a gedcom file that may be downloaded. To search the gedcom files most effectively I suggest researchers import the gedcom files into the Brother’s Keeper program and conduct searches using the name codes as found in the Grandma database. I strongly suggest that researchers interested in conducting the most efficient review of the Chortitza Colony residents mentioned in these materials download and search the merged gedcom file first. Then, if they have any questions about any of the information they can review the extractions of this material that is also posted on this web site or they can also review the database of the data in its unmerged form.Right click to save to your hard drive:

I have created two databases of the most significant data relative to the inhabitants of the Chortitza Colony that is found in the microfilm of selected files from Fund 6, Inventory 1 at the Odessa Archives in Odessa, Ukraine. In one database the information about all people who are found in more than one of the above sources has been merged to create one cohesive database. This database contains 2,721 people. The other database contains 3,724 people and is simply a combined file of all of the data without any merging of the data having been done. The material included in these databases has been extracted from the following sources:

  1. Chortitza Colony census compiled September 1, 1801 from File #67
  2. Kronsgarten census compiled October 15, 1801 from File #98
  3. List of single people and landless families compiled April 25, 1801 from File #92
  4. Neuenburg census compiled April 30, 1802 from File #98
  5. Neuendorf census compiled April 27, 1802 previously published by B. H. Unruh
  6. additional unpublished portions of the 1802 Chortitza Colony census
  7. Chortitza Colony vital records for portions of the period 1801 to 1807 from Files #65 and #98
  8. Chortitza Colony smallpox vaccination lists compiled August 12, 1809 from File #195
  9. Chortitza Colony smallpox vaccination lists compiled in 1814 from File #195

In the merged database I have attempted to reconstruct the family groups of the people mentioned in these materials without adding additional information from any sources except those listed above. The creation of this merged database was somewhat difficult in that there are in many cases no other currently available sources that can help substantiate the assumptions I had to make in merging certain people. I have tried to strike a reasonable balance between merging people who I thought were likely to be duplicates without “going out on a limb” and merging people that I couldn’t be relatively certain were duplicates. Possibly I have still made some errors in this process. I have merged people only after carefully comparing this data to the other primary sources of information on the early inhabitants of the Chortitza Colony, primarily the Grandma database, B. H. Unruh’s book, Peter Rempel’s book Mennonite Migration to Russia, 1788-1828, the 1816 Kronsgarten census in Karl Stumpp’s book, and Henry Schapansky’s articles on the Chortitza Colony.

I have modified the surnames and the given names so that they are standardized and consistent with the most common form these names appear for these families in the Grandma database. I have not changed the names of some given names such as Agatha and Aganetha or Christina and Justina. I have added the appropriate name codes for the people as their names appear in the Grandma database so that they should match the name code of the same person in the Grandma database. I have not altered the surnames of stepchildren in this database unless their true surname is given somewhere in the above sources. Thus a search by name code in some cases will reveal people who have a surname in the database inconsistent with the name code. This is because the true surnames of most of the stepchildren in the 1801 census and in the vaccination lists is not given and I wanted researchers to have a way to be able to search this database to find the true names of the people shown in the database. I have added about 30 people, predominantly fathers, to show the appropriate linkages for children who were identified as stepchildren. However, in some cases there are still stepchildren listed in some families and this can be determined only by searching by Grandma name codes. One also needs to be careful not to necessarily assume that the wife listed in the database is the mother of all the children listed in the family.

To help researchers use this database more efficiently in conjunction with the Grandma database I have added the Grandma numbers of everyone that I can locate in the Grandma database in the occupation field in the merged database. In the immigration field I have added the location where the person was listed in the 1801 census or in the 1809 or 1814 vaccination lists.

Researchers should note that this database contains a considerable amount of new information about the early inhabitants of the Chortitza Colony which had been previously unavailable. A large number of Mennonites migrated from West Prussia to South Russia between 1795 when the 1795 Chortitza Colony census was taken and 1801. The vast majority of these people are included in the 1801 Chortitza Colony census. The 1801 to 1807 Chortitza Colony vital records and the 1809 Chortitza Colony vaccination lists are also highly valuable as to the information they provide. This new data when reviewed in conjunction with the other major sources of information about the Chortitza Colony such as the 1795 Chortitza Colony census, the portions of the 1802, 1808, and 1814 Chortitza Colony censuses previously published by B. H. Unruh, the information published in Peter Rempel’s recent book Mennonite Migration to Russia, 1788-1828, the Grandma database, and Henry Schapansky’s articles gives us a much more complete picture of the inhabitants of the Chortitza Colony prior 1814 than we had available to us previously.

The new data from these early Chortitza Colony documents is most helpful in understanding more about the settlers in the villages for which we previously had no census data available after the 1795 Chortitza Colony census was taken, namely the villages of Chortitza, Schoenhorst, Neuenburg, and Insel Chortitza. While we do have at least some 1802, 1808, 1814, or 1816 census data for the other villages in the Chortitza Colony, these documents still give us a significant amount of new information about settlers in the Chortitza Colony villages for which we have at least some census data. The documents provide us with significantly more new information about people born in the Chortitza Colony between 1795 and 1809 than for people born between 1809 and 1814 since the 1814 Chortitza Colony vaccination lists provide information about only a relatively small portion of the children born in the Chortitza Colony between 1809 and 1814.

I hope that Mennonite genealogists and historians find this database a valuable resource in their research about the early inhabitants of the Chortitza Colony. I would appreciate people informing me if you notice errors of any kind in this database or if you can find any people in the database who you can say for sure are duplicates. There are without doubt some duplicate people left in the database, but at this point I don’t feel comfortable merging any more people without additional information.

If you have any questions about any of this data feel free to contact me.

Tim Janzen
12367 SE Ridgecrest Rd.
Portland, OR 97236

© 2001 Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Last Updated 4 May 2001

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