of Alberta

Molotschna Colony census file

Accession 2002.023

Title and Physical Description

Molotschna Colony census file. — [Microfilmed ca. 2002 (originally created 1835)]. — 1 microfilm reel

Administrative History

Molotschna Colony was a tract of land opened up by the government of Russia in 1798 to settlement by Mennonites from Prussia. The territory is now known as Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine. The colony prospered, and through immigration and natural increase reached a population of 6000 by 1835. It was the largest Mennonite settlement in Russia, the other major one being Chortitza. The government of Russia conducted a census of the territory in 1835.

Custodial History

The census records were among documents of the Russian Mennonite colonies that came into the possession of Mennonite school teacher Peter Braun in 1914. They were discovered and confiscated by the Soviet government ca. 1929 and deposited in the Odessa State Archives. They were microfilmed ca. 2002 by the California Mennonite Historical Society. Tim Janzen made copies available to several Mennonite historical societies.

Scope & Content

The file consists of 1231 microfilm frames which are copies of approximately 756 pages of the census records. The census documents names, dates of birth, and places of residence of residents of Molotschna Colony.

Source of Acquisition

Gift by Tim Janzen, 2002


Original is held by Odessa State Archives in Ukraine

Access Restrictions

The Mennonite Historical Society does not have a microfilm reader to view the  mircofilm copy of the original document.

Finding Aids

An index to the census is available at

Related Materials

A translation of the census is available in the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Library at AI 1 MMHS 1995.


Accession 2002.023
Language – Russian
Last updated March 2023 by Jim Bowman and Ted Regehr
Part of the Tim Janzen collection.