GER-VOLGA-L Archives

Archiver > GER-VOLGA > 2008-09 > 1220770251

From: David Schmidt <>
Subject: Re: [GV] GER-VOLGA Digest, Vol 3, Issue 352
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2008 23:50:51 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <>

Alejandro Muller wrote:

> Listers:
> I'm searching my ancestors that come from
> "Niedersachsen", according to family records...but
> I think I've not seen on any record any person who were
> from "Niedersachsen" on volga german documents.
> So, should I look up for "Sachsen" only? on
> 1770's was the same to say a person was from
> Niedersachsen or from Sachsen?
> I've noticed many lutheran Volga Germans, like my
> ancestors, went out mostly from Hesse...towns like:
> Isenburg, Darmstadt, etc.
> Which towns in Sachsen are the most seen or appear most as
> place of origins on germans who went to Russia?
> Any help or guidance would be most appreciated.
> Thanks to all of you.
> Alejandro M?ller from Entre Rios, Argentina.

My comments:
I generally agree with the response that Dick Kraus gave you. But the situation may be more complicated.

First of all, I would say that it is extremely unusual for a Volga German family to list in their family records an accurate place of origin in Germany. Given the many generations involved, most Volga German families probably had no idea as to where their family originally came from in Germany. In the 20+ years that I have been researching, I have never seen an individual family record (e.g., bible, letter, diary, etc.) that gave a family's place of origin in Germany. Therefore, you should not rely 100% on the Niedersachsen place of origin and should treat it as a rumor or possibility. If I were you, I would focus instead on more accurate, timely records such as the 1767 Lists of Original Settlers and the 1766 Kuhlberg lists. If you have not obtained those documents for the family you are researching, you should do so right away rather than spend time chasing after an area (Niedersachsen) that is difficult to pin down and that may actually have no
connection with your family.

Another point is that Sachsen (Saxony) could refer to any one of several different areas in Germany. Dick already mentioned one major area--Kursachsen (Electorate of Saxony, area around Halle, Wittenberg & Magdeburg). But there were other Saxon areas--Koenigreich Sachsen (Kingdom of Saxony, area around Leipzig, Zwickau, Chemnitz, Dresden, Bautzen & Goerlitz). And there also were the 5 Saxon duchies--Duchies of Sachsen-Gotha, Sachsen-Weimar, Sachsen-Coburg, Sachsen-Meiningen & Sachsen-Altenburg. Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), which covered a large area to the northwest of the Electorate of Saxony, included Oldenburg, Osnabrueck, Lueneburg, Hanover, Brunswick & Goettingen.
For general reference see:

Considering the large area and many towns covered by "Saxony" or even "Lower Saxony," it is inefficient to research an entire area. Yes, Volga German colonists did originate from various towns in Kursachsen, Koenigreich Sachsen, and Niedersachsen. But even if you focus on all those towns, they may have no connection with the family you are researching. That's yet another reason why you should focus on the 1767 Lists of Original Settlers and 1766 Kuhlberg lists as mentioned above.

I forget whether you are researching a common name like Mueller or a more unusual name. If the latter, you may be able to narrow your search by using the online LDS records ( and searching for that name among the German baptism, marriage, and death records (click on "Advanced Search" under the "Search Records" tab, then click on "International Genealogical Index" at the left). That could give you an idea whether the name comes from just a few towns within Lower Saxony and the other Saxon areas.

David F. Schmidt
Walnut Creek, CA, USA

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