RESEARCHING and RECORDING the HISTORY of the GERMANS FROM RUSSIA
and the GERMAN-RUSSIAN VOLGA COLONIES
INTRODUCTIONAbout fifteen years ago, I became curious about my ancestors. Over the years since that time, I have have talked with many of my relatives about what they remembered of our family lines. I was lucky enough to spend about three years living in the rural Bavarian village of Hoppachshof, Germany. I also had the opportunity to visit two countries 1000 miles south of the Volga Colony area, (Iraq and Afghanistan). This was still close enough to something learn about the cultures of the original people of the living in the southern Volga River area.
The time in Germany allowed my wife and I to travel across das Mutterland to learn all we could about my maternal and paternal surnames, Karle and Kaiser, and my other forty-five ancestral surnames. These include families of Adolf, Andreas, Arp, Arnst, Becker, Bopp, Burbach, Dagenheim, Foht, Freund, Geringer, Gruen, Heiland, Hermann, Hess, Heylmann, Hieronymus, Horn, Ikstadt, Kohler, Kramer, Lieders, Maurer, Michel, Neumann, Nicolausen, Nillmayer, Popp, Roth, Rudolph, Schaeffer, Scherer, Schiller, Schmiedt, Schneider, Schutz, Simon, Steitz, Trieber, Trippel, Vogt, Werner, Will, and Zeichmann.
As we traveled around Germany, we got to know the people and the cultures, and visit the museums of the different areas of Germany. We were able to walk down the lanes and alleys of some of my ancestral villages where I hoped I might be walking in the footsteps of some of my ancestors. From all this research, I was able to build a database of about 15,000 relatives with all the information gathered. Not all are direct line ancestors, many are cousins, and many are related only by marriage. Along with the development of the database, I have also been able to research most of my 47 family lines back to their villages in Germany during 1650 to 1725.
I was able to gather a tremendous amount of information on the development of the Celt and Germanic tribes of Germania, and of their interaction with the Romans, and eventual replacement by the Goths and the Franks. Who were these people and where did they come from? For more on this see PRE-GERMANIA HISTORY.
Living in Germany allowed me access to museums and research that I never knew about when I was in the United States. From these sources, I wrote my interpretation of the history of Europe and Germania from BC to the 19th Century. How does it differ from what you learned in school? For more on this see GERMANIC & EUROPEAN HISTORY.
Religion played, and still plays a very important part of the Rural German life. How did it affect the daily lives of the people of the German-Russian Volga Colonies? For more on this see RELIGION.
Tsarina Catherine the Great is usually portrayed as a kind, benevolent leader that graciously shared her Russian lands with her former countrymen. My research shows a complete opposite view of her actions and leadership. Why? For more on this see CATHERINE the GREAT.
How and why my ancestors emigrated first to the Volga River Colonies, and then 140 years later, to Fresno, California were questions that I wanted answers to. For more on this see EMIGRATION.
The lives of the German-Russian Volga Colonists were unbelievably harsh and difficult. How did they survive and prosper? For more on this see VOLGA COLONY LIFE.
Famine visited my ancestors repeatedly. First while they lived in Europe, and then again and again while they lived along the Volga River. Some of the famines were caused by the weather and population growth, but some were caused by Man. Who would cause a famine on purpose? For more on this see FAMINE.
Believe it or not, their were people living in the southern Volga River area prior to the establishment of the German-Russian Volga Colonies. Who were they, where did they come from, and how did they react to the German-Russians? For more on this see BEFORE THE VOLGA COLONIES.
The final chapter of the German-Russian Volga Colonies is filled with words such as Starvation, Torture, Mass Murders, Deportation, Siberia, Genocide, and Democide. Why? For more on this see THE FINAL SOLUTION.
In early 2006, I took all of the above information and began writing and publishing a series of books on the German-Russian Volga Colonies. For more on this see MY BOOKS.
I also participated in the Genographic Project (DNA) provided by the National Geographic Society. While this may be of limited use in tracking ancestors from Medieval times to present, it does provide the migratory patterns of your original ancestors. For more on this see DNA.
While completing my ancestry research, I found a number of organizations and groups to be very helpful . For more on this see ANCESTRY LINKS.
(c)2006 Darrel P. Kaiser- No advertising or reproduction rights are authorized for any image or any part of this website without permission. All images are for display purposes only. For questions or comments about this web site, send email to: Dar-Bet@att.net . Last modified: July 11, 2007 (TX). Site Map