A Chapter of GRHS
Beresan District Odessa Regional Interest Group
Question: What religion is involved with the SPR?
Answer: The St. Petersburg reports are of the Evangelical Lutheran Consistory of St. Petersburg.
Answer: The specific geographical areas that comprised the Consistory of St Petersburg gets to be rather complex and not easily understood. Most of the places included in these areas had some German folks there, but are so scattered we don't need to understand all of specifics for our purposes here.
The in depth definition of these areas is described else where in these FAQs. However, for our purposes at the BDO home page, we need to provide you a listing of most of the villages that appear during the years in the Evangelical "Parish of Rohrbach"
Some of these villages came and went. For instance Gueldendorf's history during this time must be understood -but for the purposes of the St Pete extractions, we included the data in the Rohrbach parish data. Some of these villages may have come and went along with the Freudental Parish data. See more discussion about the parish organization elsewhere in these FAQs.
Answer: 1833 - 1885, but not all years are there for all parishes, and in some isolated cases, especially with some of the Reformed reports, the files go up through 1900.
Answer: It is a universal/common format that was designed and agreed upon by many who first organized the indexing effort from the GRHS Clearing House. The Index format includes the minimum number of data elements such as name, year of event, place of event and the reference data to lead the researcher to the particular data on the film for each event entry included in the index.
Answer: Volunteers from both the GRHS and AHSGR as well as folks who had no affiliation with any of the organizations.
Answer: Simply go to the Odessa Digital Library at http://www.odessa3.org/index.html or you can
This data can either be searched on-line via the full search features built in. There is a special category for St Pete searches, and the data can be down loaded in ASCII form to anyone's computer for use on their own computer.
Answer: For the Rohrbach parish, there are 5 missing years of
Answer: For our purposes in South Russia and the BDO specifically, let us stick pretty much with this area in the Odessa. In the Odessa we will find the parish data organized in the parishes of;
Of course our interest in the BDO leads us to the Rohrbach parish efforts.
When the St Pete data first appears in 1833, the data is organized within the parish of Rohrbach. In the 1850's or so, the parish church was moved from Rohrbach to Worms and it became the Rohrbach parish and a few years later a 2nd parish church came into existence and then we find that we had the Worms and Johannestal parishes where it had used to be the Rohrbach parish.
While doing the index, it was decided that rather than completely confusing the matter, we would keep the name of the effort as the Rohrbach parish rather than trying to explain to folks the changing and dividing that actually occurred.
We should also note that many of the Grossliebental "daughter" villages were settled in the parish area of Rohrbach . . . so there is a dotted line relationship with the Grossliebental district. The same thing occurred with the old Freudental parish. We also need to note that as time went on the Freudental parish was also broken into a 2nd parish and it being the Neu Freudental parish. When folks start chasing these families around using the St Pete reports - they must not be surprised when they go to the films and find the name of the parish different, nor be surprised when they find their families in other places besides the original places they first settled.
Answer: The Ordinance of 1832 which provided the articles of incorporation which divided the Empire within 3 administrative groups. Those groups being:
This last one encompassed all of Romanov Russia, and it in turn was divided in three city and five "district" Consistories.
Answer: The book The Lutherans of Russia, Volume 1 which is a Parish Index to the Church Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Consistory of the St. Petersburg 1833-1885, provides great front matter to better understand the background to the creation and the specifics involved to better understand the scope of this question.
From page xiii of that great work:
Answer: It included the capital, Narva and Kronstadt, and the provinces of:
Answer: LDS stands for Latter Day Saints.
This is the Mormon church head quartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Answer: The best way is to locate a friend with whom you network and who is experienced in using an LDS church. If that friend is local, that will help.
Answer: The best way to get started is to find another researcher in your area that uses the local LDS libraries and talk to them. Find out the addresses and the hours of the libraries. Then go visit each of those that are within range of your house. Find out what their holdings are, and talk a little with the various library support folks you find there . . . and then determine which of the libraries will be of most benefit to you.
Then simply start spending some time there and acquaint yourself with what is available. There is no short cut to this. Your exposure will allow you to ask others with more experience their opinion on things that will help you understand how to use the library and what is available to you.
Answer: The answers to this question will vary depending on which village/parish we are discussing. The best way to discern the specifics to such a question is to go to your local LDS FHC library and order in a set of the following microfiche.
The Lutherans of Russia : parish index to the church books
of the Evangelical Lutheran
In general terms most of the Odessa area parishes have all but about five of the years between 1833 and 1885.
Answer: The best way to determine this is to go look for the families you are interested in by using the search mode available on the Odessa Digital Library, and then sort out which films you are interested in.
A few libraries across the country have already brought in a substantial amount of the St Pete films. The basic St Pete collection has 137 films, but not all of them have application to the Black Sea area. A whole set of films for one parish can often be about 75 films or so.
Answer: An index is designed to take a person to the data. A simple index only has those data elements needed to provide that trail back to the raw data.
A film has a unique number assigned to it. It is normally broken down into parts (called "item") and within each item on a film there exists a page number.
In the church register, each entry is normally provided it's own register number. So if you had that data in hand you could go to the right film, the item on that film, to the page of that item and then the "register" number of that page.
So if we give you just the essential data for the person involved in that event, and tell you how to get to the entry on the film, then you can glean from a very large stack of data to find those that fit into your criteria and then you can go look the data up.
There is a whole team process involving those who will be doing the extracting to gather the "required" data elements for an indexing project. Each element is debated and a factor assigned as to needed or nice to have . . . the extractors are given some degree of freedom to "pull" more than the minimum.
For many not involved with the process, it is often considered that the index was not adequate to some users desires . . . but many users tend to forget the purpose of the index to begin with - some even go so far as to not even track to the raw data and miss much of what is provided in the real record.
Each data element that is included in an index carries a cost - in time, and this is weighed heavily during the 'modeling' phase of the project to ensure that just the essential data is pulled and to keep the energy required for the effort to a minimum amount.
The bottom line is - does the index do as it is designed, and for the St Pete format? It has proven time and again it does.
Answer: The data is initially placed in a format that lists from right to left;
(see Table One)
Answer: We now have all of the following parishes indexed and posted to
the Odessa Digital Library:
Parts of the following parishes are being indexed and placed up on the Odessa Digital Library as they are ready
There are some serious Taurien area projects that have not even taken shape yet - some day perhaps enough interest will arise for folks to organize and go do that.
Answer: For research purposes, the Rohrbach parish researcher (for all of the BDO Lutheran villages), they should be looking at;
And maybe even into the un-indexed Taurien area!
Answer: To numerous to list here. Please Click Here to view.
The researcher has to get a trail on a family and pursue that family with an open mind. By the mid 1800's, the folks throughout South Russia were moving around with more and more dynamics.
Go to the Odessa Digital Library at http://www.odessa3.org/index.html
Answer: Go to The Lutherans of Russia : parish index to the church
books of the
Answer: You can bring a copy into your local FHC for your use there, but
will not be allowed to remove it from the library;
Answer: We must all remember the intent of the index - and that it is only a stepping stone to lead you to the film where the "real data"resides . . .
There are many difficulties in extracting these data from these films. There are writing problems, there are spelling problems, etc.
The extractors have been able to do their best to bring you the data the way it reads. If they have spelled a name different than you know the name, that does not mean you nor they are right or wrong . . . you need to be aware of some of the many problems that arise when folks try to read these films.
When you do get on the film, be prepared that it can change within a single year for a parish. You may see a different hand writing. You may see a different way of listing the data . . .
If you take an index entry to a film and don't find the entry there - if you apply logic there are other ways of perhaps isolating on the correct entry. The index has many different safeguards built into the form, and in most instances, the data can and will lead you to the right entry on the film if you look hard at what you have.
Answer: Many try to use the PBN (Personnel Book Number) to do this. While you may have it down to a particular family group, to do this beyond that is building a set of family data on a base of sand. It is good information to collect, but it was purposely left out of the index effort so as not to falsely lead folks down the wrong trail and help them make wrong conclusions.
If we ever gain copies of the real church records - including the family books, for any of these parishes, there will be some folks who relied on these PBNs to construct a family organization who will find that they lost the bubble some where along their research. Be very cautious trying to reassemble a family unit using the St Pete data!
Answer: MOST definitely! The best way to do that is homing in on the earlier death records looking for those who died the first several decades of the St Pete films.
To gain insight into this data, you will need to go to the films themselves. You may also need to gain this same data on several of the family members before you can discern the correct spelling of where they came from.
Many persistent people have had great luck to finally be able to reach all the way back into Germany doing it this way using the St Pete films.
Again, remember - just one entry may not be adequate to find the trail.
Answer: We do know that the reports from 1886 to 1917 are in existence in St. Petersburg. These will be in the Russian hand if we ever gain copies of them.
The LDS have negotiated for filming them, but at this time we do not have any idea when they may actually be filmed.
Answer: For the Rohrbach parish, there are 5 missing years of
Answer: That is still an unknown.What we do know is that some of those years do exist. It seems some of the big books these data are housed in at St Petersburg was out being worked on when the filming was going on - or at least that is how we understand the report.
Answer: Oh YES!
This effort would be able to be accomplished in a few short weeks, and the St Pete index data would then be directly convertible to the new church films - and we could go index the church films with a very rapid conclusion . . .
Answer: 1881 - Change film/item number from 1897593/2 to 1897593/1