All the real things in Russia are done in the villages.

~Ernest Poole

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Villages of South Russia

A village as referred to by GRHS represents a settlement founded by our GR ancestors in rural areas of present day Ukraine. Generally, the original villages were populated by small numbers of German immigrants in response to the invitation by Catherine the Great of Russia.


The Germans from Russia Settlement Locations Project

This is a project led by Dennis Bender and Sandy Schilling Payne to locate and document the latitude and longitude of every German colony settled in Russia from 1764 through the early 20th century. The project started as simply the desire to know exactly where our ancestral villages were today, if they still existed, what the current names were and to see them on a modern map. The project grew as interest from others with Germans from Russia heritage asked where their ancestral villages were. Dennis has the role of primary researcher with Sandy supporting the technology and communications of the site.

Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map:
Colony Group Maps:

    1. To find your ancestral colony, go to the Germans from Russia Settlements map or one of the Colony Group maps if you know in what area your villages might be found.
    2. On the left under All Colonies by Group, click the down arrow to view all the village names. You can scroll through the names or use your browser's search function to search the text on the page for the village you're looking for.
    3. Click on the village name, and the location on the map will be circled and will zoom in. You can zoom in further by double clicking on the map next to the pin.

On the left, information about the village will appear. It includes at the very least the ancestral names of the village, the latitude/longitude and the current name. Additional information that may be available includes the district, area, founding date, religions of the colonists, notes and sources.
Any of the maps can be printed or shared via social media and email. They can also be embedded into websites for those who host their own family websites. Embedding the maps means you will always have the latest information as it is updated. For those who use family tree programs that support mapping, the village coordinates or current location names can be used to accurately place events in your family tree. View the tutorials available on the website for how-to videos.
Locating your ancestral village is just the first step. Once you find your village on the map, we strongly encourage working with GRHS village coordinators to learn more about the village and those who lived there. A members and visitors of GRHS.ORG will unlock information that you may not find anywhere else.