Researching Jekaterinoslaw

The government of Jekaterinoslaw (also known as Ekaterinoslav) was formed in 1786 and was named after Catherine II. The name of the district was changed to Dnipropetrovsk in 1917. Jekaterinoslaw was bordered on the north by Poltava, on the east by Kharkov, on the south by Taurida, and on the west by Kherson. It covered an area of 12,590 square miles.

Ethnic Germans began settling Jekaterinoslaw district in 1786, coming from the Danzig area of West Prussia (mostly consisting of Mennonites), W├╝rttemberg, Baden, the Palatinate, and Alsace.

The first colony to be formed in Jekaterinoslaw was the colony of (Alt) Danzig, which was founded in 1786 by 50 Lutheran families from Danzig, Prussia. Another 100 families of West Prussian Lutherans came in 1789 and founded the colonies of Josefstal and Rybalsk northeast of the city of Jekaterinoslaw. In 1793, 45 Catholic families from the earlier Jamburg settlements near St. Petersburg founded a new Jamburg on the Dnieper River south of Jekaterinoslaw.

By 1941, there were over 125 German villages in the district of Jekaterinoslaw - 45 Lutheran, 15 Catholic, and 20 Mennonite - as well as some colonies for which the religious affiliation is unknown.
Church Records
Lutheran Parishes - The first Lutheran parish center in the Black Sea area was located in the village of Josefstal. This parish served the villages of Rybalsk (Fischersdorf), (Alt) Danzig, and two villages in the Schwedengebiet: Schlangendorf and M├╝hlhausendorf. Information about other parishes in this area has not yet been uncovered.

Lutheran Church Records
- Each Lutheran church kept one copy of the church records at the local church and was required to send one copy to the Lutheran Consistory in St. Petersburg. These records include births, marriages, and deaths. The earlier records were recorded in German and the later records in Russian.

* Records from 1833-1885 for the parishes of Josefstal,Ludwigstal, Grunau, and Taganrog can be found on microfilm at the Family History Library or online under the heading Russia, Lutheran Church Book Duplicates, 1833-1885. Indexes for many of these church records are available here on our website and on the Odessa Digital Library.

Catholic Church Records - Catholic priests kept one copy of the church records at the local church and sent one copy to the diocese headquarters. A few translated recrods can be found here. Many records for these villages have not yet been located. Read more ...

Mennonite Church Records - Church records were kept at the local church. Further information on the Mennonites in the Jekaterinoslaw and the Taurida district to the south can be found here.
  •  Census Records
    Revision lists for some of the villages in Jekaterinoslaw are availabe in The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862 by Karl Stumpp.