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Research Links

In addition to the Black Sea German database, the following links will help you research your German ancestors in the Odessa area.

* Beresan colony map
* Glückstal colony map

* Grossliebental colony map
* Hoffnungstal colony map
* Kutschurgan colony map
* Lutheran Church Records (translated)
* Catholic Church Records (translated)
* Research Odessa
* German-Russian Village List
* Lutheran/Reformed Parishes
* Catholic Church Record Information
* Village Plat Maps
* Odessa Digital Library

Recommended Books

These books are in addition to the recommended books listed here.

Bosch, Anton
Trauerbuch Odessa
Trauerbuch Odessa-2

Bosch, Anton & Lingor, Josef
Entstehung, Entwicklung und Auflösung der deutschen Kolonien am Schwarzen Meer

Glückstal Colonies Research Association
The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America: A Bicentennial Collection of History, Genealogy, and Folklore


Height, Joseph
Memories of the Black Sea Germans

Leibbrandt, Dr. George
Die Auswanderung aus Schwaben nach Russland

Mack, Eduard
Erinnrungen an die deutschen Kolonien des Großliebentaler Rayons bei Odessa (

Philipps, John
The Germans by the Black Sea between the Bug and Dnjester Rivers

Senger, I. K.

In the Valley of the Kutschurgan

Some of these books may be available at your local library or available from, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, or the Germans from Russia Heritage Society.



Researching the Odessa/Kherson Area

Overview According to Karl Stumpp, the Odessa area (formerly Cherson) included the following districts: Grossliebental, Glückstal, Kutschurgan, and Beresan. The Swedish colonies near Odessa and the Belowesh colonies near Chernigov were also considered part of the Odessa area.

The founding families from the district of Grossliebental were comprised of 190 families from Württemberg, 164 families from Hungary, 111 from Alsace, 29 families from Baden, and 20 families from the Palatinate. Nine of the thirteen villages were Lutheran and the remaining four were Catholic.

The founding families from the district of Glückstal were comprised of 270 families from Württemberg, 188 families from Alsace, 63 families from Hungary, 31 families from Poland, 20 from the Palatinate, and 12 families from Baden. All of the villages were Lutheran.

The founding families from the Beresan District were comprised of 317 families from the Palatinate, 255 families from Baden, 220 families from Alsace, 84 families from Württemberg, and 79 families from Poland. Of  the eleven mother colonies, seven were Catholic and four were Lutheran.

The founding families from the Kutschurgan District were comprised of 265 families from Alsace, 111 families from Baden, 91 families from the Palatinate, and 29 families from Prussia. All six mother colonies were Catholic.

The Swedish colonies were comprised of 15 families from Prussia, 14 families from the Palatinate, and 8 families from Baden. The village of  Schwedendorf was founded by families from Dagö, Sweden. Later this village belonged to the Nikolajew Lutheran parish. Three villages were Lutheran and one was Catholic. For more information on the Swedish  families from Dagö, Sweden check out the book Svenskbysläkter by Jörgen Hedman.  Also check out  and the Swedish State archive at

The Belowesh Colonies were comprised of families all from Hessen. It consisted of seven mother colonies of which five were Lutheran and two Catholic. 

Documents Concerning the Black Sea Germans in the Odessa Archives

Church Records
Lutheran/Reformed Parishes -
There were numerous parishes within the Kherson/Odessa area in 1905. They were located in the following villages: city of Odessa, Grossliebental, Freudental, Neu Freudental, Hoffnungstal,  Rohrbach, Worms/Johannestal, Bergdorf, Glückstal, and Kassel. Knowing which parish your village was associated with will help you in your research.  Kherson consisted of Lutheran parishes in Anan'ev, Nikolajew, Elisabethgrad and Kronau. For a complete list of parishes click here.

Lutheran Church Records - Each Lutheran church was required to send copies of their records to the Lutheran Consistory in St. Petersburg. These records  included baptisms, births, marriages, deaths, and burial information. The earlier records were recorded in German and later records in Russian. No copies of the original church records for this area are known to have survived. Translations of the St.Petersburg Lutheran Church records are available here on our website and originals at

Catholic Churches - The Grossliebental district had Catholic churches in Kleinliebental, Josefstal, Mariental, and Franzfeld. The Beresan district had Catholic churches in Landau, Speyer, Sulz, Karlsruhe, Katharinental, Rastadt, and München. The Kutschurgan district had Catholic churches in Straßburg, Baden, Selz, Kandel, Elsass, and Mannheim. The Swedish colonies had a Catholic church in Klosterdorf and the Belowesh colonies had Catholic churches in Groß-Werder and Klein-Werder.

Catholic Church Records
- Catholic priests kept one copy of the church records at the local church and sent one copy to the diocese headquarters. The Tiraspol Catholic Church  records can be accessed through the Russian State Archives in Saratov.  Translated records are located here. The Catholic church records, up to the later 1840s, were recorded in Latin. Subsequent records were recorded in Russian. Read more...

Census Records
Early census records (1816) for many of the mother colonies can be found in the book The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862 by Karl Stumpp. Census records are available for sale through the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society book stores. Also, make sure you check out the Black Sea German Database as many of these records have been recorded in the family trees which have been submitted.

Resettlement and Repression Records
The migration to Siberia and overseas began after the abolishment (1871) of the privileges granted at the time of settlement. Some Odessa-area families left South Russia for North America, South America, or Germany. Those who stayed in South Russia experienced the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution (1917), then the second World War which brought about the complete dissolution of the German villages in South Russia. Read about The Trek out of  the Odessa area.

When the Odessa-area Germans were forced to leave in 1943-1944, they had to document their German ethnicity back several generations. This documentation forms part of the EWZ records (see below). Even if your family line left the Odessa area prior to 1944, researchers will find these records valuable for building family groups, i.e. names of siblings and cousins to grandparents and great-grandparents.  EWZ records can often trace a family genealogy back to the 1850s and 1860s.

Trauerbuch Odessa (Band 5) and Trauerbuch Odessa - 2 (Band 6) document those who were arrested, exiled, or executed from Odessa, Nikolajew, and Cherson from 1928-1953.
EWZ Records
EWZ stands for Einwanderungszentralstelle or Central Immigration Control department. The EWZ 50 series is most important for those families who resided in the Odessa area. Make sure you read our EWZ FAQ and check out the Black Sea German Database as all EWZ-50 indexes are included.
Koblenz Records
These questionnaires were completed prior to the EWZ records and come from the German Bundersarchiv. Read the Koblenz FAQ and check the Black Sea German Database for Koblenz index data (categorized by village).