Norka Records

By Maggie Hein | June 27, 2024 | Russian Records

Norka was one of the largest Volga German settlements, with many descendants of that settlement interested in exploring their genealogy.  Many of the people who have helped maintain this website over the years have ancestral connections to, or a research interest in, Norka. 

Lucky for us, there is a significant collection of Norka records that have survived, and many of those records have been obtained by the Norka Research Team.

Who is the Norka Research Team?

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German Civil Registration Records

By Maggie Hein | June 17, 2023 | German Origins

If you have searched for a birth certificate, marriage license, or death certificate, you know that many localities didn’t start keeping these types of records until the late 1800s or early 1900s. These government records of vital events are called Civil Registration Records. 

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Census Records (Revision Lists), Part 2 of 2 - Revision Lists on Family Search

By Maggie Hein | February 9, 2023 | Russian Records

Family Search has a collection of Revision Lists (Census Records) that were microfilmed at the Samara Archive in 2003. These records are generally for settlements on the Wiesenseite (east or meadow side) of the Volga River.  This collection includes Volga German Village revision lists for years from 1850 - 1862.  Initially, the images were only available on microfilm. Eventually the images were digitized and made freely available to anyone who can access the Family Search web site (a free account is required to view the documents).

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Census Records (Revision Lists), Part 1 of 2

By Maggie Hein | January 15, 2023 | Russian Records

I recently noticed a page on the Family Search web site about Russian Revision List images for Volga German Villages. I thought that would make a good topic for a blog post, but realized that to put those records in context, I needed to provide more general information about Russian Revision Lists. 

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First to Denmark, then to Russia

By Maggie Hein | December 19, 2022 | Denmark

A few years before Catherine the Great invited colonists to settle in the Volga region, King Fredrick V of Denmark invited colonists to settle in Schleswig-Holstein. Many of the colonists were unhappy in the Danish colonies and emigrated to Russia when given the opportunity.  Wayne Bonner has done extensive research on these colonists and has given presentations on this topic for AHSGR. With Wayne’s permission the following is reprinted from the introduction to one of his presentations:

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Online sources for German, French, and Danish church records

By Maggie Hein | December 9, 2022 | German Origins

How do you prove exactly where in Europe your ancestors lived before they migrated to Russia? We know that we can't rely on the place names given in the published translations of the First Settler's Lists because those are sometimes inaccurate. The best proof of your ancestors' origin location is to find them in the church records of the location where they resided prior to emigration.  

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Were your ancestors French Huguenots?

By Maggie Hein | September 19, 2021 | German Origins

We call ourselves "Volga Germans".  While most of the settlers in Volga (and later Black Sea) villages were German, there were also settlers from other European countries.  Many settlers in Russia were French, or came from French-speaking areas of Europe.  Some of these French settlers were Calvinist or Reformed Protestants (Huguenots) who fled religious persecution in France. 

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