Göbel, pages 1066-1068.

Ust-Gryaznukha, Nizhnyaya (Lower) Gryaznukha, Gebel, a German colony of Kamyshin uyezd (district), Kamyshin volost (small rural district), is located in the lower region on the left bank of the Ilovlya river along the big mail Saratov-Astrakhan road, which goes along the right bank of the Gryaznukha river, close to its confluence with the Ilovlya. That is why the colony is called so. The altitude in the colony itself, according to the ordnance survey map of the General Staff (1862), is 874 English feet above the Black sea level. 2 verstas to the east from it another German colony is situated – Verkhnyaya (Upper) Gryaznukha.

Ust-Gryaznukha colony is situated in latitutde 50 degrees 28' North and in longitude 15 degrees 6' East from Pulkovo. The colony is situated 133 verstas from Saratov, 46 verstas to the north from Kamyshin, 24 verstas to the south from the Volost Board in Kamenka colony. 

Ust-Gryaznukha was founded by Germans, Catholics, who came here in 1764 from Austria. According to the 1859 Register of Foreign Settlers (Our Colonies by Klaus) the colony Ust-Gryaznukha was in Kamenka county (district) and it had: according to census #5 in 1788 – 67 families, 182 males and 175 females; according to census #6 in 1798 – 74 families, 224 males and 209 females; according to census #7 in 1816 – 97 families, 294 males and 312 females; according to census #8 in 1834 – 130 families, 486 males and 486 females; according to census #9 in 1850 – 163 families, 721 males and 702 females; according to census #10 (1857) – 173 families, 800 males and 812 females. 

According to the list of settlements of the Central Statistics Committee, published in 1862, there was the German colony Ust-Gryaznukha a.k.a. Gebel along the Astrakhan mail road from Saratov to Kamyshin on the Gryaznukha river, 44 verstas from the uezd town Kamyshin. The colony had in 1860: 157 households, 795 males and 821 females, total: 1,616, also there was 1 Roman Catholic church, 1 post-house, 2 fairs, 5 mills. 

In 1859 and 1865 4 families (15 males and 11 females mentioned in the census) moved to Kuban region. In 1863, 1866 and 1872 10 families (30 males and 23 females) moved to Samara region. Before 1886 5 families (15 males) moved to America and they were excluded from the membership. In 1886 2 families (3 males) moved to Buenos-Aires. 

According to 1886 Zemstvo Census there were 304 households, 1,142 males and 1,071 females, total: 2,213 of villagers-owners, Germans, Catholics, also there were 64 families constantly absent and 3 families of 30 people of both sexes who were outsiders. 461 males and 532 females were literate. There were 355 inhabited buildings, 149 were made of stone, 185 of wood, 21 of raw brick/adobe; roofs of 211 of those were made of wood, 211 – of straw and 17 – of clay. There were 13 industrial enterprises, 1 tavern, 2 stores. The settlers had: 334 ploughs, 1,118 horses (both working and non-working), 490 oxen, 1,080 cows and calves, 1,350 sheep, 933 pigs, 209 goats. In 1885 8,798 rubles were paid in taxes and duties; there were 1,772 rubles of quitrent. 

The land endowment was 7,924 1/2 dessiatinas of convenient (including arable land – 6,061 dessiatinas) and 4,441 dessiatinas of inconvenient soil, total: 12,3651/2 dessiatinas. According to Committee on Land Valuation of the German Colonies, the land was used in the following ways: 19 dessiatinas 240 sazhens of land was under barns; 154 dessiatinas 960 sazhens – under houses and kitchen-gardens; 4,793 dessiatinas – under arable land; 338 dessiatinas – under meadows; 395 dessiatinas 720 sazhens – under forest; 2,224 dessiatinas 1,600 sazhens – under pasture; 4,441 dessiatinas 960 sazhens – under inconvenient land. In different years 1,268 dessiatinas of pasture land was ploughed. There are 5 plots of arable land: 1st - near the colony, 2nd - 15 verstas from the colony, beyond the colony Semenovka, 3d – 2 verstas from the colony, beyond the land of Semenovka, 4th – 12 verstas away, close to Dobrinka and Dreispitz, Ust-Kulalinka volost, 5th – 372 dessiatinas, added from the dacha of the Norka colony. Each of the allotments has some arable land, but meadows are only in the allotments close to the colony itself. Two allotments have forests: close to Dobrinka and the allotment beyond Semenovka. Pasture is from three sides of the settlement. Watering places are close to the colony on the Ilovlya and the Gryaznukha, there are also 6 ponds in the fields. 

The soil is different: loamy, gristly, black earth, sand, saline, 1 arshin thick. Subsoil is clay. There are some hills on the land. 

Before Census #9 land was used by households. After it they changed to the land being owned by males mentioned in the census. In 1871 land redistribution according to males mentioned in the census was introduced. In 1883 there were 4 1/2 dessiatinas for each male mentioned in the Census. Meadows are also divided between males mentioned in the census. 

Every year a lot for felling the forest (9 years old, 395 dessiatinas 720 sazhens) is determined by people in the colony. Kitchen-gardens are divided between males mentioned in the census too. Cabbage-fields are redistributed every 6 years, potatoe-fields and hemp-fields – every year. Those who have gardens pay 5 rubles for each dessiatina. Each year 1 dessiatina of fallow land for 10 people is taken by water-melon, melon and gourd plantations. The rest of the fallow land is used for growing rye. In 1881, 1882, 1883 the colony had promissory wheat ploughing, the money they got after having sold it was used for paying public debts. There are 2 wooden, with wooden roofs public stores, where they keep public wheat, which is collected from each male mentioned in the census. Bread is sold to Kamyshin and Tscherbakovka. From 1883 to 1889 290 dessiatinas of arable land was let to 12 house-owners from the colony Karaulny Buerak (700 rubles annually) and also 112 dessiatinas of arable land was let to Ust-Kulalinka house-owners for 6 years (375 rubles annually). Some house-owners rented allotments for 6 years paying 11-13 rubles.

According to the 1886 Zemstvo Census there were 7 shoemakers, 2 joiners, 1 tailor, 1 carpenter, 1 cooper, 8 musicians and 4 beggars in Ust-Gryaznukha. In 1887 the income of the society was as follows: cattle – 12 rubles, public mills – 372 rubles, fishing – 3 rubles and land leasing – 1,375 rubles. The money is used for village-community expenses and payment of public debt (Province Zemstvo List, 1891, Volume XI). 

According to the Province Statistics Committee (1891) the colony Ust-Gryaznukha was located 24 verstas from the volost Board and had 266 households, 1,384 males and 1,353 females, total: 2,737. Accodring to Kamenka Volost Board (1894) the colony Ust-Gryaznukha a.k.a. Nizhnyaya (Lower) Gryaznukha, Gebel had 1 wooden Catholic St. Vendelin church covered with metal roof, sanctified in 1848, pastorate, German church school founded in 1892; 2 public smithies, 160 wells, 3 dikes on the river. Government post station has existed since 1780, it has 8 horses. Zemstvo coachman station has existed here since 1865, it has 8 horses. 

In 1894 there were 333 households here, buildings – wooden – 245, stone – 88, with metal roofs – 4, with wooden roofs – 230, with straw roofs – 99. The settlement was built according to the approved plan and is divided by quarters of 3-4 households. 

There were 1,417 males and 1,389 females, total: 2, 806 of house-owners, Germans, Roman-Catholics, 1 pastor. The population is engaged in farming, 15 people – in other trades. Ust-Gryaznukha village-community uses 12,366 dessiatinas of land (7, 925 of convenient and 4,441 of inconvenient) since 1871. 

Volost Board in Kamenka is 24 verstas away, Ilovlya (to the north) – 6 verstas, Verkhnyaya Gryaznukha (Ust-Kulalinka volost) to the east – 2 verstas, Quindt and Dalinger farmsteads, Ust-Kulalinka volost (to the south) – 7 verstas, Semenovka (to the west) – 8 verstas, Dobrinka dock on the Volga – 25 verstas, uezd town and railway station Kamyshin – 46 verstas, Saratov – 134 verstas. The colony itself lies on the big Saratov-Astrakhan mail and cattle road. 

Translation and notes by Dr. Lyudmila I. Koretnikova.

Translators Notes:

1 versta = 3,500 feet, 1.06 km, 0.66 miles.

Pulkovo - 15 kilometers from St. Petersburg. The main observatory is located here. The observatory was built in 1833-39, 75 meters above the sea level, in latitude 59* 19' 40" North. Pulkovo meridian is in longitude 30* 19' 40" East from Greenwich.

Kuban, river in the Caucasus region of Russia. Kuban originates on the northern slope of the Caucasus Mountains west of Mount Elbrus and flows north through the mountains, turning west below the town of Nevinnomyssk. It crosses a broad upland area before entering the plain above Krasnodar, the principal city along its banks. In its lower course it crosses the flat, marshy Taman Peninsula in several shifting channels, which flow into either the Sea of Azov or the Black Sea. The river is 910 km (560 mi) long and drains more than 59,000 sq km (23,000 sq mi) of territory; it is navigable along its last 240 km (150 mi). The Kuban has virtually no right-bank tributaries; those on the left include the Urup, Laba, and Belaya. The river's name was taken by the Kuban cossacks, who first settled along the northern banks in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Zemstvo - elective district council in pre-revolutionary Russia.

1 dessiatina (measure of land) = 2.7 acres

1 sazhen – 2,134 meters.


Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Saratov Province by A.N. Minkh (Saratov, 1898-1901)