On-line forum for Germans from Russia Researchers

About the Black Sea German Research Group
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Author:  morbeus [ Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  About the Black Sea German Research Group

About Us

We are a virtual group of volunteers wanting to freely share with fellow researchers. Therefore, there are no membership dues or fees for anything we provide on this site.

Our team includes researchers from different geographic areas around the Black Sea (Crimea, Odessa, Bessarabia, Dobrudscha, and others) and different religious backgrounds (Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite).

The founding members are Gayla Ohlhauser Aspenleiter, Rich Aspenleiter, Debbie Beick, Murray Gauer, David Kilwien, Jackie Peterson, Robert Schauer, Carolyn Schott, Merv Weiss and Elli Wise.


Dale Wahl was our friend and mentor. "I've been chasing these dead folks for a lot of years," Dale would say with his customary easy-going, casual and inviting manner. He was a tireless researcher. He was a selfless contributor to and advocate for the good will of freely-shared family research. He was the ultimate team builder, bringing people together to work on projects and always encouraging them to think of something bigger than their own needs. A more complete article honoring Dale can be found here (http://www.grhs.org/vr/dale.htm).

Dale's Legacy

We lost Dale in the summer of 2008. Before he passed away, he asked us to honor a legacy he wanted to share with the world.

Dale was a lover of technology and ultimately wanted all his genealogy files digitized and made available online to German-Russian researchers worldwide. He did not want anyone or any organization burdened with excess files, paperwork, and costs they could not manage. He did not want others profiting from the sale of freely contributed and available family data. When Dale died, a small team of people respectfully volunteered to help preserve his legacy in the way he requested.

The Dale Wahl Team

From 2008 to 2010, the "Dale Wahl Team" sorted, scanned, categorized, labeled, and distributed the vast collection of genealogical materials Dale had acquired in over 30 years of researching, both his own family connections and the thousands of others he helped, over and over again. Books and other materials were sent to the Germans from Russia Heritage Society library. Personal family files and photos were returned to the Wahl family as requested. Permissions were obtained for the use of family data sent to Dale by other researchers.

In the end, the Dale Wahl Team sorted the family data from the historical data; the historical research from the archival research, random photos, maps, and much more. Then they scanned over 300,000 pieces of documentation which is being made available now, on this website, much of it for the first time.

Dale's Dream

This was Dale's dream, but it would not be possible without the gracious help of Dale's immediate family who understood what a vast resource he had accumulated. The Dale Wahl team would like to offer a special thanks to Dale's family who trusted us with the two rooms and a garage full of documents, equipment, and electronic files. But, more importantly, with believing in us to accomplish what Dale said he wanted.

Genealogical research in the 21st century will bring new opportunities and new research information, new definitions for the sharing of research, and new opportunities to connect with family members worldwide. In some small way, we hope this is a new start for German-Russian researchers. Please use and enjoy what Dale has helped us create.

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