Researching In South America
Questions and Answers
by Gayla Aspenleiter
Originally published in the Heritage Review,
1. Which German-Russians settled in South America?
Colonists from almost all of the German settlement areas in Russia settled in South America, including Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The Mennonites settled mainly in Paraguay in an area known as the Chaco. Black Sea and Bessarabian German-Russians settled in Brazil, and possibly other countries in South America. The Volga Germans established colonies mainly in Argentina and Brazil with most of the settlements being of the Catholic faith.
2. Why did German-Russians immigrate to South America?
Brazil and Argentina actively recruited colonists beginning in the late 1870s. Other possible reasons were South American laws regarding health issues were much less stringent than U.S. immigration laws, and also because the Catholic faith was the official faith in both Brazil and Argentina, an important factor for many Catholic Germans.
3. What books, microfilms, and websites focus on immigration to South America?
· Entradas y Salidas de Pasajeros 1821 – 1871 (Arrivals and Departures of Passengers 1821–1871). Buenos Aires: Archivo General de la Nación, 1992. (FHL films 1840670–1840684.)
· Immigration records from 1870 to 1888 were lost, but the Centro de Estudio Migratorios (C.E.M.L.A.) has complete and computerized immigration records from 1888 to 1925. You may write to them for information through their website at http://www.cemla.com/.
· Geschlechterbuch der Deutschen am La Plata (German families in the River Plate regions of South America), Call number 980 F2ge - FHL INTL Book, German language.
· The Center for Volga German Studies—http://cvgs.cu-portland.edu/immigration/Argentina.cfm
· Auswandererkartei der Rußlanddeutschen nach Brasilien: 1870-1940 by Deutsches Ausland-Institut (Stuttgart), Adam-Ziert - FHL INTL Film 1552796 Item 1, German language.
· The Center for Volga German Studies—http://cvgs.cu-portland.edu/immigration/Brazil.cfm
Paraguay and Uruguay:
· Auswanderkartei der Rußlanddeutschen nach Paraguay und Uruguay: 1870-1940 by Deutsches Ausland-Institut (Stuttgart), August-Zilch, FHL INTL Film 1552797 item 1, German language.
· Auf den Spuren deutschstämmiger Siedler: Paraguay (On the trail of German immigrants settling in Paraguay) by Theodor Finke, Bremen, 1984, call number 989.2 F2f - FHL INTL Book, German language.
· Höhen und Tiefen : eine deutsche Lebensgeschichte aus Süd-Russland (History of German Colonists in Southern Russia Who Later Migrated to Paraguay) by Maria Winter Loewen, Steinbach, Manitoba: Derkson Printers, 1976, call number 989.2 W2w - FHL INTL Book, German language.
· Paraguay: Immigrants from Canada between 1926 and 1935 found in Die ersten mennonitschen Einwanderer in Paraguay by Abram B. Giesbrecht, Friesen Printers, Loma Plata, Paraguay, 1995.
· Paraguay: Four passenger lists containing 1,435 immigrants from Russia in 1930 at http://www.mennonitegenealogy.com/latin/.
· Uruguay: Emigrants from Poland and Russia in 1948 and 1951, posted on http://www.mennonitehistory.org/.
You will also want to check out Bremen Passenger Lists from 1920-1939 at https://db.genealogy.net/vereine/index.php?verein=maus and Hamburg Passenger Lists 1850-1934 available for a fee through Ancestry.com.
4. Is there a map showing German-Russian settlements in South America?
Yes, Karte der russlanddeutschen Siedlungen in Suedamerika: Brasilien, Paraguay, Uruguay und Argentinien by Karl Stumpp, 1962. This map is available from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) bookstore—https://ahsgr.site-ym.com/store/default.aspx?.
5. Are there mailing lists or message boards I can join that focus on German-Russians to South America?
Yes, but be aware that some are in Spanish.
· http://ar.groups.yahoo.com/group/Gen_Entre_Rios/ (Spanish)
6. Are there general websites that focus on German-Russians to South America?
Yes, but some are in Spanish.
· http://www.worldgenweb.org/~southamericangenweb/ (English)
· http://www.memorialdoimigrante.sp.gov.br/ (Spanish - focuses on arrival records of immigrants to Sao Paulo state, Brazil)