In South Russia Our German ancestors began arriving in the Black Sea region, known as South Russia, in the early 1800s at the invitation of Tsar Alexander I. They lived there for almost 150 years, mostly in rural villages, fiercely holding onto their German identity. These former German villages are located in current day Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania.

Each geographic area has its own history and research record availability


    After South Russia As the German population grew and additional farmland became limited, many of our ancestors left South Russia. Beginning in the 1880s, they headed to the plains of the U.S. and Canada, as well as to South America.

    The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent Stalinist government resulted in many ethnic Germans being sent east to prison camps in Siberia. From 1940 to 1944, those who remained fled or were resettled - first to Poland, and then to Germany.

    Today, large concentrations of people with Black Sea German roots live in:


    Before South Russia Our ancestors came to the Black Sea region as pioneers. War, lack of land, religious oppression, or political upheaval in their homelands resulted in them looking for better economic opportunities and new homes in the steppe lands of South Russia. They came from: 



Black Sea German Database

Last Name:

First Name:

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Giesinger, Adam
From Catherine to Khrushchev

Height, Joseph S.
Homesteaders on the Steppe
Paradise on the Steppe

Keller, Conrad
The German Colonies in South Russia 1804-1904 (Vol. I and II)

Stumpp, Karl
The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862

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 Germans from Russia Heritage Society.