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Online Research Maps

(updated 24 Nov 2023)


The Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map is a map of all known places where ethnic Germans lived in the Russian Empire and the subsequent Soviet states. It includes those who were a part of the immigration stories stemming from the manifestos of Empress Catherine the Great in 1763 and Tsar Alexander I in 1804 and other German groups who received special permission to settle in parts of the Russian Empire. Germans lived not only in colonies they established as agrarians, but also in villages and cities that already existed.


The map German Settlements in the Black Sea Region includes the provinces in which Germans lived around the Black Sea in the South Russia and Caucasus administrative regions in European Russia. The earliest German settlements in this region were Mennonite colonies established with permission of Catherine the Great around the city of Yekaterinoslav (Dnipro today) in 1789.


The vast majority of Germans who immigrated to South Russia came in the first half of 1800s under the manifesto of Tsar Alexander I. They were initially settled into Mother colonies in German enclaves in the provinces of Ekaterinoslav, Kherson, Taurida, and Bessarabia. Daughter colonies were established in the same area and in time spread into the province of Don Cossacks Host, Podolia, and provinces in the Caucasus region. Some of the major German enclaves in the Black Sea region were the Beresan, Crimean, Glückstal, Kronau, Kutschurgan, Liebental (or Grossliebental), Mariupol (or Planer), Prischib, and Schwedengebiet. Mennonite Colonies included the Chortitza Colony, Molotschna Colony, and Zagradovka Colony. There were also groups of Jewish agricultural colonies in the same areas.


 The Caucasus region was another area to which Germans immigrated in the 1800s. They primarily settled south of the Caucasus mountain range in the province of Tiflis. Daughter colonies were established throughout the provinces of the north and south Caucasus: Baku Province, Batumi Oblast, Black Sea Province, Dagestan Oblast, Elizavetpol Province, Erivan Province, Kars Oblast, Kuban Oblast, Kutaisi Province, Stavropol Province, Sukhum Okrug, Tersk Oblast, Tiflis Province (with Zakatal Okrug).


After the special privileges of the German colonists were revoked in 1872, many began looking for new places to call home. Some from the Black Sea region left the Russian Empire and moved to the Dobrudscha region in the neighboring Ottoman Empire. Others left for North and South America, with many drawn to the United States by the Homestead Act and to Canada by the Dominion Lands Act.


In the late 1800s into the early 1900s before World War I, lands in western Siberia in Asiatic Russia were open for settlement. Many Germans in need of land in the Black Sea region moved to this area around and south of the city Omsk on the Trans-Siberian Railway. They established colonies in the provinces of Tobolsk and Tomsk in western Siberia and in the provinces of Akmola, Semipalatinsk, Turgai, and Ural in the Steppes Krai (northern Kazakhstan today).


After the Russian Revolution and during the interwar years (1918-1939), there were numerous cases of Germans exiled to the east. During World War II, however, all Germans in the Soviet Union at the time the Red Army arrived in their villages and towns were deported to Soviet republics in Asiatic Russia and the Far North European Russia. This map shows some of those deportation locations. All maps in the narrative above are a part of the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project.


Germans from Russia Settlement Locations Introduction & Map Tutorial


The maps in our online collection are from printed maps, documents or atlases which are public domain or for which the Black Sea German Research Group has secured permission for use.  The maps in this collection are to be used for private, personal, genealogical purposes only. Commercial use is prohibited. If you have a map you would like to share freely please email