Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Looking for Information

Neudorf, Odessa, Russia.
Researching this village for the surnames of Walz and Guthmuller.
Jacob Walz was reportedly born, 25 March, 1858, in Neudorf, Russia, and death date unknown.
Jacob married Christina Guthmuller who was born 1853, in Neudorf.
The religion of Neudorf was Evangelical, and the Russian name was Grigoriopol.
If anyone has any knowledge of this village and these families, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Dee Hert

FamilySearch Records Update

Nearly 4.2 Million New Indexed Records and Images for Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and the United States. FamilySearch has added close to 4.2 million indexed records and images to collections from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

FEEFHS Annual Eastern European Research Workshop

August 12-16, 2014, Salt Lake City, Utah

This annual workshop focuses on the records, tools, and methodologies needed to conduct research in Eastern European records- online, in microfilm, and on site. Additional Research Essentials track provides skills and background. Country tracks to include Germany, Poland, Russia, and more. Opens with an orientation of the Family History Library; closes with a banquet and keynote speaker. Includes individual consultation. Call for presentations soon going out.

Mark Your Calendars for the Research Workshop

More info is available on the FEEFHS website:

South Davis Family History Fair

The South Davis Family History Fair is April 25-26. There is information about the classes at the website:  Dee Hert has suggested that our chapter members attend and wear our AHGSR shirts.

Village Coordinators from the Intermountain Chapter

Brad Hertz  (Fisher)
Sharon White (Warenburg and Straub)
Darrell Weber (Balzer)
Joe Gertge (Rothammel)
Gwen Oryall (Gueldendorf)
Dee Hert (Alexanderdorf)
Shirley Ansley (Neu-Hussenbach)
Carol Harless (Dennewitz)
Suzanne Heinitz-Dodge (Eckheim, Muller, and Holstein)

We have some wonderful resources in our chapter!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

April Meeting

Our next chapter meeting will be April 12, at noon. 
3285 E.Ruskin Court, Sandy, Utah  
Gwen will give "Family Tree" for Bits and Pieces.

I have added a new article in the Pfeifer link.  Please remember to send me any of your information or stories you'd like to share for your villages or family lines.  I have recently heard from someone who shares one of my lines because they saw an entry on the blog.  It's a great way to make connections!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

German Proverbs

A book is like a garden that you can put in your pocket.

Early marriage, long love.

Beauty is a good letter of introduction.

Saving is a greater art than gaining.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, not today, all the lazy people say.

It usually rains where it's already wet.

War is pleasant for those who have not tried it.

Better an unjust peace than a just war.

When God means to punish a nation, he deprives the rulers of wisdom.

Who bows to might loses his right.

War is like a lottery- you never know who will win.

Check This Out

The Riverton FamilySearch Library will host a free seminar on Saturday, March 15th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. that will offer help to genealogists of all skill levels.
Taking Your Family History Electronic-Creating Your Own Amazing E-book:
E-books are gaining favor with genealogists and family historians for their readability, look, and convenience. Learn how to take your written family history from paper to electronic format. You can even add photos and embedded videos. Using Sigil, a free open source software program, and a few publication tricks, you will be up and running in no time. Share your family stories in multiple formats to be read by computer or one of the many readers on the market, including the iPad, iPhone, Nook, Kindle, or mobile device.

Luana Darby, MLIS, is a professional genealogist based in Salt Lake City. She specializes in the U.S. Midwest, Palatine German, LDS, and American patriot research. She is working toward receiving her AG and CG credentials. She has been working with clients for over 20 years under her company, Lineages by Luana, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops, and institutes. She is past president of the Utah Genealogical Association. Following the keynote presentation from 9:00 to10:00 a.m., two blocks of four classes each are offered that cover topics of interest for beginning, intermediate, and advanced family history enthusiasts.

10:10 a.m. Choose one of the following four classes:
•    "My Ancestor's Piece of Earth-Learning about My Family through Land Records " Jill Shoemaker
•    "The ABCs and 123s of Genetic Genealogy" Angie Bush
•    "Bite-size Pieces-How to Write Your Personal History" Rose Ann Fisher
•    "How to Save Your Life-One Chapter at a Time" Tom Taylor
11:20  a.m. Choose one of the following four classes:
•    "Evidence Analysis: Looking for Hidden Clues in Your Family History" Kathryn Moore
•    "Story Triage-How to Tell the Ten Best Stories of Your Life" Alison Taylor
•    "Regional Differences in Genealogy" Duncan Kuehn
•    "Puzzilla: My Work Is Done? or, We've Only Just Begun!" Bill Harten

Registration is not required for this free seminar. The Riverton FamilySearch Library is located in the LDS Riverton Office Building at 3740 West Market Center Drive. The facility is near the intersection of Bangerter Highway and 13400 South, just east of The Home Depot

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 2014 Chapter Meeting

Just a reminder that our next chapter meeting will be February 22, at noon. The meeting will be held at the home of Sharon and Bill White, 3285 E. Ruskin Court, Sandy. Bring food to share.
The planned presentation is about Beginning Research in Germany. 

If you haven't paid your 2014 chapter dues of $10 per family, send to Darrell Weber, our chapter treasurer, or bring to the meeting.
If you have any donations for The Road Home (homeless shelter), please bring them.

Let Sharon know if you are coming.  

Update From Gwen Oryall

Here are a few sites that I have recently been using with German from Russia ancestors. Maybe they can help you with research and finding family.  Started about 2 years ago, has index, family names, references to EWZ,etc.  Work in progress. Free. German from Russia (Bismark, ND headquarters) lists, history of villages, extractions, family records, church records, etc. American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Lincoln, Nebraska headquarters) Currently SOAR, old CLUES, villages, information, censuses, church, etc.
Soar will be moving to soon.

Did you know you can HELP index obituaries in SOAR for the whole world to find obituaries from SOAR file? It has started.  I have been indexing obituaries in German and English from newspapers, catalogs, and family records.  Each index is only about 10-20 names with information. You can do it anytime.  Go to to sign up and NO YOU DON"T need to be LDS. Anyone can volunteer time to indexing...
Monthly schedules for instruction and learning on various subjects. Free Salt Lake Family history
            February 2014 courses include:

Thursday, February 20, 2014 11:00-12:00 Floor 2N Calendar changes in German, French and Dutch areas.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Organizing your Genealogy 1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.

You can ride Trax or Front Runner within 1 block of library.

On-line learning activities for many countries and needs. German favorites include but NOT all inclusive of activities:

Reading Handwritten Records and Current Letters: view handwriting, current letters, upper and lower case, special letters and notes

Common words in German: abbreviations, symbols, etc.

German Documents and formats: formats, columns, paragraphs, phrases, dates, places, names, keywords.

Many more things: Basic German research, outlines, resources.

Salt Lake Family History Library 
35 North West Temple Street
Salt Lake City,  Utah 

It's just West of the Temple, with parking in the rear. Trax, Buses, Front Runner are all nearby.  Mon 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Tues-Fri 8 a.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. *This is a change for Saturday. It's closed holidays and Sundays. Collection of records from members, churches, towns, countries. Indexed. Costs, but if you can get to a family history center it is FREE!   North Dakota State University collection of GR archive. Food, fads, etc. Fun site to see historically sound info. or  They usually have a conference Feb-March of each year with new technology and information.  Collection of German from Russia records in 18th, 19th, and 20th century.  Ships arriving in port of New York.  Caution- many of our Germans from Russia last name spellings are "what the port authority heard", so try variations.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sources: Beginning records locations for various nations and information. Maps, records.  National Archives and Record Administration in Washington D.C. collection of EWZ records for Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Volga, Volhynia, etc. After war and for storage, German states gave USA records reluctantly. Some can trace 4 generations with records and pedigree charts.  The Federation of Eastern Europe genealogy society.  Next conference in Salt Lake City is August 12-14, 2014.  They have many maps, gazetteers, and info on European research. Helpful. BYU Harold B. Lee Family History Library, 2250 Harold B Lee Library, bottom floor. Use map quest to google directions. Provo. 801-422-6200.

Classes on 2nd and 4th Sundays for public. FREE. Class schedule posted monthly.

February 23, or March 9, or March 23, from 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. GERMAN RESEARCH....BRING US YOUR GERMAN RESEARCH PROBLEMS, by Kim Harsara Smith and Eleonor Wollenzien.  Note: These are Sunday afternoon classes.
To find tutorials online or courses in German research at BYU:
    Reading Old German Handwriting
    German Basic Research
    German Script tutorial
    Town of origin
    Beginning German Research 1 start, goals, tools
    Beginning German Research 2 Historical info
    Beginning German Research 3 Maps, gazetteers, etc.
    Building a German Library
    Learning about church books

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Remember the Party!

Because of the storm, the date of our Christmas party has been changed to December 14th.  Place and time and all other information stays the same.  Be there for lots of fun and good food!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Things to Remember

Our chapter Christmas party will be December 7th at noon at the home of Bill and Sharon White, 3285 E. Ruskin Court, Sandy.  We will collect items for the Road Home homeless shelter and Utah Book Bank if you want to contribute anything.

The Festival of the Trees will be December 4th-7th at the South Towne Expo Center, 9575 South State, Sandy.  You can find information here:

Tabitha's Way in Spanish Fork is having a dinner December 20th for the homeless or for families that need food. Would you like to help with food, supplies, toys, or by being a volunteer?

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The village of Kolb is also known as Peskovatka, Peskovka, and Peskowatka.

Location: 51º04' N 44º59' E
History: Established 13 May 1767
Religion: Lutheran, part of the Frank parish

Members of the Benzel family resided in Kolb for generations, beginning with Johann Ulrich who was born in Kautz, Russia in 1773 and died in Kolb 1847. Johann married Maria Dorothea Achziger, who was born 1775 in Kolb and also died in Kolb in 1850.

Known children of Johann and Maria are:
Friedrich, born 1795 Kolb, and died 1850 in Kolb
Johann Adam, born 1806 in Kolb
Johannes, born 1809 in Kolb
Georg Adam, born 1814 in Kolb
Dorothea, born 1818 in Kolb and died 1888 in Kolb

Johannes Benzel (1809 -) married Barbara Adler and their known children are:
Maria, born 1833 in Kolb
Friedrich, born 1835 in Kolb
Peter, born 1837 in Kolb
Heinrich, born 1840 in Kolb
Dorothea, born 1842 in Kolb
Barbara, born 1845 in Kolb
Georg Heinrich, born 1848

Georg Heinrich was born 1848 in Kolb and died about 1920. Georg married Maria Katrina Schmidt (1848-1920.) Known children of Georg and Maria are:
Conrad, born 1865 in Kolb
John Peter, born 1879 in Kolb
Heinrich, born 1881 in Kolb
Maria K, born 1881 in Kolb
Anna Maria, born 1885 in Kolb
Friedrich, born 1885 in Kolb
John, born 1888 in Kolb
Georg, born 1892 in Kolb
Katrina, born 1896 in Kolb
Emma, born 1898 in Kolb

Friedrich (1885 – 1973) married Marie Kathryn Schmidt (1889 – 1965.)   Both were born in Russia, immigrated to the US in 1912, and died and were buried in Hardin, Big Horn, Montana.

Surnames of interest: Achtziger, Adler, Benzel Koch, Scheibel, and Schmidt


Maria Kathryn Schmidt was born 2 August 1848 in Neu-Messer and died 2 August 1889.  Her parent may have been Heinrich Schmidt, born about 1866, and her mother Katrina Scheibel.

Maria had a known sister, Katherine Marie Schmidt born 2 April 1893 in Neu-Messer and died 1957 in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana. Katherine Schmidt married Jacob Lehr who was also from Neu-Messer, born 1885 and died 1971 in Billings, Yellowstone,Montana. Katherine and Jacob immigrated separately, approximately 1913-1914.

Maria K. Schmidt married Friedrich Benzel in Kolb, Russia. Fred was born 14 June 1885 in Kolb and died 3 November 1973 in Hardin, Big Horn, Montana. Maria and Fred immigrated in 1912 aboard the “Brundenburg.”  Fred and Maria are  buried in Fairview Cemetery, Hardin, Big Horn, Montana.

Family lore states that the Benzel-Schmidt family members were shot and killed at the local Kolb school among other local prominent citizens in about 1920. A Schmidt family owned and operated the local flour mill; perhaps our Schmidt’s were part of this family group.

Submitted by Dee Hert

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Watermelon Syrup

One cup of sugar, two hours of boiling, and five small watermelons later, I am the very proud owner of one quart of watermelon syrup! It was a traditional food staple of our German Russian ancestors. I'll let you know how it tastes. (aka watermelon honey)