Holstein, a German evangelical colony was founded on the west side of the Volga River on May 26, 1765. According to Professor Igor Pleve's book, Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet: 1764-1767, Vol. 2, Kolonien Galka - Kutter (available from AHSGR), the following families appear on Holstein's first settler's list.

The “History and Geography Dictionary of the Saratov Province” by A.N. Minkh, which was published in Saratov, Russia in 1898 is here:

Pleve's book lists from where the immigrants came, their occupation, members of the family and their age, and when they arrived in Holstein.

1. Johann Wilhelm Kuxhausen
2. Karl Wilhelm Vogler
3. Joachim Martens
4. Gustaw Hiltermann
5. David Andreas Linde
6. Johann Heinrich Asselmann
7. Peter Hofner
8. Johann Wilhelm Deisner
9. Heinrich Ludwig Stehlfeld
10. Johann Dangelin?
11. Asmus Winick
12. Johann Philipp Pfeiler
13. Johann Gottlieb Melzer
14. Gottlieb Friedrich Kerbs
15. Christian Hiltermann
16. Friedrich Asmus
17. Jacob Breiniger
18. Johann Adam Jauck
19. Friedrich Stamor?
20. Karl Jauck
21. Hans Koln
22. Georg Detlef Brickmann
23. Hans Christoph Schmiese
24. Asmus Schwin
25. Samson Jung
26. Maria Agnessa Merine?
27. Ulrich Kast?
28. Christian Wolfgang Kraus
29. Johannes Knaus
30. Ludwig Heider (Hinter/Ginter?)
31. Gottfried Simon
32. Friedrich Ruf
33. Johann Melchior Reichert
34. Michael Borger
35. Leonard Wittmann
36. Michael Grenz
37. Johann Georg Mai
38. Johann Buchsbaum
39. Johann Adam Beitz
40. Johann Peter Mai
41. Johann Georg Mai
42. Johann Jacob Mai
43. Heinrich Martin Meder
44. Johannes Peil
45. Johann Pomerinke

Holstein had 202 residents in 1772. In 1798, Holstein had 354 residents, three apple orchards and one vineyard. The government offices for the Volga colonies were located in Saratov, about 100 miles north of Holstein. Farm products were sold and supplies purchased at Kamyschin, about 30 miles south of Holstein. It was about five miles to Shcherbakovka, six miles to Galka, and four miles to Dreispitz.

Additional Holstein families in the 1798, 1834, 1850 or 1858 family lists

Family Name Location to/from
Asmus to Grimm
Bender prob. from Galka
Breiniger to Breauregard
Busch from Dietel
Deisner to Dobrinka
Ehrhardt from Shcherbakovka
Euring from Dreispitz
Fritzler from Grimm
Gelbach from Dietel
Herber prob. from Schwab
Krebs prob. from Stephan
Lotz from Kraft
Meder to Donhof
Pomerinke to Dreispitz
Scherrer from Dreispitz
Schmidt from Kraft
Schreiner from Kraft
Stahldecker from Shcherbakovka
Weisner from Schwab

     Holstein was part of the Galka parish but each village had its own church and school. The Holstein church, made of wood, was built in 1830 and was the oldest church in the parish. In 1904, the church had 2434 members and the school had 231 students. The population of Holstein in 1912 was 2549.
      In 1876, the first Holstein families to immigrate to America included the Mai, Karst, Wittman, and Borger families. They settled in Marion County Kansas. The rolling prairies of Kansas reminded them of their homeland. Some who followed located in eastern Colorado and the Nebraska panhandle to work in the sugar beet fields. They saved their money and in a few years owned their own farms. Several families moved to Oregon. Others went to western Oklahoma. By 1900, the U.S. required immigrants to have sponsors and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, became the staging area for arriving immigrants. Some moved to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan where free land was available.
      In Holstein, Russia, village life didn't change dramatically until Russia's civil war in 1917-1918. Gotfried Ehrhardt states that, "Before the 1917 revolution, many Volga Germans emigrated to the USA and Canada. Only a few managed to leave Russia later. The civil war (1918-1922) didn't spare Holstein either. The red and white armies alternately occupied the village. Many houses were damaged during the fights and the owners had to repair them. Also, it was quite common at those times to see dead bodies lying in the streets." In the 1930s, collectivization became a way of life in the Volga colonies. People were required to work for the government and food was taken by the government for distribution.

According to Gotfried Erhardt, the Holstein school on the left was built in 1917. It was in this building on September 1, 1941, the residents of Holstein learned their village would be vacated in ten days.

When the the Schwendich, Martin, Kelln, Maier, Grauberger, Hildermann, Peil, and Erhardt families returned in 1957, the children attended elementary school in this building. A club (hidden by the tree) was added to the building. A nursery now occupies the school area.


Click map to view

On the Holstein map created by George Herber in 1910 (available from AHSGR), Maria blotted out names where houses no longer stood in 1956.

Today, Holstein is known locally as Kulaninike, and it belongs to the Volgograd District. Irene and Rosalie (family nameYauck), visited Holstein in 1994 and, like most visitors, commented on the rough streets. They said, "The grayish-blue weeds which grew everywhere are like those which grew on my grandfather's pasture in Saskatchewan. They even have the same horrible odor." Ed Hoak visited Holstein in 2001 and went to the cemetery. Ed provided the initial information about the cemetery and Maria Leimann provided additional information.

          Articles of Interest

Hospital in Holstein
Kuxhausen letters from Siberia
Life in Holstein, 1956-1990, by Maria Leimann
Memories of Holstein and Siberia, by Gotfried Erhardt as told to Maria Leimann
Holstein, May 2001, by Ed Hoak
Some of My Life's Story, by Henry Stennfeld
Reinhart and Katie Yauck, by Ken Hochban
Holstein before 1900, by David Steinfeld
Pictures of Holstein in 1994.
Holstein cemetery information

       Holstein immigrants to U.S. and Canada

Heinrich Adam Kelln, b. Dec. 10, 1846, d. Jan 17, 1916, Shattuck, Okla.
George Christoph Kelln, b. Dec. 1, 1851, d. 1944, Canada
Frederich Krentz, b. 1834, d. 1906, Harper County, Okla.
Adam Hilderman, b. 1856, immigrated to Canada
Johann Frederich Mai, b. Aug. 26, 1860, d. May 20, 1934, Russell, Kansas
Christoph Meier, b. Dec 8, 1866, immigrated to Shattuck, Okla.
Alexander Bender, b. Jan 23, 1865, d. Apr 13, 1935, immigrated to Shattuck, Okla
Jacob Busch, b. Apr 20, 1862, d. Jan 29, 1952, Shattuck, Okla.
George Ehrhardt, b. Aug 2, 1843, d. Jan 20, 1929, Duval, Saskatchewan
Katharine Fritzler, b. Aug 15, 1843, d. Feb 28, 1928, Duval, Saskatchewan
George Schrieock, b. Oct 1825, d. Feb 28, 1911, Lehigh, Kansas
George Adam Martin, b. Sep 7, 1866, d. July 19, 1918, Cymric, Saskatchewan
Gottlieb Yauck, b. Apr 18, 1815, d. Sep 18, 1908, Selman, Okla.
Johann Frederich Peil, b. Jan 16, 1859, d. Sep 30, 1945, Lipscomb County, Texas
Suzanna Katharine Kuxhaus(en), b. June 27, 1850, d. Jan 17, 1893, Milberger, Kansas
Johann Christoph Schulz, b. Dec 28, 1848, d. Topeka, Kansas
Reinhard Steinfeld, b. Dec. 3, 1861, d. Apr. 27, 1934, Oregon
Frederich Winik, b. June 7, 1840, d. Dec. 9, 1926, buried at Lakin, Kansas
Katharine Elizabeth Kuxhaus(en), b. Dec. 28, 1865, d. Oct. 1, 1947, Lipscomb County, Texas
David Wittman, b. Nov. 18, 1855, d. June 14, 1925, Russell County, Kansas
Anna Elizabeth Karst, b. July 30, 1855, d. June 11, 1915, Russell County, Kansas
David Wollert, b. Mar. 11, 1859, d. May 11, 1933, Brighton, Colorado
George Heinrich Yauck, b. Jan 10, 1842, d. May 12, 1924, Duval, Saskatchewan

Holstein research from Russia

  • 1834, 1850, and 1858 Holstein family lists. Contact AHSGR at ahsgr@ahsgr.org The $35 fee for each family list will be used to obtain research from Russia.
  • Family chart for the Gritzfeld family. Contact Ed Hoak at ehoak@attglobal.net The $35 fee will be used to obtain research from Russia.
  • Family chart for the Martin family. Contact Ed Hoak at ehoak@attglobal.net The $35 fee will be used to obtain research from Russia.
  • Family chart for the Kelln family. Contact AHSGR at ahsgr@ahsgr.org The $35 fee will be used to obtain research from Russia.
  • Family chart for the Peil family. Contact Carl Peil at cpeil@aol.com
  • Family chart for the Hildermann family. Contact Ed Hoak at ehoak@attglobal.net The $35 fee will be used to obtain research from Russia.
  • Family chart for the Borger family. Contact AHSGR at ahsgr@ahsgr.org The $35 fee will be used to obtain research from Russia.
  • Family charts for the Mai and Schwein families from Holstein and Kratzke are available from Brent Mai. Check the village of Kratzke web pages for more information.


Church records for the village of Holstein are at the Russian Archives at Volgagrad. Records available are:

Birth records: 1799-1849, 1904
Deaths: 1800-1852, 1893-1895, 1904-1905
Marriages: 1799-1849

A copy of the entire set of records was purchased by Ed Hoak, the information has been extracted/translated, and is now available in a 339 page report, from Ed Hoak. You can purchase a copy of the report with a contribution of $100 or more which goes towards the cost of purchasing the records. Note that the report is copyrighted by Ed Hoak, and the report can not be placed on Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, FamilySearch or any other online public database.

To contribute towards the purchase of the records, contact Ed Hoak at "ehoak@attglobal.net".


Links of interest:


AHSGR Village Coordinator for Holstein : Gary Martens

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