Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘Kratzke Saratov Russia’

52 Ancestors – Discovering the original Schneider emigrant to Russia

Schneider Family route  Brandenburg, Salzwedel to Kratzke, Saratov, Russia

Schneider Family route
Brandenburg, Salzwedel to Kratzke, Saratov, Russia            (click on image to enlarge)

This week I have spent some time reviewing the information on my husbands family that emigrated from the German colonies along the Volga river in Russia. Due to traveling I have fallen behind in my blogging with Amy Johnson Crows themes – 52 Ancestors.
Last December during my research trip to Salt Lake City. I collected the information from three different census that occurred in the Saratov region of Russia the Bender’s and Schneider’s were from.

My husbands grandmother Anna Elizabeth Schneider came to the United States with her father Friedrich and step-mother Katharina , they left their home in Kratzke, District of Saratov, Russia for the United States about February 1899. The Census for 1857 dated 29 November  lists 9 Schneider family groups. Looking for a Friedrich Schneider 8 years old born in  June of 1848. Using the translated census from Brent Mai, Concordia University, Portland Oregon, Copyrighted 2005 by Dynasty Publishing, Beaverton, Oregon. We find Friedrich np (nephew) age 7.

1857 Census Kratzke

1857 Census Kratzke (transcribed)

This is the only Friedrich Schneider in this census.

Georg Friedrich Schneider (33 years of age) is the brother of the head of the household. Katharina Elisabeth (33) is listed as sisl (sister-in-law) to the head of the household.

Since Katharina is listed below Georg Friedrich we can assume that she is his wife. And those below them their children. Which includes Maria Elisabeth (12), Katharina (9), Friedrich and Johann Georg (4). Three more bothers in the Johann Jakob Schneider household are also listed with their families.

Using the two brothers names we look in the 1834 Census for the Schneider family. Again I used the translated census from Brent Mai. What is convenient is that the household # listed  in the 1857 census lists what the household # was in the earlier census. So in the 1834 census we find the household # 18 is the Georg Friedrich Schneider family.


1834 Census Kratske (transcribed)

1834 Census Kratske (transcribed)

Where Georg and Johann’s middle names inadvertently switched. The ages are not quite right according to the 1857 census. But the family names are rather consistent otherwise.

Stepping back to the earlier census taken soon after the colony was settled, there are two (2) Schneider families in this earliest census. the Dewald Schneider (37) w/ wife Anna Maria (28) and son Johann Adam (13). Johann Adam Schneider is found in the 1834 census having died in 1823 and counted in the 1816 census as being 63. That is so close that we can discount Dewald as our colonist. That leaves Nicolaus Schneider (38), Lutheran, coming from Brandenburg, Satzwedel with his wife Maria Katharina son Johann Friedrich (1/2) and stepson Johann Heinrich (4).

This same process can be used to trace other lines from Kratzke.

In reviewing the information on the family from Wilma and John Akers the listing of birth places  are all over the place, but the information states that Friedrich Schneider and Maria Katharina (Schrader) were married in Kratzke Russia in 1871. Therefore I am going with this lineage until I find out otherwise.

52 Ancestors-Johann Christoph Bender original Volga German


This weeks challenge that Amy Crow has issued on 52 Ancestors is “So Far Away”. The first thing that came to mind was the Movie “Far and Away”, so this story could be on either of my Irish Ancestors. The 2nd story that came to mind would deal with the furthest back in time that we have a known Ancestor. That would be Roger De’Puttenham  (tenant of Puttenham Manor, Buckinghamshire, England) who is listed in the Doomsday book (1086). The third story is for my husbands maternal line ancestor that traveled “so far away” from his home in 1767 Germany- to colonies on the Volga River area of Russia at the invitation of Catherine the Great. I think it is time to tell the story of Johann Christoph Bender.

Johann Christoph Bender was born about 1748 in Germany. Johanns early years were probably harsh during this time period. The Seven year war from 1754-1763 devastated Europe and to pay for the war the peasants were repressed. Germany was not united until the mid 1800’s but divided into many Duchies. Prussia  and Austria the larger.

Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great

Catherine The Great came to power when her husband Peter III was assassinated in 1762. Soon after, she issued her Manifesto inviting foreigners to immigrate to Russia. Catherine employed recruiters throughout Europe. That was how Johann learned about the invitation and Czarina Catherine’s Manifesto. Once Johann had signed a immigration contract he would have been sent to an assembly point where temporary housing was provided. As soon as there was a large enough contingency he would have been transported to one of the Baltic ports where a ship would take them the 900 miles to the Russian port  of Kronstadt, a Russian naval port on an island in the Gulf of Finland, then on to Oranienbaum, known today as Lomonosov. Oranienbaum is just 40 kilometers west of St. Petersburg and the site of Catherine The Greats Summer Palace.

The Great Palace Catherine II Summer Palace

The Great Palace
Catherine II Summer Palace


The above print is a drawing of the Great Palace in Oranienbaun, Russia. Notice the ship tied up near the palace gates. (Click on images to enlarge.) This may be the landing for the Germans arriving in Russia. It is stated that over 20,000 colonist were recorded by the Titular Counselor, Ivan Kuhlberg in Oranienbaun.

The ocean trip from a German port could last from 9 days to several weeks or even months with an unscrupulous captain. History  states that the new arrivals were often lead in reciting the oath of allegiance to the Russian Crown by the German pastor of Oranienbaum’s Lutheran Church. In one historical account I read, it stated that not only did Catherine sometimes speak in German to welcome the colonist from her balcony at the Summer Palace but she and her officials had once walked in review and stopped to speak  or shake an individuals hand.

Once in Oranienbaum, Johann would have been given materials to build a hut for his own housing. His stay in Oranienbaum may have been from several weeks to months. The time spent near St. Petersburg would have given Johann an opportunity to see what it was like in Russia except he would not have been free to wander, and no matter where Johann might have hoped to establish himself he would be compelled by the Russian officials to locate along the lower Volga River near Saratov.

So finally the time to travel to Johann’s new home came. From Oranienbaum to Saratov was over 2,000 miles. The trek could have been made by boat down the various rivers or overland. The overland trek took months up to a year depending on when the group was finally allowed to leave. They traveled in groups with the women and children riding in carts and the men walking. In the dead of winter it was doubly grueling. over 26,000 started out and 12.5% died in route. Johann Chritoph Bender arrived in Kratzke on 8.5.1767. Is that August 5 or 8 May?

From the 1768 census for Kratzke, Saratov, Russia, Johann came to the Colony on 8.5.1767, from Wittenberg, Nauteis(?).  He was listed as a Lutheran. It was either expected that he would receive  or he had received 25 rbl. (rubbles) from Vormundschaftskontor (the government).  In 1768 he was just 20 years old and married to Katharina who was 18 years of age. The census indicates that Johann had 2 cows (2 Kühe) had plowed (4 des. = 4 desyatina (farmer)) approximately 14.4 acres and sowed approximately 3.5 bushels of rye (gepflügt: 4 Des., gesät: 5 Cetverik Roggen). Thanks to the internet for providing this non-linguist with a translation, even if it was one word at a time.

Kratzke Lutheran Church (1996) Photo source: Rodney Fink

Kratzke Lutheran Church (1996) Photo source: Rodney Fink

By the 1816 census for Kratzke, Saratov, Russia there is no Johann Christoph Bender, having died sometime between 1807 and the 1816 census.There is Johann Peter Bender (age: 25), Georg Jakob (age: 25), and Georg Philipp (age: 9), brothers. Listed separately a Johann Kaspar Bender (age: 36) family, a Johann Fredrich Bender (age: 30) family, and a Johann Philipp Bender (age: 43) family. The youngest son age 9 would have been born about 1807 when Johann Christoph was about 60. In the initial listing in 1768 for Kratzke there is only one Bender and by 1816 we have at least five Bender families. Having met my husbands grandparents I  picture how Johann Christoph Bender must have looked and try to imagine the adventure that he had taken on as a young man to make such a trek “so far away” from his birthplace.




52 Ancestor~ #28 Henry P. Bender – German/Russian Connection part 1

This week we will explore my husbands maternal grandfather, Henry Phillip Bender.

Henry Phillip Bender

Henry Phillip Bender

Henry was born 27 November 1883 in Kratzke, Saratov, Russia, a Volga German colony. His parents were George Phillip and Eva Elizabeth Bender. He was three years old when his family immigrated from Russia in 1886. He had two older half sisters Mary and Katherine Elizabeth.


New York Passenger List 27 December 1887 Ship: SS Devonia Departed: Glassglow, Scotland Arrived: Port of New York

New York Passenger List
27 December 1886
Ship: SS Devonia
Departed: Glassglow, Scotland
Arrived: Port of New York

New York Passenger List 17 December1887 Ship: SS Devonia Departed: Glasglow, Scotland Arrived: Port of New York

New York Passenger List
17 December1886
Ship: SS Devonia
Departed: Glasglow, Scotland
Arrived: Port of New York

When you review the list of Passengers there were 260 on board and the Bender family were the first of those from Russia to be listed, with a total of 93 individuals listed from Russia. The Community of Kratzke in the 1886 census notes that 84 families had immigrated to America. I am curious to know how long it took them to make it to New York, and I wonder how much longer it took them to make it to Kansas? Dang I wish there was a 1890 census I could consult to see where they were, and if they immediately set up their farms in rural Kansas.

The Family is listed in the 1895 Kansas Census in Russell County, Kansas in the Wintersett township. Henry is listed as only 9 years of age.

In the 1900 US Census Russell county Kansas in the Wintersett township, we find on line 57 Henry (16) attending school. This census indicates that his father Phillip (47) a farmer can read and write English but his mother can not. Henry is one of five boys at home along with a sister Mollie.

1900 US Census Russell county, Kansas

1900 US Census
Russell county, Kansas

24 October 1903 Henry marries Anna L. Schneider in Russell County, Kansas. Anna was the daughter (sixth child) of Fredrick and Maria Katharine Schneider.

Henry P. Bender and Anna Elizabeth Schneider 1903

Henry P. Bender and Anna Elizabeth Schneider

In 1904 Henry and Anna have their first child Amelia. Clara is born in 1905 and Henry Paul is born in 1907.

Clara, Paul, & Amelia Bender  1907

Clara, Paul, & Amelia Bender

The 1910 Us Census  shows Henry H.P. Bender (26) Rus.-German a farmer owner. Anna L. (25)  also shown as Rus-German. While it indicates that Henry can read and write English is wife Anna does not, but it indicates they both speak English. The three children are listed (Clara is shown as Mary)


1910 US Census Russell County, Kansas

1910 US Census
Russell County, Kansas


For the 1920 US census Russell county, Kansas we find Henry (36)  owns his farm (mortgaged), birth place Saradof Rus. as are both of his parents. Henry’s wife Anna (34) is also listed from Saradorf, Rus., as well as both of her parents. I believe Saradof should be Saratov.


1920 US Census Russell County, Kansas

. 1920 US Census
Russell County, Kansas


We now have 7 children. Amelia (15), Clara (14), Paul (12), Rudolph (9), Edward (7), Herbert (4 3/12), and Lavina (2 1/12). All but the two youngest are in school. In the Kansas 1925 Census we have the last two children Francis born in 1921 and Esther born in 1924.

1930 US Census Luray, Russell county, Kansas

1930 US Census
Luray, Russell county, Kansas


Here in the 1930 census we find Henry (46) renting their home and they do not have a radio at the time of the census. Henry is listed as being able to read and write and having come from Russia in 1886 and a naturalized citizen. Anna (44) his wife, not able to read or write, having come from Russia  in 1900 and is a naturalized citizen also. We find the children still at home in 1930 are: Amelia (25), Paul (22), Rudolph (19), Edward (17), Herbert (14), Lavina (12), Francis (9), and Esther (6). At this time Vernon P. (5), Henry’s nephew, has come to live with them. Vernon’s father was Phillip Bender, One of Henry’s younger brothers. Phillips wife was an Elizabeth Schneider a niece to Anna, she died in 1925. Phillip himself was shot to death in 1932. That’s a story for another time.

1940 US Census  Waldo, Russell county, Kansas

1940 US Census
Waldo, Russell county, Kansas

In the 1940 US Census Henry P. Bender (56) completed the 6th grade, his wife Anna also completed the 6th grade. The only children left at home are Paul (33), Esther (16) still in school and Henry’s nephew Vernon (14) still in school.

21 August 1960 Henry P. Bender died. He is buried in Russell  City Cemetery, Russell, Kansas.

Henry P. Bender

Besides being a farmer Henry was also a stone masonry. Several of his stone structures are still standing.




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