Lower Volga Village Project
Village of Shcherbakovka
Shcherbakovka, (also known as Deutsch Tscherbakowka and Muehlberg between 1917 and 1941), a Lutheran colony on the west bank (Bergseite) of the lower Volga River, was founded 15 June 1765 by Johann Stricker. The Minkh Russian Encyclopedia indicates that the towns (both Russian Tscherbakowka and German Shcherbakowka) were named for Michael Shcherbatov, a well-known writer and "man of letters" during the reign of Catherine the Great. The Shcherbatovs (accent on the BAT) were a prominent Russian noble family.
The population in 1769 was 196 (48 families); 1773 - 229 (49 families); 1798 - 414 (62 families); 1897 - 1584; 1912 - 4,448; and by 1926 had declined to 1903 inhabitants.
The church at Shcherbakovka
The bell tower is on the left and the gates to the cemetary were on the right. The steeple including the cross was 175 feet. School classes were held on the second floor.
At the time of the 1798 census, Shcherbakovka had a pastor and a church in the Stephan Parish. The schoolteacher was under the supervision of the pastor. Most of the immigrants were farmers, but craftsmen included a joiner, blacksmith, tailor, cobbler, and two weavers. In 1798 there were only two stone houses, although the mayor reported that there was stone on the colony's land suitable for construction. Each house was enclosed with a fence, and a kitchen garden was behind each house. There were three mills and no orchards at that time. Cattle were raised and rye, wheat, oats were grown and sold in Kamishin. The public granary was ramshackel, but built in a secure place.
Because of its location, it was an ideal site for water mills. At one time, there were 34 mills along the stream which ran below the village and into the Volga River which was about five miles away.
Ed Hoak recently visited Shcherbakovka. Today, Shcherbatovka has the main paved road from Holstein and Stephan running through it. Shcherbakovka is mostly an unpaved, one-street town. It has a small store in an older wooden house. The town sits in a little valley about seven miles from the Volga River. Below are recent photos of Shcherbakovka. Click on the thumb nail picture to view an enlarged photo,
JoAnn Kuhr writes in a letter of 26 October 1994, "While I was in Russia I was on a cruise festival ship which gave concerts of German music in Ulyanovsk, Samara, Volgograd, and Saratov. The afternoon we left Volgograd and were on our way back upstream, we passed Russian Shcherbakovka. (It was impossible to see Muehlberg because the ship was lower than the cliffs.) About a kilometer to the north of Russian Shcherbakovka there is a new settlement of Germans moving from the Muslim republics. Most of the people live in small trailers, but they are building houses as fast as they can. The man in charge of this settlement was aboard the ship, so the ship stopped and the performers held an impromptu two-to-three hour concert. People came running from the fields and elsewhere to the cliffs, and some of the children were brought to the ship by a boat. It was fantastic!"
Shcherbakovka Picture Album
To view an enlarged photo, click on the thumb nail photo
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Molly Schneider, b. 1901, Russell, Kansas; her father Henry Schneider, b. 1879, Ahrenfeld, d. 1958. Molly's mother Mary Elizabeth Michel, b. 1879, d. 1912. Back row: Mary Katherine Kraft, b. 1899 and Katherine Elizabeth Kraft, b. 1897 Shcherbakovka, d. 1971. Row 2: John Kraft, 1905-1988, father, John Fredrick Kraft, 1859-1944; mother, Anna Katherine Zwetzig, b. 1866, Rosenberg, d. 1942. Front: David Kraft, b. 20 Apr 1908, Stickney, Kans, d. 1963; and Jacob, b. 1902, d. 1979. Picture taken abt 1910. In 1876, five of Christoph Ehrlich's adult children immigrated to Marion, Kansas. Catherine (Ehrlich) and Friedrich Dahlinger and four of their children; Susana (Ehrlich) and Johannus Nusz and children; Jacob and Anna Ehrlich and five children; and Johannes and Karl who were single. Katharine Elizabeth, Marie Katherine, and Marguerite Amalia Reissig immigrated from Shcherbakovka in Oct 1912 with their parents George and Katie Wassemiller Reissig and their two brothers George Jr and Gottfried (Jack). George Christoph Ehrlich married Maria Margaretha Eichmann from Schwab on 8 Nov 1833. He was the son of Johann Christoph (1776-1819) and his second wife, Eva Elisabeth Reisig (1786-1849). His grandparents were Friedrich Ehrlich (1753-1820) and Anna Margaretha Agnes Steinert (1747-1819) who was born in Karlsruhe,Germany. Friedrich and his family moved to Shcherbakovka where he owned the water-powered flour mill in 1798. Katharine Elizabeth neeWasemiller Reissig, b. Jan 3, 1865 Shcherbakovka, d. Aug. 18, 1933 in Enid, Oklahoma. This picture was taken next to her house in Enid. Amalia Ehrlich and Waldemar Quindt moved from Lehigh, Kansas to south of Shattuck, Oklahoma in 1905. Their children and spouses were Edward (Helen Harter), Sam (Tina Schultz), Walter (Lillie Vogt), Herbert (Lillian Fisher), Mollie (Charles Emsinger, Louise (Chris Kelln), Ottelia, and Anna (A. G. Ebel). Katharine Elizabeth nee Wasemiller, b. Jan. 3, 1865, Shcherbakovka, d. Aug. 18, 1933, Enid, Okla., and Johann George Reissig, b. Nov 26, 1863, Shcherbakovka, d. Aug. 30, 1941 in Enid, Okla. They and their five children arrived in NY on Oct 28, 1912 on U.S.S. George Washington. This picture was taken 1913 in Russia. Some in this picture planned to immigrate to the US when they sold their property, but WWI started before they could leave. Marie Katharine nee Reissig, b. April 10, 1902 in Shcherbakovka, d. April 19, 1966, Enid, Okla, and Ira Alvin Moore, July 19, 1896 in Oklahoma, d. Feb 5, 1967 in Oklahoma. They were married Dec. 25, 1921 in Enid, Oklahoma. Leah and Rachel Ehrlich, twins born in Lehigh, Kansas, on 25 Feb 1892, daughters of Carl Alexander and Eva Margaret (Blehm) Ehrlich of Shcherbakovka. Leah married Carl Laubhan, and Rachel married Jake Winter. Kathryn, Lydia, Jacob and Maria Dahlinger Georg "Peter" Ehrlich, b. 1821 in Shcherbakovka, d. 1888 in Lehigh, Kansas, and wife, Maria Catharina Horn (1825-1891). Two books have been written on Peter and his desendants who settled in Marion Co, Kans, and Ellis Co, Okla. George Schmunk and Amalie Ehrlich Schmunk. They had 2 daughters, Natalie and Pauline, who, as far as we know, stayed in Russia. The parents of Amalie Ehrlich were George Peter Ehrlich b. 24 Nov 1821 in Shcherbakovka, d. 20 July 1888 in Lehigh, Kansas and Maria Catharina Horn 1826-1891. Mary Ehrlich (1876-1934) m. John N. Baker (1868-1924), and her sister Katie Ehrlich (1874-19490 m. Conrad C. Weiss (1873-1950). They were cousins of Katherine E. Haffner. Picture taken in Marion, Kansas. George Ehrlich (1870-1938) m. Mollie Blehm (1875-1958). George was the brother of Katherine E. Haffner. Seated is Catherine Winter (1838-1923) m. Gottfried Haffner (1839-1924). Eva Ehrlich (1878-1959) m. Gottfried Bender (1871-1967) and her sister Augusta Ehrlich (1880-1954) m. John Baker (1875-1946). The Ehrlichs were cousins of Katherine E. Haffner. Picture taken in Marion, Kansas Back L-R: Clara Hulda Haffner b. 1895 (m. Herman J. Winter b. 1895); Alex Ehrlich b. 1891 and Louise Haffner Ehrlich, b. 1889; Carl Haffner b. 1892 (m. Christine Nies); Anna Haffner, b. 1898 (m. Otto W. Wendt).
Front L-R: Katherine Ehrlich, b. 1867 in Shcherbakovka, died 1948, in Walla Walla, Washington; Goldie and Slyvia (twins) b. 1905; Wesley, b. 1913 (m. Juanita Sperling); Gottfried Haffner (1867-1920).
Johan Frederick Becker, called Fred, was born 13 Nov 1869 at Eckheim, Russia, son of Peter and Maria Elizabeth (Zwetzig) Becker, died 1948. He married Margaret Haffner born 27 Jan 1871 and died in 1932. She was the daughter of Johann Frederich and Eva Elizabeth Haffner of Shcherbakovka. Photo taken in Marion, Kansas. Gottfried Haffner was b. 22 Mar 1839 in Shcherbakovka (NOT Messer) with his wife Katherine Elizabeth Winter b. 30 Oct 1838 in Shcherbakovka with their youngest son, Jake b. 17 Mar 1882 who later married Hannah Blehm. (1886-1955). Family of John D Ehrlich and Maria Katherine Altergott. John and Maria with their married son Alexander and wife, and unmarried son Karl immigrated in 1899. Karl married in 1904. This picture was probably taken between 1900-1903. Johann Fredrick "Fred" Haffner b. 30 Jun 1836 in Shcherbakovka, brother of Gottfried, picture on left, and wife Eva Elizabeth with thier son, John 1875-1944 who later married Katie Steinle 1879-1957. I am not sure whether Eva Eliz's surname was Winter or Ginter. Fred Haffner later married Marrick Brinkman who had previously been married to a Webber and had 5 children. Sons of Johann Dietrich Ehrlich, b. 1806: Johann George Ehrlich, b. 9 Sep 1827; m. Catharina Elizabeth Horn from Laub, b. 1827-28; and Johann Dietrich Ehrlich, b. 28 Mar 1850, d. 14 April 1926, Russell, Kans; m. Maria Catherine Altergott, b. 12 Dec 1849, d. 11 Mar 1932, Kansas.
Names of Interest Contact Reisig, Steinert, Kraut email@example.com Winter, Seibert, Blehm
(Jacob Winter m. Eva Seibert. Their son Gottfiried Winter, 1861-1953; m. Maria Katharine Blehm, 1861-1928)
firstname.lastname@example.org Winter, Haffner, Steinert, Rothe
(Eva Elizabeth Steinert m. Leonhart Winter)
RedHd4Str8@aol.com Reissig, Wasemiller, and Winter email@example.com Heinrich Rothe (1848-1919) m.
Julia Farmbruch (1848-1933)
Family Tree Charts Available
Family tree charts recently received from Dr. Pleve are now available! Surnames of Becker, Kraft, Laubhan, Oblander, Reisig, Stricker and Wasenmuller from Shcherbakovka can be purchased for $35 each from Faye Schantz, Box 1962, San Leandro, CA 94577. Faye's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Any money received over actual copy and postage costs will be used to purchase more research from Russia. There is some interest in obtaining charts for Winter, Hanschu and Zwetzig. If you are interested in these or other surnames, contact Faye or Janet Flickinger, VC for Shcherbakovka, at email@example.com.
The 1834, 1850 and 1858 Shcherbakovka census are available for $35 each from Faye Schantz.
Articles of InterestLetter of 12 Feb 1932 from Amalia (Wasemiller) and Konstantine Oblander
Researching Maier family in Germany
Letter from Emilie Quindt
Recollections of Shcherbakovka
Jacob Haffner Letter
George and Mary Katharine Erlich Maier
Bauers and Krafts
Blahm (Blehm), Oblander, Schick, Weinbender, Winter
Surnames in the 1798 Shcherbakovka censusA copy of the 1798 census, translated into English, can be obtained from AHSGR.
Bauer Becker Blaumer Blehm Brinkman Brunner Demler Ehrlich Eisenach Eurich Faust Fritzler Fromm Guenther Haffner Hanschu Kisner Kraft Kraut Laubhan Lange Lefler Luck Meier/Meyer Meisner Miller Oblander Riffel Reisig Schaefer Schick Schneider Schwab Steinert Stricker Stuckert Vogel Wassenmiller Weiss Weinbender Winter Wollert Zwetzig
As of October 2002, the Lower Volga Village Project database has 30,000 names for the village of Shcherbakovka.
AHSGR Shcherbakovka Village CoordinatorJanet Laubhan Flickinger
Contact for the Lower Volga Village Project
2544 Angus Lane
Salina, KS 67401-7151
Jan Flickinger's German from Russia Research
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