The very first beginning of this project is settled in the late 2000s, when Peter Aifeld started to research his own ancestry. But only in 2018 he could make the connection of his great grandmother’s family to the Planer Colonies in the area of Mariupol and connect with other people, who researched their families from the same area. While before everyone did his own research, now they started to work together, as they soon recognized, that nearly every family from the Planer colonies is related to all the others there. After they obtained the first documents, which were the Census records for 1824, 1835 and later 1858, they started a Facebook group called “Planer-Kolonien bei Mariupol” to connect people from all around the world who descend from these colonies and to share the records they had with them. One of their biggest problems was, that most of the new group members were located in Canada, the US or Germany and not able to read the original documents written in Russian. Therefore, they build up a group of German and Russian speaking volunteers, who translate not only the census records, but as well all other church records, which we obtained later.
Currently they have all the available census records (except 1850 census) and church records for the parishes of Eichwald, Göttland, Bergtal, Grosswerder and Mariupol, as well as a part of the Taganrog church records.
Until now they shared the translated files with the group through uploads of PDF converted files, but that should only be the beginning of a great project. Talking to Aurelia Brandenburg, who has a great experience in databases and web development, the group decided to work together to build up this website and make the records available to a broader audience.
The historical background of the Planer colonies, which is presented here, is taken from a bachelor thesis about this topic written by Peter Aifeld. All references to documents and literature can be viewed in the file of the bachelor thesis attached to this website later.
The whole project is based on the amazing work of the administrators, translators, coordinators, members and friends of the Facebook group "Planer-Kolonien bei Mariupol". As well it would not be possible to accomplish such a difficult task without all the donations received from all around the world. Thanks to the whole team, to all members and friends of the group.
As of the launch of this website, the database only contains information taken from the 1858 census (2,212 entries), as that is the one which covers the most generations and helps to link with all the other files we have. Our goal is to provide information about each person which lived in the Planer colonies or any of the daughter colonies, sourced with official documents!
Our collection of records now includes:
- Eichwald parish 1830-1915 - 22,948 entries
- Mariupol parish 1861-1915 - 6,143 entries
- Grosswerder parish 1866-1915 - 5,560 entries
- Göttland parish 1872-1923 - 5,343 entries
- Bergtal parish 1883-1915 - 3,639 entries
- Taganrog parish 1884-1915 - 5,418 entries