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KUBAN SETTLEMENT , CAUCASUS
[Maria Voth (mother of Maria Mietz Kornelsen ), born November 28, 1877, Alexandrodar, Kuban, Northern Caucasus RUSSIA]
Kuban was a Mennonite settlement in the Kuban district of the Northern Caucasus, Russia, on the Kuban River, which flows from the east into the Black Sea. This region had previously been inhabited by Nogais, who had emigrated to Turkey. In connection with the organization of the Mennonite Brethren in the parent settlements, the Mennonites in the Molotschna and Chortitza colonies requested an additional grant of 17,500 acres from the government, through Johann Claassen of Liebenau, for a new settlement on the Kuban. On this tract the villages of Wohldemfürst (later  Velikoknyazheskoye) and Alexanderfeld (later  Alexandrodar) were founded in 1862 and 1866. In 1866 the settlement, which throughout its brief history consisted predominantly of Mennonite Brethren, had its Mennonite privileges confirmed ....
[Source: http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K825.html ]
The Kuban River had long been a major frontier line between Russia and the original inhabitants of the Caucasus. Russia held the north bank. South was the region known then as Circassia, the home of a mountain people whose traditional lands covered the northwest side of the Caucasus Mountains and included the entire the eastern shore of the Black Sea. The Circassians were not the only mountain people to stubbornly resist the Russian Empire’s land-grab, but they were among the most stubborn. Russia’s military leaders were determined to clear the land of as many of these troublesome people as possible. What resulted has come to be known as genocide. Circassian villages were raided, marauding Russian soldiers killing everyone they found, including women and children. Other Circassians were forcibly deported, jammed onto crowded decrepit ships. The result was misery, suffering and death. According to historian Walter Richmond “at least 600,000 people lost their lives to massacre, starvation and the elements while hundreds of thousands more were forced to leave,” adding that by 1864, three-fourths of the population had been “annihilated.” English journalist Oliver Bullough gives a more conservative estimate of the total number of deaths, but his indignation is just as great as Richmond’s: ...
“The Kuban settlement was established in the early 1860s in the Northern Caucasus district of Russia, on the Kuban River. With the organization of the Mennonite Brethren Church in 1860, and because of the difficult time members of the new church were experiencing in the Chortitza and Molotschna colonies, Johann Claassen petitioned the government to allow establishment of a new colony. Official permission was granted in 1864.” ...
Russia considered the Kuban and the entire Caucasus region essential to its interests. Replacing the original inhabitants of the land with people loyal to the Russian Empire was a primary “pacification” strategy. Mennonites, non-violent farmers with a reputation as excellent agriculturalists, suited their purposes nicely. The opening up of the Kuban to settlement suited Mennonite needs as well. By 1860 over 60 percent of Molotschna and 50 percent of Chortitsa Mennonites were without land. The Mennonite colonies were also troubled by religious dissent that resulted in the formation of what became the Mennonite Brethren Church. When leaders in the colonies learned that Russia had land just opening for settlement, they were quick to respond. Their request was granted, the Russian government allowing them 17,500 acres. ...
... the Caucasien region called Kuban, where all the settlers in two villages belonged to the Mennonite Brethren Church. It was close to the Kuban river. Six miles from the village Nevinomysk where some had already settled several years ago. The two villages are: Wohldemfurst and Aleksanderfeld, they belong to the Batalgoshin district.
... neighbors were Russians called Chochol, a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian. Kosaks and Roman Catholic Germans (a village by the name Roshdosvinke) about 20 miles further lived Tartars, Nogayer, Tcherkess, and other Muslim believers. They were a real Plague for us Germans, and also the Russians ...
I [Jacob Kroeker] also attended the same school for two years, and in the fall of September of 1873, took the leadership of the school in Aleksanderfeld in our new settlement, and served 9 years until March, 1882.
... In this place I would like to name some of the names of my former school children as I remember them, and add also the names of their parents ...Heinrich Voth [Father] - his brother Henry, Maria (?) ...
Then in 1893 we decided to immigrate to America. April 12 (24), 1893 we started on our trip from Aleksanderfeld (Aleksandrodar) with the train from the station in Nevinomesk. Two days stay, April 16, and 17, in Warsau, because of baggage. Arrived in Berlin, Germany May 1 at 5:30 AM. The same day, 11:00 PM, in Breman where we had to wait ten days ...
May 10, there was an ocean liner ready for us. We left from Strassburg, Germany and arrived in New York ...
[Source: http://millennium.fortunecity.com/lassie/453/j._kroeker_history__short_.doc?nocache=930011573 ]
Hermann H. Voth
Katharina [Voth who married David A Friesen] (3 July 1914, Russkoje, Terek, South Russia – 14 July 1985, Clearbrook, British Columbia, Canada) was the daughter of Hermann H. Voth (27 March 1882, Alexanderfeld, Kuban, South Russia – 16 December 1954, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada) and Maria (Retzlaff) Voth (25 July 1886, Konteniusfeld, Molotschna, South Russia – 7 January 1933, Morden, Manitoba, Canada).
Name: Hermann H Voth / Birth: 27 Mar 1882 - Kuban, Bryansk, Russia / Death: 16 Dec 1954 - Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada [Today: Brjansk, Bryanskaya Oblast, Russia - Bryansk Oblast (Бря́нская о́бласть) is a regional subdivision of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Bryansk]
Herman H. VOTH / Given Name: Herman H. / Surname: Voth / Sex: M / Birth: 1881 / Death: 1954 in Chilliwack, BC, Canada
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=menno_obituaries&id=I25099 - Canadian Mennonite, der Bote, Altona/Red River Echo, Mennonite Brethren Herald and Mennonitische Rundschau Obituaries
Mennonite Villages in Kuban, Caucasus
|Village Name||Russian Name||Year founded||Government District|
|No Colony Name Given|
Wohldemfuerst (1862) - later Velikoknyazheskoye
Kuban Red Cross
The Russian Red Cross has been working in the Kuban region since 1877, providing humanitarian aid and social support to the poor of southern Russia. - http://www.civilsoc.org/nisorgs/russwest/rusrdcrs.htm
To understand the ethnic make-up of this region during First Word [sic] War; one has to go back in time and look into the settlement policies of the Russians following the War of of [sic] 1876 -1877 when they acquired the former Ottoman Provinces of Kars and Ardahan. Much to the consternation of the local Armenian minority, they had forcibly settled three different ethnic groups all throughout what was then known as the Kars "Oblast"; i.e. a military Government. First came the indentured "Mujik", i.e. farmers from the impoverished regions of Russia such as those in the Urals. Soon on their footsteps came the Free Cossacks of the Ukraine who for long had been a pain in the neck for the Russian Tzars with their rebellions and continuous internecine warfare and were to be armed and pushed into the provinces as a local militia. Finally, in a stroke of pure genius as far as the Russian Officialdom was concerned; the Volga Germans were brought in much against their own will since the Russians were not happy that such a potentially belligerent minority of Mennonite and Roman Catholic Faith should be in control of their main river waterway; i.e. the Volga. The first group locally known as the "Malakan", were part of the Russian Orthodox Church and never mingled nor intermarried with the local Orthodox minorities such as the Armenians and the Greeks. The second group nick-named as the "Zavot" i.e. soldier - settlers and devout Orthodox Christians; also kept to themselves feeling well superior to the rest of the population since they thought they represented the military might of the Russian Empire in these border regions albeit they were not above their age old custom of abducting the odd girl from the neighboring Turkish or Armenian villages. The third and by far the most populous group, the Volga Germans locally dubbed as the "Alaman"; were to become the backbone of the new agricultural policies of the Empire by their constant toil and the introduction of new crops to these highlands where the snow left the ground only for about five months a year. It is interesting to note that even today; the well known Potato designated as "Patates" in modern Turkish, is still called "Kartof" by the farmers around Kars and environs; no doubt derived from the German word "Kartoffel"....