Current Ukraine Bessarabia village place names

Ukraine Bessarabia – A problem I have with place names in German-Russian genealogy is that our families lived in villages.  Almost all villages  changed names several times due to political changes that probably went like this:

  1. First named “Village 12” when marked on a map by Russian officials.
  2. Next renamed during settlement after hometowns in Germany or after the locations of Napoleonic war battles.
  3. After the Russian revolution and subsequent civil war, parts of southern Russia became autonomous and villages were renamed from the German name to something in the local language and alphabet.  This would be the Bessarabia part of the name.
  4. Finally, they were renamed during the Soviet Union era when Soviet Republics were formed.  This would be the Ukraine or Moldova part of the name.

As a result, it is difficult to locate a village on today’s maps.  Consequently, I’m using the current place names, sort of an exonym.  Most of my family is from the Ukraine Bessarabia area, but there are other colony areas to be aware of.  Below is a discussion of place names in my German-Russian family;

Freudenthal, Bessarabia (my Dick ancestors)

Myrnopillya, Artsyz’kyi, Odes’ka, Ukraine

Ukraninian = Мирнопілля

46.05708, 29.39201

Teplitz, Bessarabia (my Felchle ancestors)

Teplitsa, Artsyz’kyi, Odes’ka, Ukraine

Ukraninian = Теплиц

45.9833333 N   29.3166667 E

Hoffnungstal, Besserabia (Hofer, Bossert, Laib)

Zebrykowe, Irynivka, Odes’ka, Ukraine

47.146389 N, 30.1075 E

Paris (Parizh), Akkermann, Besserabia

Veselyy Kut, Artsyz’kyi, Odes’ka, Ukraine is

Russian = Vesëlyy Kut, Ukranian = Веселий Кут

46.055 N, 29.28889 E

Kloestitz, Klostitz

Vesela Dolyna, Tarutyne, Odes’ka, Ukraine

46.229308 N, 29.320775 E

Tarutino, Bessarabia (Poppke ?)

Tarutyne, Tarutyne, Odes’ka, Ukraine

Vakarskiye Chutor (Felchle)

Vakars’ke, Velykomykhailivskyi, Odes’ka, Ukraine

Here is a map showing Europe and the Near East, with a version of Ukraine and historic Bessarabia highlighted;

Ukraine Bessarabia map
Map of Europe and Near East, showing Ukraine Bessarabia.

Ukraine Bessarabia aids

Because of the problems, almost all can be found using a couple of research aids;




Eastern European Genealogical Society

Finally, there is a great Google maps site:


Spend some time on maps and geeky geography sites.



Teplitz Bessarabia Teplitsa Ukraine
Ukraine, Odes’ka, Artsyz’kyi, Teplitsa

Teplitz, Bessarabia (Teplitsa, Ukraine)  is important to me because one of my four grandparents came from this area.  To learn more, check out these links:

(note – the list on findagrave is based on records, not actual tombstones)


The premier source for genealogy of Teplitz is;

Source Chronik der Gemeinde Teplitz in Bessarabien : Sippenbuch
Author Handel, Theophil
Place Teplit︠s︡, Akkerman, Bessarabia, Russia
Teplița, Cetatea-Albă, Romania
Teplyt︠s︡i︠a︡, Art︠s︡yz, Odesa, Ukraine
Subject Ethnic/Cultural
Ethnicity / Culture German
Publication information
Type Miscellaneous
Publisher Eigenverlag des Verfassers
Date issued 1994
Place issued Esslingen-Berkheim [Germany]
Handel, Theophil. Chronik der Gemeinde Teplitz in Bessarabien : Sippenbuch. (Esslingen-Berkheim [Germany]: Eigenverlag des Verfassers, 1994).
Family History Library Other


A second great source is;

Teplitzer Chronik : die letzten zehn Jahre des Bestehens der Kolonie Teplitz und die Heimkehr ins Mutterland
Weiss, Herbert
OCLC Work Id:
Record Link:
 There is also an English translation;
Title:Colony Teplitz
OCLC Work Id:3660308
Teplitz Bessarabia Teplitsa Ukraine

Teplitz - 1848 Village History (R. Niessner)

        Published by the Odessa Digital Library - 1 Jun 1996

        This document may be freely used for personal, nonprofit
        purposes or linked by other WWW sites.  It may also be
        shared with others, provided the header with copyright
        notice is included.  However, it may not be republished
        in any form without permission of the copyright owner.

        Copyright 1996, Roswita Niessner

Note:   Please see the Introduction to the Village History
        Project for additional information.



The German evangelical Lutheran colony Toeplitz in Bessarabia was established
in the year 1818 and from the beginning was inhabited by 98 families from
Wuerttembrerg, specifically from the following: Schorndorf 20, Reutlingen 25,
Tuebingen 19, Nagold 22 and Kirchen (Wohl Kirchheim) 12. In 1817, backed by
the most high royal Russian privilege, these families came to this country
together with another party of emigrants. Their intent was to go to Georgia,
but in the border town of Ismail they changed their travel plan and therefore
settled on the steppes assigned to them by the kind local colonial office.


The distance of this colony is 83 miles from the capital city Kishinev, 54
miles from the county seat Ackermann, 56 miles from Bendery and 60 miles from
the border town Ismail, between the German colonies Fere Champenoise I (3
miles) and  Brienne  (4  1/2  miles).  It  is  situated  in  a  lovely valley 
of  the Bessarabian steppes along the river Kugelnik, which usually dries out
in the summer, and confined on the south side by a range of hills.

This colony originally was named "Twelfth Colony or N 12" until the end of
1818 at which time the high Russian government named it Toeplitz.

The condition of the soil varies greatly. The land in the valley is scattered
with many, often large areas of alkali and not well suited for farming. An
exception are the areas close to the river, they have sandy soil and are used
for gardening. The low hilltops on the south side form a nice level field with
black soil and encompass all the arable land, including the hay fields, for
the whole village. On the side of the hills are quarries which are deep in the


Before the arrival of the settlers the steppes were harsh and inhospitable,
inhabited by a few herdsmen. The land was covered with thistles and weeds and
a multitude of insects. Here and there were mounds of ashes and large burial
grounds, dating back to the time of the Tartars, of which a few are still

At their arrival each settling family received 100 rubles in silver coins as
support from the high Russian Crown.


The first thing the settlers had to do after their arrival was to build a
temporary hut before they could build a house. Unfortunately,  the biggest
crisis they ever had experienced befell the colony now.

After they had endured a difficult 24 day quarantine without shelter in rain
and storm, without any comforts or even enough food, almost all of them fell
ill with fever and dysentery, because they were not yet adapted to the local
water and climate. In some huts there was nobody to help the other even with a
drink of water. The local authorities finally felt compelled to check the
habitats every morning to see who was still alive or who had died. Some days
they buried 6-7 bodies. The fatalities increased so rapidly that within four
months 110 souls of both genders had died.

No other epidemics occurred in this colony, except for the so-called cholera
that raged in 1831 which, fortunately, claimed only seven victims.

The personal assets of all the families who came here from the kingdom of
Wuerttemberg consisted of  cash,  beautiful  clothes and diverse pewter and
copper utensils.  Some of them were well to do.  But under these wretched
circumstances with almost everyone ill, and trade and business in the area
negligible, many had to parish in spite of their possessions.

In these troubled times the village lost not only many of their best farmers
but also was forced to care for many orphans and work their farms until they
became of age, which really held them back. They also were deprived of some
advantages that other colonies had, like the lease of "hot" beverages in their
free years and the lease of part of their land for several years.

Unfortunately,  these  years  did not  distinguish  themselves  through great
abundance, instead the people had to be content with mediocre harvests, except
for the years 1829, 1836 and 1844. Total failures were the years 1822, 1823,
1833,  1834 and 1839.  In the years 1823,  1841 and 1843 field mice were a
plague, and in 1826, 1836 and 1847 swarms of locusts, although the loss was
negligible. In contrast to that the cattle pest inflicted great damage in the
years 1837, 1838 and 1844 where only about half of the livestock remained.


Since 1830 the community has been on an uphill swing. All the farmsteads kept
in trust are now occupied since the orphans became of age and got married. The
community is strong and healthy.

In part the colony owes her well being to the higher authorities through whose
disposition and guidance they received the following:

1) On the colony's urgent request the public relief committee allotted them a
substantial piece of land on the north side of the river Kugelnik in 1832.
This protected the colony from lack of water for the animals. The hillsides
provided land for vineyards which prosper and are very productive. For several
farmers the harvest already yielded more than 500 gallons of wine and they
strive to do even better in this area.

2) Through surveying of the land the colony won the left or north bank of the
Kugelnik river where they planted beautiful communal woodlands and orchards.
In return they had to give up the same amount of land on the other side of the
river for the settlement of the colony Denewitz. (Dennewitz?)

In 1844 the colony built a beautiful school house with great enthusiasm and is
presently blessed with a well-functioning school system.

Although the older homes, small and low, were still in good condition, many
farmers tore them down and instead built new, larger homes with amenities and
adjacent buildings, surrounded by a wall and trees planted in the yard. These
give the colony a well-to-do appearance.  It is to expect that others will
follow this example.

On both sides of  the village,  particularly on the river side,  beautiful
orchards were planted which, in part, are already bearing fruit. Two farmers
reaped a profit of more than 100 silver rubles in one year. Between the
various bends of the river the aforementioned communal orchards and woodlands
are thriving, containing a great variety of fruit and forest trees.

In addition the colony benefits from the following: 1) the proximity of the
already  mentioned  quarries  providing  material  for  homes  and community
buildings and 2)  a spring which is leased for the irrigation of a cabbage
field and results in an annual income of 28 - 30 silver rubles. The first
item,  i.e.  the  quarries,  are  also  used  by  the  colonies of  Paris  and
Friedensthal free of charge.

Regarding the general well being of the colony,  in 1846 they built a stone
warehouse, according to the instruction and at the expense of the government.
Inside are stored, to 1 January 1848, 733 bushel (123 Tscht.) of winter and
summer wheat. The control of this reserve, as well as other police functions,
are under the care of the town council.

By imperial royal decree of His Majesty Nicolai I, in memory and for the sake
of suffered hardships during the last Turkish war, the colony of Toeplitz was
exempted from paying the crown taxes for three years, 1828, 29 and 30.

The accuracy of this short historical report is certified with signatures
by the Mayoral Court with participation of the school teacher.
Colony Toeplitz, 1 May 1848
Mayor: Gerber
Witness: Kurtz, Harter
School teacher: A. Kludt (Author)
Colony Clerk: Laeger (?).

as translated by: Roswita Niessner
as Edited by: Ralph and Evelyn Ruff
Coordinated with GRHS Village Research Clearing House
Coordinated with AHSGR/GRHS Translation Committee Chairman

Teplitz Bessarabia Teplitsa Ukraine