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:
- First named “Village 12” when marked on a map by Russian officials.
- Next renamed during settlement after hometowns in Germany or after the locations of Napoleonic war battles.
- 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.
- 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
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
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 aids
Because of the problems, almost all can be found using a couple of research aids;
Finally, there is a great Google maps site:
Spend some time on maps and geeky geography sites.