[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Re: Nationality

Dave Neumann denuma99 at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 29 22:57:30 PDT 2004


I have just now finished putting together some documents about the Village
of Ostrowka into two three ring binders that i will place in the research
room. As you may recall I volunteered to start coordinating research on this
village in response to your request for village coordinators in Regina.
Ostrowka (Ostrufka, Ostruvka) is the location for some of my Neumann
ancestors. I also have information on the Stahl family from Ostrowka. One of
the Stahls married a Neumann, and that couple, Edward and Lydia Stahl (nee
Neumann), emigrated to Canada in 1927 and settled in southern Saskatchewan.
Lydia was my father's first cousin. After the 2002 Convention in Regina, my
wife and I travelled to the Oxbow area to connect with the Stahls who are
their descendants. We had a great visit. We learned that one son had settled
in Williams Lake BC. When my father, Emil Neumann, had to leave USSR in
1929, he chose to go to Canada because he knew he had a cousin, Lydia, who
had setled in Saskatchewan. He also had an Uncle, Gustav Neumann, who had
gone to BC in the early 1920's, and settled in Abbotsford BC.

During the time of WWII, some of the Stahls still living in Europe became
separated and lost contact with one another. One family moved to Canada in
the fifties and settled in BC. Some, as was the case with many GR families,
ended up east of the Ural mountains in the Asian republics of the USSR. In
the fall of 2003, Harry Stahl, who had moved (with his family) from
Kazakhstan to Germany in 1995, started posting messages on Irene Kopetzke's
website. In one of those messages, he reported that he had been told that
some of his relatives had emigrated to Canada. He now wanted to track them
down. Irene recalled that in a 2001 message I had posted about the Neumann's
on her site, I had listed STAHL as one of my surnames of interest. She
e-mailed me in December 2003 asking if I would check whether Harry Stahl had
any connection to the Stahls I knew about in Canada. I told Irene that Stahl
is a rather common name, but would look into it. She connected us together
and soon Harry and I started communicating. It became clear that he was
indeed the nephew of the Edward Stahl who had emigrated to Canada in 1927.
Through the Stahls I knew about, I soon connected with one of Harrry's
cousins, Guenter Stahl, now living in BC. I was told that he had a strong
interest in family research. It turns out that both Harry and Guenter had
visited Ostrowka within a few months of one another in 2002 in an attempt to
find out about the village of Ostrowka and to try to track down information
about their missing relatives. Both have provided me with many pictures and
documents.  I have placed all of these documents and pictures in the binders
that I will have available in the research room at SGGEE. One is a 1925
picture of the Ostrowka Pasaunenchor.

During their separate visits to Volhynia both Harry and Guenter found out
that the only Ostrowka house still standing is the Stahl house where their
relatives had lived. Both visited with the current occupants of this house
during their visit there. I now have many pictures of that house and
farmstead around it.

I have also received information about Ostrowka from other sources. Both
Jerry Frank and Dave Obee were very helpful in identifying the village
Ostrowka on their maps. I also have a list of all the 1915 land
expropriations in Ostrowka. One person listed as having lost land that year
was Julius Neumann, the father of  Lydia Stahl. Dave Obee also provided me
with some pictures from visits he has made to the area. The Julius Neumann
family ended up in Omsk  Siberia. As a result of an earlier notice I placed
on the SGGEE discussion, I have heard from two men, one in Sweden and one in
the US, whose ancestors had lived in Ostrowka. By searching the name of the
village (various spellings) on the SGGEE website, I have identified quite
number of surnames of those associated with Ostrowka through birth, marriage
and death records. I will placed this information in the binders as well.

Guenter Stahl, from BC, told me that one of his keen interests was to locate
his missing half sister, Ella, whom they had lost contact with during the
second world war. For many years he had tried through various sources,
including the Red Cross, to find her. We since found out from Harry Stahl
that she was living in Estonia, and in January of this year Guenter called
his sister, Ella, on her birthday. Guenter is now planning a trip to Germany
in September to meet Harry. His sister will be travelling from Estonia to be
there as well. What a reunion that will be!

My wife and I have decided to do some sight seeing prior to tattending he
SGGEE Conference in Calgary. We are flying to Vancouver on Saturday and plan
to take the train to Kamloops and Banff before heading to Calgary. I have
arranged to meet with Guenter Stahl in BC for a chat over a cup of coffee
this Saturday, and will no doubt hear more about this unfolding story. I had
no pictures of my Great Uncle, Gustav Neumann. On the phone Guenter told me
that his family knew Gustav, and that he had fond memories of visits to
Uncle Gustav's farm near Abbotsford; he has provided me with a couple of
pictures.  Genealogical research sure creates some interesting spin offs,
doesn't it.

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