[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Migrations of people--Germans to Wohlynia

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Wed Apr 19 05:02:22 PDT 2006

At 03:47 PM 17/04/2006, marlo wrote:
>Would you be able to help us understand why my husbands maternal
>moved from the area of Lubben Kreis Rummesburg in Pommern to Volhynia in
>1871 and than left to come to US in 1888?
>My mother-in-law was born in Volhynia and was only 6 years old when they
>emigrated and she only said they came to US because they would have been
>killed if they had stayed there in Volhynia
>or Russia as she referred to the area?  I
>don't know what profession her father was but they went directly to Berrien
>County MI
>and became fruit farmers.
>Any help?    Margaret

The Gartzes, Girschewskis, Ottos, Gitersonkes, some Schultzes and 
others indeed migrated from Rummelsburg to Volhynia and then later to 
Manitoba and Berrien County, MI.  I have less detailed information 
about circumstances in that region but I would suggest that the 
reasons were probably similar to that for those from Russian 
Poland.  They wanted to better their lot in life and that opportunity 
appeared to be available in Volhynia.  Other Volhynian Germans not 
from Pomerania also went to these same places.

There may have been some fear of staying in Russia c.1888 and 
certainly freedoms were already being eroded but I'm not sure that 
the fear of death in the 1888 time frame was a strong reason for 
migrating.  Many Germans continued to remain after that in Volhynia 
without facing death.  Others first went to Manitoba, didn't like the 
cold, so they moved on to Berrien County.  Again, the move to North 
America was motivated first by the eroding freedoms (for example the 
enforcement of using Russian in the schools instead of German, 
inability of the Germans to own their land, and conscription into the 
Russian army) and secondly the opportunities in North America.  They 
were drawn to the prairies of both Canada and the States by cheap 
homestead land.  I'm not sure what specifically brought them to Berrien County.

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca  

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