[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Nass and Krebs families

Dana Fossum dfossum at online.no
Thu Jun 24 14:40:45 PDT 2010

Hello everyone,
I have just joined SGGEE and want to say hello and express my thanks for
this group. I am the granddaughter of Germans from Volhynia and have many
questions I hope the members of this group can help me with for I am not
sure of the facts of the oral history of my family that I grew up with. The
object of my research is Nass and Krebs families, which are closely
intertwined by the marriages of three siblings from each family to each
other. My grandfather Julius Nass and his older brother Adolf were
supposedly born near Warsaw in 1876 and 1875 although through some detective
work I have reason to believe it was closer to Gombin (Gumbien?) in Prussia
as the county clerk in Iowa who took their naturalization application
recorded their birthplace as "Jomben". In around 1878 they moved to Volhynia
 where a third son was born in Segental. According to my father who passed
away 20 years ago the Nasses and Krebs were member of the same (Evangelical
Lutheran) "colony that took up a 99-year lease in the brushlands and had to
built their own roads, churches, schools etc." My first question is whether
this fits with the facts. If not, how were the settlements organized? Are
there any books or articles describing the economy and activities of these
Adolf served in six years in the military, including in Manchuria, where he
met German-speaking American soldiers who told him he should come to Iowa.
When he returned from the war, he did just that, emigrating to Whittemore,
Iowa in 1906 to a German settlement there. He was 31 years old by then. With
his brother gone, my grandfather Julius Nass "feared being recalled into the
service. He had an honorable discharge but had not served long enough to get
a pass to get out of Russia." Another relative has questioned whether my
grandfather actually did military service as she claims only one son in each
family had to serve. So my second question is is this true, did only one son
have to serve? 
Whatever happened, my grandparents were not free to leave so in the spring
of 1907 they and a group of other people hired an agent from Zhitomir to
smuggle them out of the country. According to family legend, they walked
overland, hiding in haystacks along the way to avoid detection. Eventually,
they reached Antwerp, where they boarded a ship bound for Canada and then
traveled by train to Iowa, joining Adolf in June of that year. On the
practical side, however, I wonder how such a group which included very small
children and my very pregnant grandmother could have hauled a rather large
steamer trunk with them filled with their feather ticks and provisions and
still avoid detection. (A cousin still has the trunk and a tick.) Do any
other members of the group have similar escape stories? What would have been
the most likely route out of that part of Volhynia near Nowograd-Wolynsk? 
I have found other members of these families who are listed in the EWZ files
and hope to mine these files for further information. Are there any SGGEE
members in the D.C. area who do this type of work and what do they typically
Thank you,
Dana Naas Fossum
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: stampa_girl_line_en.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 46417 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://www.sggee.org/pipermail/ger-poland-volhynia/attachments/20100624/7a563d9e/attachment.gif>

More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list