[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] "Kolonist" Friederichsdorf aka SolomkaVolhynia

Richard Benert benovich at imt.net
Fri Apr 27 14:23:41 PDT 2012


Subjects of the Russian Empire were categorized into various "estates," each 
of them having rights and obligations peculiar to that estate alone. Below 
the nobility, clergy, and townsmen stood the various types of peasants (some 
privately owned, some owned by the state). Slightly above the peasants stood 
the colonists whom  Catherine and Alexander brought in to settle areas newly 
conquered or otherwise in need of population, mostly in the Volga region and 
in South Russia. The German colonists were given many privileges of 
self-rule, and stood directly under a special arm of the government known as 
the "Welfare Committee" (Fürsorgekomite). I am not sure exactly how the 
German settlers in Volhynia, who were certainly called "colonists", fit into 
that structure in South Russia.  Perhaps someone else can shed light on 
this.  It is certain, however, that Volhynian colonists were not placed in 
the same estate as were the Russian and Ukrainian peasants around them. 
After the freeing of the serfs in 1861, this all had to change, because the 
whole idea of a peasant "estate" was destroyed by the emancipation.  It took 
ten years thereafter for Russian officials to figure out how to deal with 
the German colonists whom they wanted to deprive of their special status and 
make just like all other freed Russian peasants.  In 1871, they finally 
succeeded.  They abolished the Welfare Committee, and gave the colonists a 
new name--"Settler-owners, (formerly called colonists)". Much of their 
self-rule was taken away, and they were expected to take part in the newly 
established (1863) "zemstvo" organization of local government. They were 
also to make more use of the Russian language and, 3 years later, were 
subjected to military service.  In spite of this change, the word, 
"colonist" continued to be used, but it no longer carried the legal 
distinctions that it had before 1871.

Hope this helps.  More can be found in Adam Giesinger, From Catherine to 

Dick B.

From: "William Brackett" <brackettwilliam at yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 7:22 AM
To: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] "Kolonist" Friederichsdorf aka 

> A couple of my wife's ancestors from Friederichsdorf are seen in records 
> with the word "kolonist" after their names.  They are Christian Hauch and 
> Jacob Hauch.  I understand in english this is the word colonist and that 
> it was used to refer to those germans who settled this area.  Can anyone 
> give me more information about this term.  Are there lists of the 
> colonists? Since both men are referred to as colonist could they be father 
> and son or is it more likley they were brothers?  Christian Hauch appears 
> in this area about 1838 and the record I see for Jacob Hauch's daughter's 
> death is dated 1857.
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