In 1762, Empress Catherine of Russia invited ethnic Germans to immigrate to Russia to develop the country's agriculture, allowing them to retain their language and culture. Thousands of Germans left their native land to settle in their own ethnic and religious groups. In the late 19th century some of Catherine's preferential terms began to be revoked, prompting another large migration--this time to the New World. We will discuss issues facing genealogists who have ancestors who were Germans from Russia as well as explore sources and methods.
Gail Blankenau is an experienced genealogist, speaker and author. Her publications include articles in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and The Genealogist. She is also a contributor to Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy magazines. Based in Nebraska, she specializes in Nebraska records, Midwestern roots, German genealogy, land records, 19th-Century photographs and tracing lineages. More than half her ancestors came from New England, but she has roots in almost every state east of the Mississippi.