Welcome to what may very well be the largest collection, at over 18,500 mapped German ancestral settlements, with confirmed geographical coordinates that include creditable citations for the same. The majority of these settlements occurred from the latter seventeen to the early nineteen hundreds, initiated then primarily by invitation.
In 1762 Catherine the Great, the Russian Czarina issued her first manifesto inviting foreigners to settle in Russia. When the first manifesto failed, Catherine introduced a second one in 1763, which included many more attractive privileges. It initiated a mass migration over a four year period of at least 25,000 Germans to the Volga River region. This original migration resulted in the establishment of 104 German villages within the Russian Empire.
In 1804, the grandson of Catherine the Great, Czar Alexander I, extended another invitation to settlement in the region of the Black Sea. However his invitation was specifically directed towards people skilled in agriculture and handicrafts. It would appear that German settlers, revered as industrious farmers and tradesmen, were preferred.
To the right for your convenience expand and search (Ctrl + F) the 'Germans from Russia and Eastern Europe Settlement Locations' list of 18,502 locations. Then for additional settlement information select from the menu, top right, the settlement region that corresponds to the region of your initial discovery. Plus virtually all of the information there can also be found by accessing the 'Historical.Place-GRSL' map or via 'GRSL · Search'.
Enjoy, use, distribute and/or post access to this site as you wish.
(Updated on 5-September-2023)
In the latter part of life’s journey I had the good fortune of encountering a very generous soul that offered his expertise for free. I’m speaking of Otto Riehl of Kirchlinteln, Germany who created this awesome site for all to enjoy!
So at this time I’m extending a very gracious thank you to Mr. Riehl for his past and ongoing support.