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Current Generation:
Clint Alexander Niedens (living)
    +Jessie Maye McCandless (living)
Generation 1:
Ross Niedens
    +Stephanie Rowe (living)
        --Valarie Faith Niedens (living)
        --Clint Alexander Niedens (living)

Generation 2:
        --Ross Niedens 
        --Jerry Niedens (living)

Generation 3:
    +Katherine Elizabeth Diehl
        --Johannes (John) Niedens
        --Katharina Niedens
        --Amalia "Molly" Niedens
        --Friedrich "Fred" Niedens
        --Mary Niedens
        --Henry G. Niedens
        --Jakob "Jake" Niedens
        --Pauline Niedens
        --Lydia Ida Niedens
        --Alexander Niedens

Generation 4:
        --George Niedens
        --Anna Elisabetha Niedens
        --Johann Peter Niedens
        --John Niedens
        --Margaret Niedens
        --Henry Niedens
        --Johannes Friedrich "Fred" Niedens
        --Anna Margareth Niedens

Generation 5:
Johannes Niedens
    +Katherina Barbara Unknown
        --Johann Jakob Niedens
        --Friedrich Niedens
        --Johannes Adam Niedens
        --Johan Georg Niedens
        --Anna Margaretha Niedens
        --Georg Jakob Niedens
        --Anna Elisabeth Niedens

The Niedens Family came to the United States in 1887 from the Volga River area in Russia.  They were part of an immigrant group in Russia known as the "Volga Germans."

Catherine the Great, the most famous Russian Empress of German descent.

Tsarina Catherine II was a German, born in Stettin in Pomerania, now Szczecin in Poland. She proclaimed open immigration for foreigners wishing to live in the Russian Empire on July 22, 1763, marking the beginning of a much larger presence for Germans in the Empire. German colonies in the lower Volga river area were founded almost immediately afterward. These early colonies were attacked during the Pugachev uprising, which was centred on the Volga area, but they survived the rebellion.

German immigration was motivated in part by religious intolerance and warfare in central Europe as well as by frequently difficult economic conditions. Catherine II's declaration freed German immigrants from military service (imposed on native Russians) and from most taxes. It placed the new arrivals outside of Russia's feudal hierarchy and granted them considerable internal autonomy. Moving to Russia gave German immigrants political rights that they would not have possessed in their own lands. German colonization was most intense in the Lower Volga, but other areas also saw an influx. 

In 1803 Catherine II’s grandson, Tsar Alexander I, reissued her proclamation. In the chaos of the Napoleonic wars, the response from Germans was enormous. Ultimately, the Tsar imposed minimum financial requirements on new immigrants, requiring them to either have 300 gulden in cash or special skills in order to come to Russia.

The abolition of serfdom in the Russian Empire in 1863 created a shortage of labour in agriculture and motivated new German immigration, particularly from increasingly crowded central European states, where there was no longer enough fertile land for full employment in agriculture.  According to the first census of the Russian Empire in 1897, about 1.8 million respondents reported German as their mother tongue.

The decline of the Russian German community started with the reforms of Alexander II. In 1871, he repealed the open-door immigration policy of his ancestors, effectively ending any new German immigration into the Empire.   The Russian nationalism that took root under Alexander II served as a justification for eliminating in 1871 the bulk of the tax privileges enjoyed by Russian Germans, and after 1874 they were subjected to military service.  The resulting disaffection motivated many Russian Germans, especially members of traditionally dissenting churches, to migrate to the United States and Canada.  North Dakota and South Dakota attracted primarily Odessa (Black Sea area) Germans from Russia while Nebraska and Kansas attracted mainly Volga Germans from Russia. Smaller settlement pockets also occurred in other regions such as Volga and Volhynian Germans in southwestern Michigan, Volhynian Germans in Wisconsin, and Congress Poland and Volhynian Germans in Connecticut.  After 1881, Russian Germans were required to study Russian in school and lost all their remaining special privileges. 

Niedens Family Timeline (this lineage):
Before 1794: Immigrated to the Volga River region 
            of Russia
c. 1829: Johannes Adam Niedens born in Russia
1850: Keil family married into the Niedens family
1859: John Niedens born in Russia
1880: Diehl family married into the Niedens family
c. 1886: Johannes Adam Niedens died in Russia
1887: Immigrated to the United States
1904: Alexander Niedens born in Kansas
1929: Eichman family married into the Niedens 
1940: John Niedens died in Kansas
1949: Ross Niedens born in Kansas
19XX: Rowe family married into the Niedens family
19XX: Clint Niedens born in Kansas
1999: Alexander Niedens died in Kansas
20XX: McCandless family married into the Niedens 

Settled in the Following Colonies: 
Discussion & Documentation: 

Heinrich Samuel Niedens, a shoemaker from Lübeck, and his family settled in the Volga German colony of Kratzke on 8 May 1767. They are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 43.

In 1788, Michael Gottlieb Niedens and his family moved from Kratzke to Müller.


- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Ml10, Mv1420.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767 Band 2 (Goettingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis; 2001): 459