|Merck Family Visits Village
of Elsass, Kutchurgan District
Text and images by Edward Merck
During a visit to the Kutschurgan villages last summer
(2007) by a family group, we spent extra time in Elsass
(Scherbanka), where our Merck family ancestors had
lived before they emigrated in 1909. We located several
home sites where Mercks had once lived, visited the
church, and toured through the present school with
the school director. That was of special interest
to us because it is located on land where a Merck
had once lived, and also because our grandfather (Joseph
John Merck) had been a teacher in Elsass before he
brought his family to America.
A village official approached us while we were having
refreshments. He presented us with the attached notice
of the village's 200th anniversary celebration in
2008, and he invited us to return to help them celebrate
the founding of the village by the German founders
in 1808. He asked us to pass this invitation to other
descendants who may be interested in joining with
A copy of the invitation document he presented us
is attached along with a translation I later obtained.
Elsass notice of celebration of the founding of the
village by the Germans from Russia in 1808 which includes
the invitation to descendants to join the celebration.
Translation of the Russian language invitation to
the celebration in 2008.
Merck (left) receives an invitation from Scherbanka
Village Administrator (second from right) to
return in the Fall of 2008 for the celebration
of the 200th anniversary of the founding of
Elsass. Interpreter is at the right. Others
of the Merck family group, descendants of one
of the village founders, are in the background.
Director of the Elsass school invites Marilyn
Bruya (right) and the Merck family group on
a tour of the village school. The interpreter
(center) shows him on the map that the school
is located on what was the site of a Merck home
prior to 1944. Her grandfather had been a teacher
in the village. The Merck group visited Elsass
in June 2007.
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