250 Years Later, Americans are Retracing their Ancestors

It has been nearly 250 years since Ludewig Huber came to Kleinstadt as a colonist. Recently, his descendants, some from the US, came looking for his traces.

"250 Years Later, Americans are Retracing their Ancestors." Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag, 19 September  2009.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

Descendants of the Huber Family on the property of their ancestors. Appearing left to right are Olga Becker of Albersdrof, Helmuth Huber from the US, Waltraud Boedler of Freienwill, Peggy Christopherson from the US, Robert Huber of Albersdorf, and. Hilde Winkel of Jörl at the Walkenhof in Freienwill.

Freienwill / sh:x – During the years 1761 – 1765, when the Danish King Friedrich V was calling folks from Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and the Palatinate to settle the wide-open flats of heath and moors in the Schleswig Duchy, among many others who followed the call was Ludewig Huber of Käferthal near Mannheim. With his wife and three children he journeyed to the “Nordic Paradise” and on June 6, 1763 was provided with the Walkenhof property in Kleinsolt. Because of extreme difficulties involved in cultivating the heath, he developed a serious desire to leave, and on May 25, 1765 he followed the call of Catherine II to become a settler in the Volga area.

German colonists who had settled in Russia, despite various privileges granted to them, initially also experienced an indescribably difficult life, which by 1920, in the wake of  the October Revolution, was being characterized by deportations, famine, loss of home and properties, family, and honor.

One of Ludewig Huber’s descendants, Helmuth Huber, by now eighty-two years of age, has for years  wished to look up the sites of his descendants in the northern part of Schleswig-Hosltein. Together with his daughter, Peggy Christopherson, he recently undertook the journey from the US to Germany. Prior to this, Helmuth, who was born in 1927 in Ashley in North Dakota, had traveled twice to visit the site of his forefathers in Russia. Currently he lives with his family in Fargo, ND.

Another descendant is a cousin, Helmuth Huber, who was born in Balzer in the Volga-German Republic area and is now living in Albersdorf [Germany]. He made the journey to the home of his ancestors with his daughter, Olga Becker.

Christian Winkel of Jörl, director of the working group Pflaggenhacke, had organized this small excursion and accompanied the guests. Greeting the guests in front of the church in Kleinsolt were Ursula  Pülschen, former member of the church council; the deputy mayor of Freinwill, Bernd Fedderson; and the sexton of the Kleinsolt church, L.P. Dracke,

The guests were visibly moved during their visit of the Walkenhof property. They also visited the colonist memorial stone that was dedicated in 2004 in Friedrichsfeld near Hollingstedt. Huber is among other names engraved on the stone.

After an excursion through the colonist region and the still visibly rectangular fields from the early beginnings of settlement in the Hohner Harde, the visitors also went to the well-known colonist “Hof” in Neu Duvenstedt. There they inspected a replica of an impressive colonist home, a sod hut, the kind of which the local colonists lived in until their permanent homes were finished.

The wish to be able to visit the sites of ancestors in Schleswig-Hosltein had been fulfilled. In departing, Helmuth Huber said that he and his daughter Peggy would take along many strong and unforgettable impressions on their journey home to North Dakota.

Our appreciation is extended toAlex Herzog for translation of this article. 

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller