The German Settlements in Bessarabia: A Study of the German Immigration to, Successful Settlement in, and Ultimate Abandonment of Bessarabia

By Burkett W. Huey

Published by TIPS Technical Publishing, Carrboro, North Carolina, 2016, 497 pages, Softcover.


The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce this important new scholarly book for the Bessarabian Germans and the Germans from Russia community. The author provides a valuable addition to these GRHC hardcover published books, Bessarabia: German Colonists on the Black Sea (2011), and Sunflowers & Thistles: Bessarabian Germans Speak Out (2016).

The book includes extensive List of Tables, List of Illustrations, Maps, as well as comprehensive Index and Bibliography.

Huey writes on pages 281-285: “The southeastern Dakota Territory became the first destination of the Bessarabian Germans to North America, because in the spring of 1873, a group of Germans from the Berezan District in Xerson Province of South Russia settled there and the positive news they sent back attracted other Germans living in Russia.”

“In three years (1870s), the first German emigrants from Bessarabia to North America. Began to arrive in Yankton by train from New York and settled lands just north and west of the Johannestal group in Bon Homme and Hutchinson County. The Bessarabian Germans came there because the wanted to settle near other Germans who shared their language, customs, background, and religion. News was clearly passed by letters. It is very likely that reports from the Johannestal group settling in the Dakota Territoy reached Bessarabian Germans in Russia via church connections, possibly via rumors, or by copies or extracts of the letters that were passed among the churches in South Russia and Bessarabia”.

“One clear impact of the decrees of the early 1870s was that it was a force that caused  people to start thinking about the possible advantages of life outside of Russia. Emigration out of Russia, not seriously thought about earlier, now became a possibility worth considering”.

The Table of Contents includes:

Introduction: Limited Sources Shape the Study of German Bessarabia

I. Surnames and Origins of the First German Settlers in Bessarabia.

II. The Economic Situation of German Peasants in Eighteenth-Century Prussia, Württemberg, and the Upper Rhineland

III. The German Emigration to Bessarabia, 1814-47

IV. The Founding of the German Colonies in Bessarabia

V. The German Colonies in Bessarabia had to Overcome Many Difficulties to Establish Themselves on Firm Ground

VI. Settled and Communal Life in Mid-nineteenth-century German Bessarbia

VII. Demographic Data Reveal Conditions and Customs in German Bessarabia

Photo Gallery

VIII. The German Colonies Expand in Bessarabiaa and Russia Starts to View Them Differently: 1860-70

IX. The Decrees of 1871 and 1874 Significantly Changed the Legal Rights and Responsibilities of German Settlements in Russia

X. The German Emigration from Bessarabia 1875-1914: Pushes and Pulls

XI. German Bessarabia, 1870-1914: Economic Growth, Increasing Prosperity, Territorial Expansion

XII. German Bessarabia 1914-40: The Disaster of World War I and A Partial Recovery as a Province of Romania

XIII. The Resettlement

Threshing in Bessarabia.
A View of Katzbach, Bessarabia.
View of Leipzig, Bessarabia and its church completed in 1908.
The weekly market in Tarutino, Bessarabia.

Book Review by Richard Benert, Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, March 2017


The German Settlements in Bessarabia

$35.00 plus Shipping & Handling

Printable Order Form


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