Merck Family Visits Village of Elsass, Kutchurgan District

Summer, 2007

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 them.

A copy of the invitation document he presented us is attached along with a translation I later obtained.

PDF Document: 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.

PDF Document: Translation of the Russian language invitation to the celebration in 2008.

Ed 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.
The 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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