During  four  thousand   or  more  years   peoples of  the  earth  established  themselves into   the  various continents so  that   by  the   time   the  Romans had   conquered  most  of  the  area  along the  Mediterranean Sea  great hordes   of  barbaric tribes   came  out  of  the   interior of  Northwest  Asia  and  settled  in  what was  then   lands  held   by  the  Roman  Empire.  Some  of  these   tribes   made   up  the  European   Nations.

As  much  as  is  known   these   tribes   were   the  Goths,  Visigoth,  Vandals,  Teutonic,  Angelo Saxons, Jutes and   many  other clans.

Many  of  the   tribes   settled  in  what   is  known  as  Germany  (east   and  west)  today. Our   forefathers were   most  likely   among   them. Leaders of  these   peoples set   up  the  feudal  system:  kings,  nobles,

serfs,  peasants.  By 1770  it  is  thought  that   our  forefathers were  established  in  some  part  of  Germany,

perhaps  Alsace,  Germany. Another thought   is  the  vicinity  of  the   Rhine  River.  Some  cities  possibly being   the  abode of  our  ancestors were  Metz,  Nancy,  Stuttgart,  Ulm,   Freiburg,  Basel,   Mulhausen, Strasburg, Selz,  Hagenau,  Rastatt,  Baden,   Karlsruhe,  Jockrim,  Kandel.  Rivers  in  that   area   were

the  Rhine,    Donau   River,   Lauter   River,   Neekar  River.

About   1794  the   French   king   lost  his  throne  and   the   revolutionists took  over   his  reign  and   many heads   rolled . This  was  the   French   Revolution. Prussian  armies   invaded  the   Alsace area  trying   to re-establish  the   French   throne.  Napoleon Bonaparte   and   his  campaigns added  much  to  the   unrest and   uneasiness  in  the  area  of  our  ancestors.

Around   1803,   Alexander the  1st of  Russia,  grandson   of  Katherine  the   Great of  Russia,  made  some fabulous offers   to  get   settlers to  come  to  Russia and  settle around   the   Black  Sea  area  close   to Odessa. Most  of  the   land   in  that   area   was  gained  by  the   Russians  as  the   results   of  wars  with  their

neighbors,  the  Turks.  Czar Alexander I   of  Russia gave   offers   to  many  parts  of  Germany  for  colonists. He  wanted  good   farmers  and  artisans: and  he  was  rather   selective  in  his  choice  of  those  who  signed

up.  He  promised   in  his  Manifesto to  the  Germans   many  advantages: Freedom  of  religion,  no  taxes

for  ten   years,  no  military service,   loans  of  money , some  free   land   for  each  family   and  self-government.


The  families  of  MARTIN  JOCHIM and  MARGARET HELFRICH and  the   families  of  MATTHEW SCHAFF  and   EDITH SMALTZ  : The  dates of  death  of  these   members  of  our  family   probably   can be  found   in  Flasher,  Mandan   or  Bismarck,   North   Dakota.

These  ancestors  left   their home lands  in  Germany about  1800  to  1808.  Many   of  the  families left   from  the   city   of  Ulm and   floated  down  the  Danube   River  in  transports  until   they   reached the

city   of  Vienna,  Austria. Then  most  of  the  emigrants  went  overland  to  Odessa  On The Black Sea . We  have  often heard   of  Mother   Bertha  Yockim  speak   of  this  area.

The  Russian  Czar assigned  a  French   nobleman   named Duc  De  RicheIieu  as  governor of  the  Odessa

area. The  Russian  authorities were   not  prepared adequately  when   our  forefathers arrrived   there.  No housing, little  food, and   sickness was  common.  It  took  a  while   before   the   new  peoples  could

move  to  the   new  land   the  Czar was  to  give   families who  moved  as  groups   to  new  settlements.

There  were   three   groups of  people  from  Germany  who  came  to  Russia  between  the   years

1800  and  1810: Catholics,  Lutheran   Evangelists, and   the  Mennonites.

The  Catholic group   was  assigned  to  go  to  the   Kutschurgan settlement  on  the  east   side   of

the   Kutschurgan  Limon,  a  kind  of  estuary  or  overflow  of  the   Kutshurgan   River, which   flows  into the   Black  Sea.    The  Kutschurgan  colony   was  made  of  six  settlements.    This  was  about  40  miles northwest   of  the  City   of  Odessa.

Names  of  settlements which   were   possible   places to  which   our  ancestors lived were   Strasburg,

Baden,   Selz,  Kandel,  Manheim, Elsas.  The  German   colonists expansion extended  all   over   the southern  plains  of  Russia  from  the  Caucasus  Mountains for   into   Bassarabia.

Other German settlements in Russia were   Volga   river colonies quite  farther  northeast  of Odessa,  colonies west  of  Odessa   between  Dniester River  and   Pruth  River.  All   of  these   colonies were   within  the   Odessa   Russia  territory.

Do  not  become   confused   with   the  duplicate  names  of  cities as  the   people  usually   named a settlement or  Dorf  (town  or  village) the  some  as  the   cities or  towns  in  Germany  from  which   they come.  You  can  also see  duplicates of  these   names  in   North   Dakota   and   other places, all originating from  the   German villages.

The  town  or  village was  called a  Dorf.  Workers  went   out  from  these   places to  their landholdings  to  do  their  farming. Each  village had  a  common  pasture,  vegetable  garden and cemetery. More  and   More   land  was  acquired  outside of  the  original  crown   lands.  In each

of  these  dorfer   or  villages,   churches , schools, shops  of  all   kinds were   established. The  land

was  very   much  Iike  the   land   in  North   Dakota   and   it  took  hard   work  and   many  trials   in  order to  establish  themselves on  the  Steppes   of  Russia.

Most  of  the  history   and   records  of  our  ancestors were   lost  or  destroyed during  the  Russian Revolution  of  1917,  after World  War  I. Then  the  Czarist  regime    come  to  an  end  and   the Russian  Bolsheviks  took  control   of  the  government. Now  we  call  the   Bolsheviks--Communists of  the  Soviet   Union. We  have   often   heard Mother  Bertha  Yockim  express  her  contempt   of the   Bolsheviks.

More  of  the  history was  lost  when Hitler's armies   took  over   the  Odessa   area during   World War  II. After  World  War   II  it  is estimated  that   over   40,000  German-Russian people   who  fled back   to  Germany with   Hitler's armies   in  retreat were   handed  back  to  Russia and  were   in  turn

transported  to  Siberia.  Mother Yockim  often  spoke   of  sending  people  to  Siberia. Many  are   there to  this  day.

Our   MARTIN  JOCHIM and   SCHAFF and  SMALTZ and   HELFRICH families  left   in  the  1870's

to  1910's and  escaped   the  fate   of  many  of  their people.

Many   of  the  families  left   Russia  by  going   overland  by  railroad  to  Hamburg,  Germany,  and then   by  ship  to   New  York.  Some  docked  in  Canada  and   spread   out  from  there. Some  have settled  in  Kansas,  Brazil,  Argentina  and   Texas.

The  scarcity of  land  around   the  Black  Sea  Area  and   the  enforced  military service  into  the

Russian  Army,   plus  the   loss  of  many  other   privileges  forced  many  of  the   German-Russian people to  leave  and   take   advantage  of  the   Liberal   land   policy  of  the   American   Government  with   its Homestead   laws,  Preemption   Act, and   the  Tree  Claim   Act. That   land  was  available in  the   U.S. was  well   advertised  by  the  American  Government and   our  ancestors heard  of  this  and  took  up

the  offer.

One   incident  I    remember   Mother   Yockim  talk   about  was  the   trip  from  England. It  seems

to  me  that   England   was  on  embarkation place  to  the   U.S. and   Canada  for  many  of  these   people, as   I     have heard   this   mentioned  by  Mother   Yockim. She  stated  that   she  was  8  years   old  at  the time  but  remembered.  The  trip  was  by  what   we  would   call   a  small   boat   nowadays, and   it  was packed   to  the  gills. She remembers  huge   waves  of  water  coming   over   the  ship  and   many  people crying   out. There  was  a  lot  of  sickness on  the  ship  and   none  of  it  was  fun.

Our   forefathers settled   around   Mandan   and   Bismarck , North Dakota; eventually  moving  into



Names  of settlements which  were  possible places to which  our ancestors lived  were  Strasburg, Baden, Selz,  Kandel, Manheim, Elsas, Manheim.  Other German settlements in Russia were

Volga  River  colonies quite farther northeast of Odessa,  Colonies west of  Odessa between Dniester

River  and  Pruth  River.  All  of these  colonies were  within the  Odessa Russia territory.

Do not  become  confused with  the duplicate names of cities as  the  people usually named  a settlement or  Dorf,  (town  or village) the  same as  the  cities or  towns  in Germany from which  they  came. You

can  also  see  duplicates of these  names in  North  Dakota  and  other places, all  originating from the

German villages.

The town  or village was called a Dorf.  Workers  went  out  from these  places to their land-holdings to do  their farming. Each  village had  a  common pasture, vegetable garden and  cemetery. More and more  land  was acquired outside of the  original crown  lands. In each of these  dorfer or villages, churches, schools, shops  of all  kinds  were  established. The  land  was very  much  like  the  land  in

North Dakota  and  it took  hard  work and  many trials in order  to establish  themselves of the  Steppes

of Russia.

Most  of the  history and  records    of our ancestors were  lost  or destroyed during the  Russian Revolution of 1917, after  World War I. Then  the  Czarist regime  came  to an  end  and  the  Russian Bolsheviks took  control of the  government. Now we call   the  Bolsheviks , communists  of the  Soviet Union.  We have  often  heard  Mother Bertha Yockim  express her  contempt of the  Bolsheviks.

More  of the  history was  lost when  Hitler's armies took  over  the  Odessa area during World War

II.  After  WW 2 it is estimated that  over  40,000 German-Russian people who fled  back  to Germany with  Hitler's armies  in  retreat were  handed back  to  Russia and  were  in turn  transported to Siberia. Mother Yockim  often  spoke  of sending people to Siberia. Many  are  there  to this day.

Our  Martin Jochim (Yockim)  and  Schaff  and  Smaltz  (Schmaltz  and   Helfrich families left  in the

1870's to  191O's and  escaped the  fate  of many of their people.

Many  of the  families left  Russia by going  overland by railroad to  Hamburg, Germany, and  then  by ship  to  New  York.  Some docked in Canada and  spread  out  from there. Some have  settled in  Kansas, Brazil, Argentina and  Texas.

The scarcity of  land  around  the  Black Sea area and  the  enforced military service into the  Russian Army,  plus  the loss  of many other privileges forced many of  the  German-Russian people to  leave  and take  advantage of the  Liberal   land  policy of the  American Government with  its Homestead  Laws, Preemption Act, and  the  Tree Claim  Act. That  land  was available in the  U.S. was well  advertised

by the  American  government and  our ancestors heard  of this  and  took  up the  offer.

One  incident I   remember  Mother Yockim  talk  about was  the  trip  from  England  (if  I  am mistaken correct this  country.  It seems  to  me that  England  was an  embarkation place to the  U.S. and  Canada for  many of these  people, as  I  have  heard  this  mentioned by Mother Yockim. She stated that  she  was

8 years  old  at the  time  but  remembered.  The trip  was by what  we would  call  a small  boat  now days, and  it was  packed to  the  gills. She  remembers  huge  waves  of water coming  over  the  ship  and  many people  crying out. There  was a  lot  of sickness on the ship  and  none  of it  was fun.




Should  you  be  interested in  learning more about the  German-Russian ancestry,  then  read: Joseph S.  Height's "Paradise on  the  Steppe",  1221  E. Adams  Drive, Franklin,  Indiana, 46131


I   wish  to thank  Martha   Baumgartner  Schmidt  who gave me some of her  history, but  of which

could  not  link  any  names  of our ancestors with .  I   will  copy  a  few  pages  of her  booklet and  genealogy and  maybe  someone  else  can  relate, but her  ancestors were  all traced to   Strasberg,  North  Dakota.




Floyd  Yockim, son of Bertha  and  Steve  Yockim.