Coat of arms of Germersheim

Coat of Arms for Gemersheim

The arms were granted on February 16, 1976. The district historically belonged to Palatinate (lion) and the Bishopric of Speyer (latin cross). The fess wavy symbolises the Rhine river. The escutcheon shows the arms (imperial eagle) of the city of Germersheim.





..Fernweh, a feeling of homesickness for a place to which you have never been.”
(German). From Thorpe’s, “The Newcomers”.


 Joachim is a boy's name of Hebrew origin that means "Established by God". ...

Saint Joachim was the husband of Saint Anne and the father of the Virgin Mary




Johannes Georgius Jochim Family History


The first reference of the Jochim family is found in Rulzheim, Gernersheim RheinPfalz, Germany.  Mention is made of a Johannes G Jochim born in 1704 in Bellheim, Germersheim and died in Rulzheim (dod 10/8/1787).  

I believe that our ancestor is Johannes J Jochim.  He is probably the son of Johannes Georgius Jochim.  In Nov 19, 1764 Johannes Georgius  Jochim (b1740 to d1787) was married to Marie Elisabetha Wunschel. (1748-1823).  

         Johannes Georgius Jochim

               (Born 1740 , died 1787) 

               Married 11/19/1764 to Marie Elisabetha Wunschel. (1748-1823).    

                Children:   Philippius Jacob 3/1/1766 to 5/1/1766),

                             Johannes Georgius (12/17/1768 to 10/8/1776),

                             Georgius Petrus (3/30/1771 to 3/31/1771

                             Johann Valentine (8/27/1771 to 12/24/1772)

                             Maria Barbara (3/12/1773 to 3/13/1773

                             Catharina Barbara (1775 to ?),

                             Georgius Heinrich Jochim (4-16-1767-1825)(some place his DOB at 1775)

                             Maria Barbara (4/19/1778 to 4/14/1846),

                             Maria Eva (9/10/1780 to ?)

                             Marie Clara (1/28/1784 to 1/14/1855)

                             Maria Catharina (9/19/1786 to ?

   Four of the children died in infancy and Johannes Georgius lived only 7 years. 

Reference is also made of a Joanness N Jochim (1761-1807) who was believed to be married to a Maria Elisabetha Wolff (1765-?).  Her parents were believed to be Joannes Adamus Wolff and Maria Rosina Kiener.  He may be related to Maria Elizabetha Jochim who married Nickolaus Boehm.  They were the parents of Margaretha Boehm who married Peter Jochim. 


The area experienced many times of upheaval with many different rulers and changes in national control.   This included Bavarian, Italian, French and English.   We don’t currently know much about the Johannes Georgius Jochim family’s life in Rulzheim.  


                   Rulzheim, Gernersheim, RheinPfalz, GermanySee the source image


“The following is an attempt to describe the history not only of Rhineland-Palatinate, but of several lineal states located along the middle Rhine River, whose name comes from Celtic renos meaning "raging flow".

In legend, the Palatine Hill in Rome was said to be the one on whose foot the twins Romulus and Remus were deposited when they escaped the flood of the Tiber River. It became the initial center of Rome and retained this importance for most of the life of the later Empire. The Roman emperors designated some of their local officials with the title "palatine" after the name of the hill.

Later empires such as the Merovingian and Carolingian used the same title, expanding it to "count palatine", which meant an official sent to report on a remote region owned by the crown. Under the later German empire of the Saxon and Salian dynasties (919-1125), a further expansion occurred -- the counts palatine were now responsible for general administration and dispensing justice.

The regions along the middle Rhine were originally put under imperial control by the Salian dynasty. But after 1235, Emperor Friedrich II, who, more concerned with Italy than German lands, appointed a count-palatine of the Wittelsbach family which controlled the powerful duchy of Bavaria in return for the duke's support.

With the decline of the monarchy after Friedrich II, administrative rights reverted to local dukes or bishops, in Saxony, Bavaria and other places, but the count palatine of lower Lotharingia who headquartered at the palace at Aachen held onto these powers and kept them for his descendants, who called themselves the Counts Palatine of the Rhine. This territory, called the Rhenish or Lower Palatinate [German, Pfalz], was gathered on both sides of the Rhine River between the Main and the Neckar, with its capital at Heidelberg until the 18th century.

In 1329, to resolve an internal familial dispute, the North Mark of Bavaria was detached, named the Oberpfalz [Upper Palatinate], and transferred to the Count Palatine.

The trend in those days was to subdivide inheritance among all the sons of a family and in this way the Palatinate was divided into four regions in 1410. This was reversed by Friedrich the Victorious (1449-1476). After this event, the Palatinate's power grew and it became the leading state in the empire, a fact which was recognized by making its ruler a hereditary elector in 1356.

Previously an entirely Catholic region, the Palatinate accepted Calvinism under Elector Friedrich III during the 1560's.

Elector Friedrich V's acceptance of Bohemia's offer of its crown touched off in 1618 the Thirty Years War, a complicated catastrophe from which the Palatinate never really recovered. Although the final result was centuries in coming, it meant that instead of politically leading Germany, the Palatinate became a spoil, fought over by other states and countries. Subsequent German history might have been considerably different had the Palatinate rather than Prussia held the position that the latter was to acquire for itself. Initially however, the only immediately apparent loss was that of the Upper Palatinate which was claimed by Bavaria.

During these times, a weakened Palatinate was no match for an ebullient France under Sun king Louis XIV, whose forces ravaged the region. In fact, so much international concern was there over growing French hegemony, that Britain led a coalition of powers to oppose her. These struggles became known as the War of the Palatinate (or the War of the Grand Alliance or War of the League of Augsburg, 1688-1697). One major effect was large scale emigration from 1689 to 1697, and later, giving rise, for example, in the United States to the phenomenon of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

There was a major freeze in the winter of 1708/09 in the Palatinate. On 10 January 1709 the Rhine River froze and was closed for five weeks. Wine froze into ice. Grapevines died. Cattle died in their sheds. Many Palatines traveled down the Rhine to Rotterdam in late February and March. In Rotterdam they were housed in shacks covered with reeds. The ones who made it to London were housed in 1,600 tents surrounding the city. Londoners were resentful. Other Palatines were sent to other places, such as Ireland, the Scilly Isles, the West Indies, and New York.

Queen Anne was related to the ruler of the Palatinate. On 24 March 1709 a British naturalization act was passed whereby any foreigner who would take the oaths to the British government and profess himself a Protestant would be immediately naturalized and have all the privileges of an English-born subject for one shilling.” ( )


Jockgrim is a municipality in the district of Germersheim, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhine, approximately 15 km north-west of Karlsruhe. Jockgrim is the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde ("collective municipality")  (Wikipedia)

I do not see any connection of the name Jockgrim to the family name Jochim.   However the similarities are interesting.  In addition the municipality appears to be near where the Jochim family lived.



‘The French returned following the Revolution of 1789 and the crowning of Napoleon Bonaparte. The result was to incorporate the Rhine west bank territories into France and the east bank territories into the essentially-puppet duchies of Baden and Hesse. After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, the Congress of Vienna granted the majority of the east-bank lands to Bavaria and a  territory called Rheinhessen including the economically-vital cities of Mainz and Worms to Hesse-Darmstadt. Rheinhessen was at that time one of the three provinces of the Grandduchy of Hessen, the other two being Starkenburg and Oberhessen.  Mainz, west of the Rhine river, was the provincial capital.

In Bavaria, which was not territorially contiguous with its new property, the territory was first known as the Kniglich Bayrischen Lande am Rhein. After 1836, it was known as the Bayrische Pfalz. After 1838 it was known variously as the Rheinpfalz (Palatinate) or Rheinbayern or simply Pfalz. This state had its capital at Speyer (SHPY-er) located west of the Rhine river.

The west-bank lands went to Prussia, and were joined to Prussia's east bank possessions to form the Prussian Rheinprovinz [Rhine Province] in 1824. Prussia annexed nearby Nassau and Meisenheim in 1866 and the Rhineland became the most prosperous area of the new German nation following its formation in 1871.” (

Main article: History of Speyer

Main street in Speyer with the Speyer Cathedral in the background

. The first known names were Noviomagus and Civitas Nemetum, after the Teutonic tribe, Nemetes, settled in the area. The name Spira is first recorded in the 7th century, taken from villa Spira, a Frankish settlement situated outside of Civitas Nemetum.


In 10 BC, the first Roman military camp is established (situated between the town hall and the episcopal palace).

In AD 150, the town appears as Noviomagus on the world map of the Greek geographer Ptolemy.

In 346, a bishop for the town is mentioned for the first time.

4th century, Civitas Nemetum appears on the Peutinger Map.

5th century, Civitas Nemetum is destroyed.

7th century, the town is re-established, and named Spira after a nearby Frankish settlement.

In 1030, emperor Conrad II starts the construction of Speyer Cathedral, today one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also in the 11th century, the first city wall was built.

In 1076, emperor Henry IV embarks from Speyer, his favourite town, for Canossa.

In 1084, establishment of the first Jewish community in Speyer.

In 1294, the bishop loses most of his previous rights, and from now on Speyer is a Free Imperial Town of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1349, the Jewish community of Speyer is wiped out.

Between 1527 and 1689, Speyer is the seat of the Imperial Chamber Court.

In 1526, at the Diet of Speyer (1526) interim toleration of Lutheran teaching and worship is decreed.

In 1529, at the Diet of Speyer (1529) the Lutheran states of the empire protest against the anti-Reformation resolutions (19 April 1529 Protestation at Speyer, hence the term Protestantism).

In 1635, Marshal of France Urbain de Maillé-Brézé, together with Jacques Nompar de Caumont, duc de La Force, conquers Heidelberg and Speyer at the head of the Army of Germany.

In 1689, the town is heavily damaged by French troops.

Between 1792 and 1814, Speyer is under French jurisdiction.

In 1816, Speyer becomes the seat of administration of the Palatinate and of the government of the Rhine District of Bavaria (later called the Bavarian Palatinate), and remains so until the end of World War II.

Between 1883 and 1904, the Memorial Church is built in remembrance of the Protestation of 1529.

In 1947, the State Academy of Administrative Science is founded (later renamed German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer).

In 1990, Speyer celebrates its 2000th anniversary





                               Georgius Heinrich Jochim


                                     Journey to Russia:  Auswanderung


Georgius Heinrich Jochim (b 4-16-1767-d 1825)(or DOB  1775) and his wife Maria Eva Kuhn (b1771,d 1830) were married in 3/28/1791 (or 1798) in Rulzheim, Rhinepalantinate, Germany. They left for Russia and arrived in Katherinethal about 1818.   This occurred shortly after the time of Napoleons defeat.   This time was marked with a change over from French to Bavarian control.  Speyer once was a well- known center for Jewish life and scholarship.   There were a number of Pogroms against Jewish residents through the years.    Over time the Pogroms were successful in driving out most of the Jewish residents.   It is probable that even the non-Jewish residents were impacted by the growing violence.   During the Nazi occupation only 1 Jewish resident survived the war.   Both Heinrich and Maria Eva died in Katharinental, Beresan, Ukraine and are buried there.  


The Jochim name is listed as one of the original settlers of Katherinethal which was founded in 1817.   In all Heinrich and Maria had eleven children all born in Germany.     



Georgius Heinrich Jochim

       Born 4-16-1767 or 1775, died 1825

       Married  3/28/1791 to Maria Eva Kuhn (b1771,d 1830)

       Married in Rulzheim, Rhineplanatinate, Germany

       Emigrated to Katherinenthal in 1818.

       Children: Maria Elizabetha (9/13/1792 to 2/1/1793,

                        Maria Elisabetha (baptized in 3/21/1796

                        Maria Elizabetha (5/2/1794 to ?)

                        Johannes Adam (1798 to 1856

                             Married Marie Mischel

                        Heinrich (1798 to ?), 

                        Maria Eva (1799 to 1855)

                             Married Karl Dietrich,

                        Johannes Franz (1802 to 1829)

                        Maria Eva (1802 to 1855

                        Johannes Valentine (1805-1856)

                              Married to Maria Catherine Marsal (Mischel)

                              Married to Klara Stroh

                       Johannes Peter (1808-1858)  

                              Married to Christiana Dietz (b1809, d1838)

                              Married to Margaretha Bohm (b1819, d1854)

                              Married to Barbara (1812 to 1858?),

                       Johannes Martin Jochim (1813)

                              Married to Marianna Martin.  


They immigrated to Katherinethal with 6 of their children.



Floyd Yockim, son of Steven and Bertha Yockim writes the following about the time of the emigration.


“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 arrived 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 far into Bassarabia.”   (From Floyd Yockim).


 On the following map you can locate both the town of Speier and the town of Katherinental.  You will note that Speier was founded in 1809.  It is probable that Floyd’s story is about Bertha Schaff’s families.  The town of Katherinental was founded in 1817.



Germany Emigration and Immigration






1683 to 1820. Emigrants left Germany and migrated to Southeastern Europe, North America, Russia, England, Scotland, and Ireland. This wave of emigration was caused by economic hardships and religious persecutions after the Thirty Years' War. Many of these emigrants were Protestants from Southwestern Germany, primarily the Rheinland, Westfalen, Hessen, Baden, Württemberg, and Elsaß-Lothringen.



“Before a more a unified Germany existed, countless Germans were demoralized by years of religious strife, political chaos and economic hardship. In 1762, they received an enticing offer from the Russian Czarina Catherine the Great, a former German princess.”        


Sophie Fredericke Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst, a German native of Stettin, displaced her husband Peter III and took the vacant Russian imperial throne, assuming the name of Catherine II. "Catherine the Great" published manifestos in 1762 and 1763 inviting Europeans,(except Jews)to immigrate and farm Russian lands while maintaining their language and culture. Germans responded in particularly large numbers due to poor conditions in their home regions including unemployment, crop failures, wish to avoid wars and military service.   She promised colonists autonomy and farm land in Russia should they choose to emigrate.  These skilled farmers and tradesmen would help to colonize the Volga region and later around 1804 the Ukraine (black Sea).  Russias claim over the former Ottoman Empire lands would be strengthened.  Additional Germans came around 1812 from Wurrtemberg and Prussia and became the Bessarabian Germans. (source unknown)



For Russia having loyal subjects inhabiting the Ukraine provided a buffer between the Middle East and Russia.    Other sources state that the Germans were promised that they could practice their religions, keep their customs and language and not have to serve in the Army.   This must have been very enticing in the context of Napoleons impending takeover of the Rheinland.   For many, Russia provided an opportunity to own land, raise their families and enjoy a sense of community.

During this time of emigration or “Auswanderung” the Germans living in Russian missed out on a time of great advances in 19th century Germany.   They became known as “Auslander” or “Volksdeutsche” Germans as opposed to “Reischsdeutsche” who were living in Germany prior to emigrating to America.  The memories of the Germany of their heritage differed a great deal between Reischsdeutsche and the Auslander. (North Dakota History Magazine Winter 2017 vol. 82.2)







                Johannes Peter Jochim

     Born 1808, died 1858

        Married 1829 to Christiana Dietz (1809-1838)

                Christina was born to Johann and Phillipina (Wolf) Dietz.

         Children: Ignaz (1830-?)

                                married to Apollonia Bachert,

                          Maria Eva (1832-1892)

                                married to George Adam Yantzer

                          Franziska (1834-1892)

                               Married to Josef Boescherz,

                               Married to  George Kuntz

                               Married to Peter Baron

         Johannes Peter married in 1839 to Margaretha Bohm (1819-1854)

         Her parents were Nikolaus and Elisabetha (Jochim) Boehm.

         Children: Theresia (1840 to ?)

                            Magdalena (1843-1944),

                            Martin (6/5/1842 to 6/14/1901)

                                      married to Margaretha Helfrich (6/6/1843-4/2/1915),

                           Margaretha (1846 to 1944)

                           Joseph Adam(1847- ?),

                           Eufrasina (1850-1906)

                                   married to Philip Pfau

                          Valentin (1853-1935)   

                          Michael (1854 or 1855 to 1910)

           It is possible that Margaretha Bohm may have died in childbirth or soon after.                      Johannes Peter married his third wife Barbara (1812 to ?) later in life.  Sometime after 1854.



A short story related by Barbara Bartron tells about a Michael Jochim (4-15-1857). 

The story goes: “Magadeline Kuntz, our Grandmother was born in 1859.  They lived in a small settlement called Katharinental, close by Odessa.  Mike and Magadeline were married around the year 1878.  Mike Yockim’s father had remarried later on to an eccentric mean old woman.   No one could stand her and after he died the relatives had to take care of her.  She was so mean they offered the newly married couple her home and her possessions when she died, if they would take care of her during her lifetime.  They agreed and did.  My mother, Barbara, said she could remember so vividly how mean she was.  Mom was around six years old-she said she would not let them play in the yard, but made them play in a coal pile.   My mom never forgot that. 

Well anyhow, this step grandmother only lived a year or so after they started taking care of her.  They received the land and the home.  The relatives were muchly perturbed that they had gotten it so soon.”

However, Conrad Keller also tells a story of Michael Jochim.  He relates that “Nicholas Bohm was the son of Adam Bohm.  He was married to Elisabeth Jochim the daughter of Georg Jochim.  They had several children and among them Margaretha born in 1821.    Heinrich Jochim (d1825) and Maria Kuhn (d 1830) had five sons the fourth was Peter. (b1811).  Peter was married first to Christiana Dietz (d1838), they had three children, a boy and two girls.  Peter remarried about 1839 to Margaretha Bohm.  Peter married for a third time and Michael was a product of that marriage.  The two girls from the first marriage would have been teen-age at the time Michael was born.  This would support an earlier history of the Jochim’s that said “Michael was raised by his sisters after his mother died.”  Recent information I received indicates that Michael was the youngest of seven.”

I am confused by these two stories and my research.  Michael has been noted as being either the son of Peter and his second wife Margaretha Bohm or of Peters third wife.   At any rate if Michael was the son of Peter, and took care of his mother or mother-in law she must have lived some 18-20 years after Michaels birth.     Some accounts include Michael as a son of Peter and some indicate that the Michael (the Newly wed) was a nephew perhaps a son of Valentine.   At any rate it’s a good story. 

Michael Jochim and Magdalene Kunz were married in Katharinental in 1879.   Rose, Nicholas, Barbara, Amelia and Margaret were born in Katharinental.  Agnes, Caroline, Ida and Phillipina were born in North Dakota.  Michael Jochim died in Linton ND January 4, 1910.”


Life in these German villages entailed a close knitted structure.  Villages were often segregated by religion.   Catholics, Lutherans, Mennonites and Jewish people shared a similar life but usually did not mingle.   Later Katherinental census’ showed that the Lutherans outnumbered the Catholics by a large number.    Russians were seldom part of the community life.   For the Germans, church life continued to be important, but there was a marked distrust for those in authority, and little need for education.  Schools were often an afterthought.   These Germans were admired by the Russian Peasants for their “fine houses, productive farms, good horses, and sleek cattle”.


This is a list of known Katharinental inhabitants. Early settler family surnames are marked with an "*".


From (online)



Following is a picture of the village of Katherinenthal




Today, Katharinental is called Katerinovka.   The Catholic village of Katharinental was founded in 1817 by a group of 17 settlers.  When they arrived at the settlement there was nothing there but the desolate homes or buildings of any sort.  Because of this, the first settlers were winred with other families in the nearby village of Karlsruhe.   The village was laid out in the shape of a "cross" with the two main streets intersecting each other.   The longest street in Katharinental is only about 2km (or 1-1/4 miles) long.  The village was named by General Inzov and was confirmed by the authorities on December 13, 1819.

The Catholic church used to stand in the center of these two intersecting streets.  It was built in 1826 and was taken down in 1970.  The stones from the old church were used to build today's Katharinental museum, the "House of Culture".

This picture depicts where the church once stood, and the bush in the foreground marks where the front door was located.        9/2003


From Quest for Ancestors web site.

 German Russians preserved their distinctive identity, rich culture and heritage across borders and generations.

Following her defeat in the Crimean War, Russia realized that its outdated system of government had to be changed into something resembling a modern state. This led first to the freeing of the serfs in 1861. This in turn led to the ''great reforms" which in 1864 reorganized and democratized local government and reformed the court system, and in 1874 instituted universal military service. The privileges hitherto enjoyed by the German colonists had allowed them to run their own affairs. Russian officials now regarded them as inconsistent with the reforms. In addition, they appeared unfair to the freed Russian serfs who now competed with the colonists as equal subjects. Thus the privileges were revoked in 1871 in the hope that Germans would now participate directly in Russian public affairs. A few years later, Russification efforts under Alexander 111 made inroads into the colonists' schools and discouraged using the German language. Treasuring their own identity and culture and seeking better opportunities elsewhere, many of the German Russians decided to leave. Those immigrating to North America settled throughout the Great Plains from Saskatchewan to Texas. (Germans from Russia Heritage Center)

The Martin and Margaretha’s Jochim family was growing.   They were increasingly dealing with Russian restrictions, rules and taxes.   Increasing mistrust of the Auslanders as well as the economic conditions in Russian led to many reprisals.  Crops were confiscated, young men were forced into the army or sent to prison camps as far away as Siberia.  At the same time the U.S. Congress opened up great reaches of land through the Homestead act.   The land looked a lot like the lands in the Ukraine that were home for so many Germans from Russia.   Immigrant ships began bringing Auslanders to America.    



Martin Jochim



On 6-5-1842 Martin Jochim was born to Johannes Peter Jochim and Margaretha Bohm while they were living in Katherinenthal.  Martin married Margaretha Helferich (b 6-6-1843, d 4-2-1915)  Together they had seven children:

Martin Jochim

       Born 6/5/1842 died 6/16/1901

         Born in Katherinenthal

         Married to Margaretha Helferich (b 6-6-1843, d 4-2-1915)

          Children: John (Johann) M.  (1866-1930.)

                                 Married Caroline Baron

                        Frank (Franz M) (1870 to 1926)

                              Married to Margaret Brameier

                        Francisca (Franziska)1874 to 1929)

                              Married to Frank Barth

                       Philopene (Fillipine) (1877 to 1921

                              Married to Anton Thomas

                       Anna (5/18/1979 to 3/16/60)

                             Married to John Geiger

                       Stefanie or Stephan (5/5/1885 to 12/3/1946)

                             Married to Bertha Schaff

                      Rosa (1886 to 1938)

                             Married to Raphael Schaff

                                  Raphael is the brother of Bertha Schaff


"Anton Thomas, son of Conrad and Kathrin Thomas was born in Russia in 1873.  In 1896

he married Philippina  Jochim.  She was born in Odessa in 1877, the daughter of

Martin and Margaret Jochim.  They came to the United States in 1896 and settled on a

farm east of Fallon.  Mr. Thomas died in 1942; Mrs. Thomas died in 1921.  The

children are:  Dan, Bismarck; Caroline, Mrs. Eugene Logan, St. Petersburg, Fla; and

Annie, Mrs. Thomas Franck, Olympia, Wash."


The picture includes from Back row left: Ralph Schaff, John Geiger, John Jochim, Franz (Frank) Jochim, Arden Thomas and Steve Jochim.

Front row Rose Jochim Schaff, Anna Jochim Geiger, Margaretha Helfrich Jochim (wife of Martin), Philinenia Jochim Thomas, Bertha Schaff Jochim.   The babies are not identified.   However the baby furthest to our right is probably Wilhelmina Minnie Jockim, the eldest daughter of Steve and Bertha Jochim.






BMarch 1881     Alexander II assassinated; Alexander III becomes czar.

April 1881     Pogroms in Elizavetgrad, Kiev, Odessa and other cities.

Summer 1881    First mass emigration; refugees from pogroms gather in Brody, Austria (now Ukraine).

Jan. 1882      Count Ignatyev states The Western frontier is open for Jews, setting off an emigration panic in the Jewish population.

March 1882     Pogrom at Balta (Podolia).

May 1882       May Laws further curtail Jewish rights and restrict the Pale.

Summer 1882    Second wave of emigrants assembles at Brody.

1888-91        New emigrant holding facilities built at Hamburg, Germany.

1891    Expulsion of Jews from Moscow.

1892    Ellis Island opens. Direct passenger service from Odessa and Riga to NY begins.



1871 to 1914. The number of emigrants (to America) increased dramatically during this time period. Emigration had become more affordable while political and economic problems continued. Emigrants came from all areas of Germany, including large numbers from the eastern provinces of Preußen [Prussia]. Emigrants included not only ethnic Germans but also Poles and Jews.




Jan. 1892 Tightening of border controls between Russia and Germany. Emigrants required to have passenger ticket to Hamburg or Bremen, as well as steamship passage.

Aug. 1892 Cholera breaks out at Hamburg Port; border crossing temporarily closed.

October 1894 Alexander III dies; Nicholas II becomes czar.

1901 New emigrant hall opened at Hamburg with direct rail link.

1906 U.S. Naturalization Act. Direct steamship passenger service from Libau to New York begins.






Martin and Margaretha Jochim Come to America


In 1892 Martin (aged 49) and Margaretha (aged 47) Jochim boarded the Belgenland, in Antwerp Belgium for a journey ending in North Dakota. The ships manifest shows they were accompanied by their children Johann (John) (26), Franz (Frank M) aged 22), Francisca (17), Filipine (Philipinne) (14), Anna (11), Stefanie (Stephen) (6), and Rosa (4). Johann appears to have his wife Caroline (27), and two of his children Florentine (3) and Wilhelmia (7 months) with him.   They arrived on June 20, 1892 in New York.   It is interesting that two of Martins sisters Franziska and Maria Eva (Yantzer) died that same year in Russia.





               Belgenland Ship Manifest


Jockim (Jochim)

First Name :   Martin

Last Name :   Jockim

Nationality :   Russia, Russian

Last Place of Residence :   Odessa

Date of Arrival :   June 20th, 1892

Age at Arrival :   49y

Gender :   Male

Ship of Travel :   Belgenland (1878)

Port of Departure :   Antwerp

Manifest Line Number :   0032


FIRST NAME     LAST NAME      GENDER  Age at Arrival Last Place of Residence        Passenger ID

Martin  Jockim  M       49      Odessa, Russia 103450050976

Margaretha     Jockim  F       47      Odessa, Russia 103450050977

Franz   Jockim  M       22      Odessa, Russia 103450050978

Margaretha     Jockim  F       23      Odessa, Russia 103450050979

Francisca      Jockim  F       17      Odessa, Russia 103450050980

Filipine       Jockim  F       14      Odessa, Russia 103450050981

Anna    Jockim  F       11      Odessa, Russia 103450050982

Stefanie       Jockim  F       6       Odessa, Russia 103450050983

Rosa    Jockim  F       4       Odessa, Russia 103450050984

Johann Jockim  M       26      Odessa, Russia 103450050986

Caroline       Jockim  F       27      Odessa, Russia 103450050987

Adam    Jockim  M       4       Odessa, Russia 103450050988

Florentine     Jockim  F       3       Odessa, Russia 103450050989

Wilhelmine     Jockim  F       7m      Odessa, Russia 103450050990


It is believed that they arrived in Ellis Island.  




                                        Bertha Schaff (Yockim)

It is believed that Georg Schaff and Magdeline Schaff were the parents of Valentine Schaff (b 1844), Johann (b1845), Friedrich (1846), Georg (b 1848), Maria Eva (b1848), Mathias (b1854), and Katharina (b 1856).  


It is believed that Johann Schmaltz (b1803) and Elisabetha Schmaltz (b 1806)  were the parents of Jakob Schmaltz (b1826), and Franziska Schmalt (b1836).  It is noted that Jakob Schmaltz was the judge of Spire.    Their children were Barbara (b1849), Franz (b1853) Michael (b 1854 and Anna Maria (b1857).  There are also Anton, Chris, Amelia, Minnie and Frances listed.    -


Mathias married Barbara Smaltz (b1849).   They were the parents of Bertha Edith Schaff (b 2-11-1890) .  Bertha was born in Speyer (Speier), Odessa, Russia.  She died in Hardin, Mt. on 4-14-1967.


This picture is of the Judge Smaltz family.  Back row far left is Mathis Schaff and next to him is Barbara Smaltz.  They are the parents of Bertha Schaff.







Believed to be Bertha Schaff and her sister.




This is a picture of Rose Jochim Schaff  and her husband Ralph Schaff and Stevan Jochim and Bertha Schaff Jochim.  Brother and sister married to brother and sister. 






Bertha Schaff Yockim’s son Floyd wrote of his recollections of stories he had heard from his parents. 


Excerpts from Floyd Yockim history


“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.  It seems

to me that England was one 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.”



The Morton County records indicate that Mathias Schaff was the owner of a tract of land described as Twp. 138 North, Range 89 W., Section 28.  It contained 160 acres.  On the following county map, the Homestead is in the lower left corner of the county. It is located about 5 miles south and 6 miles west of Glen Ullin, North Dakota.




After arranging to be transported to North Dakota, the Jochim’s filed for ownership on land in Morton County, ND.


The records show claims filed by Johan Jochim on Twp. 135 N., Rge 83 W., Sec 10, 160 aces. Twp. 135 N., Rge 82 W., Sec 14, 240 acres Twp. 135 N., Rge 82 W., Sec 2 40.34 acres.  Also Margaritha Jochim filed on Twp. 135 N., Rge 82 Section 2: SWNW and lots 2,3,4  containing  160.86 acres.  Also Stevan Jochim filed a patent on NESW and the S2 SW of Section 2. 


The tracts can be seen by going south of St Anthony on Hwy 6 to the intersection of Hwy 135 west.   Go west 2 miles on 135 to a farm sign with says Fische.  The land is on the north side of the road about 2 miles.  The land appears to be owned by the Gangl family who have a farm on the north side of the road..  There is no longer a maintained road to the property.  One can walk in along the Township line or the abandoned section line.    





Steven Jockim received his citizenship papers dated 5/28/1906. He also received a Patent on a Homestead dated 3/16/1911 signed by President Wm. H. Taft.    He settled for a time on a tract of land adjacent to his parents Martin and Margaretha.  He and Johan Jochim later acquired land from Margaretha their mother.    Stephan conveyed a portion of his interest to Johann Jochim the eldest son of Martin.  In 1/21/1914 he sold his remaining interest to a Peter Port and it appears it is now in the Gangl family.


Many Jochim graves are located in the Fallon cemetary about 10 miles west on Hwy 135.  The cemetery began about 1902 and the first child buried there was a Jochim.  At this time the cemetery and Jochim graves are still cared for by John Jochim Jr.  family.












 There are also Jochim graves in the St Anthony Cemetary including Martin Jochim (dec.1901) and his wife Margaretha (dec 4/2/1915).


Martin Jochim died on June 14 1901.    His wife Margaretha received a Patent on their Homestead filing dated 11/12/1906 signed by President T Roosevelt.    





The inscription at the bottom says Aufgestelt Von Son and then the name J.M. Jochim with his date of birth in 1866.  I think it means J.M. put the stone in place.


Stephen and Bertha Schaff Jochim (Yockim)


Stephen Jochim

      Born 5/5/1885, died 12/3/1946

        Married to Bertha Schaff

            Born 2-11-1890 died 4/14/1967.

            Born in Speyer, Ukraine

            Father was Mathias Schaff (born 1845)

            Mother was Barbara Smaltz (b 1847)

       Children: Wilhelmina (Minnie) Reichert Stobaugh born on 10/17/1909

                                Born in St Anthony, ND, 

                       Magdeline Catharine born on 4/22/1911

                               Married to Earl Wallace

                               Born St Anthony

                       John born 10/3/1913

                               Married to Jorga Canfield

                               Born in St. Anthony, ND

                       Veronica born 10/24/1915

                              Married to Raymond Ledbetter

                              Married to Frank Wilson

                              Born in Flasher, ND

                       Daniel born 11/26/1919

                              Married to Doris Erickson

                              Born in Flasher, ND

                       Thomas Jack born 11/30/1921

                              Married to Marie Koesher

                              Born in Flasher, ND

                        Andrew Floyd born 5/5/1925

                              Married to Violet Yadon

                               Born in Fromberg, Mt

                        Joseph Junior born 11/20/1927

                              Married to Adeline Hanson

                              Born in Billings, Mt

                        Angeline Rose born 3/11/1930

                              Married to John Mrachek

                               Born in Fairview, Mt. 


Steven Jochim sold his interest in the Homestead area in 1914.   We do not know why, and where he lived until he left Flasher.   The Steve Jochim family moved from Flasher, ND to Fromberg, Montana between 1921 and 1925.      


They later moved to Billings, Montana, Fairview, Mt and finally to Williston, ND.   

The Yockims farmed land near Fairview during the 2nd World War. 


Later while living in Williston Bertha lived on the 600 block of 4th Ave W and worked as a cook for the Mercy Hospital in Williston.   The house was located a few blocks from the hospital and Bertha walked to work.   


The record is not clear when the last name was changed from Jochim to Yockim.  It is possible that it was the result of a clerical error in transcribing the name on a birth certificate.  










Caption on photo says it was taken at Grandpas place (Fairview, Mt.) in the summer of 42.  Daniel Yockim is missing from the photo.  He was serving in the Pacific at that time. 






This photo is probably taken in Williston at Bertha Yockim’s house. It includes the 9 children of Steven and Bertha Yockim.  They include Daniel, Floyd, Joseph, Thomas, John, Angeline, Minnie, Magdeline and Veronica.












Frank M Jochim was the 2nd son of Martin and Margaretha.  He married Magaretha Braxmeier.  They came to America on their honeymoon.  They homesteaded along the creek south of Fallon, ND.  Franks 2nd son John F (7/6/1894 to 1973) married Magdalena Brown (1901-1984). 

John Jochim Jr married Kathleen Lamb and they are living on John F. Jochims homestead south of Flasher.  John Jr.s reflection is seen in this wedding photo of what is believed to be Frank M. and Margaretha.













John and Kathleen Jochim and their families were very helpful in providing information on the Martin Jochim family. 







The Heritage Society was very helpful in researching information.   It is located in Bismarck,ND.  While some citations are included in this draft, many others are missing.   Most of my sources were obtained from the Heritage Society archives, ND History magazine and conversations with other family members.