About Me
Contact Me
Family Trees
Weiss Tree
Fetsch Tree
Schafer Tree
Tichy Tree
The G-R's
Maria Müller
Photo Library
Ukraine 2004
Ukraine 2005
Ukraine 2006
Ukraine 2008
Ukraine 2012
Selz Museum
Selz Jubilee
Germany 2006
Germany 2007
Messer Mystery
Research Help

My Maternal Grandmother - ELIZABETH TICHY 1892 - 1943

Descendants of Joseph Tichy and Magdalena Dorn
  • Joseph Tichy. b. 1850, d. abt 1899 Taku-Eli, Crimea, Russia. 
  • Magdalena Dorn. b. 1862 Wasserau, Prischib colonies, m. 1881 Kherson Catholic Church Parish, d. aft. 1925
  1. Emelia Tichy. 1880, Klosterdorf, Kherson Region
  2. Rose Tichy. d. abt 1918/19, Crimea
  3. Ivan Tichy.
  4. Fyodor (Theodor) Tichy. 1888
  5. Frederick Tichy.
  6. Elisabeth Tichy. 1892 Kherson Region. d. 1943 Medicine Hat, AB
  7. Joseph Tichy. 1893 Lvove Colony, Kherson. d. abt 1921/22, Crimea
  8. Christopher Tichy.
  9. Paulina Tichy. 1896 Lvove Colony
  10. Nikolai Tichy. 1898 Lvove Colony

In the Russian script, “Tichy” looks like this: ТИХИЙ. It looks slightly different in hand-written script, with a “u” replacing the “и”, and sometimes a letter which looks like our “M’ replaces the “T”. In Russian, the word ТИХИЙ means “quiet”.

"Where is Lvove Colony, Kherson Region, Ukraine?"

My Grandmother's Death Certificate

Death of Elisabeth Schafer, 22 June 1943

At the Schafer farm before the burial. (above)

Funeral of Grandmother Elisabeth Schafer, Richmound cemetery, SK

My Grandmother’s Grave, Richmound Cemetery , SK.

Grandfather and Grandmother Philip & Elisabeth Schafer on their farm.

The last known photo of Grandmother before she went into the Hospital in Medicine Hat in June, 1943. (above)

Schafer family photo taken on the day Grandmother Elisabeth went into the Hospital in Medicine Hat . I am guessing my Dad took this photo. L-R: Bill Stock, Aunt Katie, Uncle Jack, Penny (in front of Jack), Philip, Elisabeth, Rose (my Mom), Andrew. Missing is Uncle Nick.

Passport Photo on Grandmother’s Passport, 1924. L-R: Nick, Katie, Elisabeth, Rose, Jack.

Photo taken in Crimea of Elisabeth and her brother, with twins Nick and Katie. Photo ca. 1916

Grandmother’s Passport # 30136 Written in Russian and French, page one.

Page two of Passport showing stamps enroute.

They traveled by train through Riga to the port city of Libau , in Latvia . A small steamer took them to Hull , England . Again by rail, they crossed England to Liverpool, where they departed on the Montlaurier on 26 December, 1924 , headed for Saint John , New Brunswick .



Proletarians of all countries unite!

Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic

Foreign Passport

The bearer of this passport, citizen of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic , Schafer, Elisaveta, Iosifovna, born Tichy, with children:

Nikodemus, 12 years old, Ekaterina, 12 years old, Jakob 5 years old, and Rosalia, 1 year old, is departing for America, Canada.

This passport, with the official stamp of the Department of the Interior is issued to certify the above information and to ensure unrestricted passage. This passport is valid through November 22, 1925 and is issued on November 22, 1924 in the city of Simferopol .

Place of Birth - Kherson
Year of Birth - 1890
Marital status - married

Height: 5 feet, 2 inches
Eyes: brown
Nose: regular
Hair: blonde
Distinctive features: none

Head of the Regional Office of the Department of the Interior: [signature]
Head of the Foreign Section of the Department: [signature]
Official Stamp

This passport is valid for crossing the state border via the Central Frontier Post in Sebezh. Valid through December 22, 1924 .
Passport # 31136 Paid in fees: 20 roubles
Passport Extensions and VISAS:
#2947. Immigrants in transit passing through Latvia to Canada .
Visa expires on December 27, 1924 . 
Date of issue: December 13, 1924 .

Riga , Latvia , December 15, 1924 . Registration # 2666-70. Immigration Officer. [signature] [stamp]
Riga , Latvia , December 17, 1924 . Registration # 2666-70. [signature] 


Declaration Form filled out upon Entry into Canada , 05 January 1925 – page one.

page two.


My mother’s Russian birth certificate – page one.


"So . . . just when was Grandmother Elisabeth Schafer born?"

On her death certificate, information supplied by Grandfather, Elisabeth was born 22 May, 1892 . Having died on 22 June 1943 , her age at death was given as 51 years, 1 month.

On her passport, Year of Birth is given as 1890.

On her Declaration Form, filled out 05 Jan 1925 , her age is given as 34, which coincides with 1890 as Year of Birth.

On my Mother’s birth certificate, (look in Box 8 preceding page) – on 29 July 1923 , Elisabeth’s age is given as 36 years, with birth date of 21 May 1887. Philip’s age is given as 39 years, born on 21 November 1884 . 

Grandmother’s Iron Cross


Church marriage record of Joseph Tichy and Magdalena Dorn. 12 October 1881

Translation of marriage record of Grandmother’s Parents

No. 11

When, Where, Who begins Marriage

1881, October 12, Kherson Roman Catholic Church Parish, Pastor Joseph Baranovsky. Waiting periods of September 21, September 27 and October 4 for the marriage.

What are the names of newlyweds, What are their ages, and what is their religion?

Austrian citizen Joseph Tichy, single, 31 years old, religion Roman Catholic Church and citizen of Dorf Wasserau and girl Magdalena Dorn, 19 years old, Lutheran, arrangement side for marriage.

What are names of the parents and who are the witnesses?

Anton Tichy and Margarita (born Pfoh) legal spouse, their son Joseph Tichy. Johann Dorn and Katherina (born Meinier) legal spouse, their daughter Magdalena Dorn. Joseph Tichy and Magdalena Dorn were married. 

Witnesses Johann Thauberger and Joseph Youst. There were no obstacles to this marriage.

Translation by Valentina Fromm Kramer. Sept 2008


Comments: At the time of marriage, Joseph Tichy was listed as an Austrian citizen, resident of the Lutheran village of Wasserau , in the Prischib colonies 50 km north of Melitopol , Ukraine . Melitopol is about 150 km east of the city of Kherson , Ukraine . The Tichy men were not farmers, and hence had not acquired Russian citizenship. The earliest Tichy for whom I have information was Franz Tichy and he was a “Gebietschreiber”, similar to a municipal administrator of sorts, and he moved around a great deal. An Odessa Archive record also shows him to be a manager of an agricultural estate in the Nikolaev region in 1846. Census records from 1917 indicate two Tichy men had recently applied for Russian citizenship, implying, I have been told, that they had never been property owners. I have no idea what Joseph Tichy was doing in Wasserau, but we know from later birth records of his children, that he was no longer living there.

The Dorns, on the hand, were original settlers in Wasserau when it was colonized in 1805. Friedrich Dorn (44 yrs old in 1811) and his wife Rosina appear on Dr. Karl Stumpp’s list of original colonists for Wasserau. I do not know at this point if Magdalena Dorn was a direct descendant of Friedrich Dorn. Stumpp shows seven Dorn men as emigrating to South Russia in the early 1800’s, but Friedrich is the only one listed as going to Wasserau. Perhaps, Johann Dorn, Magdalena ’s father, was a son to this Friedrich.

Joseph, 31, married Magdalena , 19, in October of 1881. Kherson Church records reveal a daughter, Emelie, born to this couple 06 February, 1880 . Magdalena would have been a young un-wed mother.

My Great-Grandmother Magdalena Tichy, born Dorn - 1862 – d. aft. 1925


This is a copy of a 1917 census card obtained from the State Archives in Simferopol, showing the Archival stamp lower right. I obtained this copy on a personal visit to the Archives with Karolina Fromm in June of 2006. The translation (by Inna Stryukova) follows:

Fond 27, Opus 7, delo 11058, list 77

Tichy, Fyodor Josephovich, a tenant, the village of Anakoi-Eli, Tabuldinskaya volost, Simferopol Uyezd, Taurien Gubernia. 29 years old, was absent for two years at the time of the census, as he was drafted to the army. Married, his wife was 25, his daughter was 3.

Comment: This son of Joseph Tichy, living in Anakoi-Eli in 1917, must be a brother to my grandmother Elisabeth. Based on his age, Fyodor was born in 1888.


Other evidence of Fyodor Tichy. In the Book of Memory (which lists the people who died during World War Two) these names were found:

Tichy, Nikolai Fedorovich, born 1905 in Simferopol , a soldier, was killed 29 April 1944 , buried in Sevastopol area of Crimea .

Tichy, Ivan Fedorovich, born 1928 in Saki district, village of Mikhailovka, Russian, a soldier, was killed 07 October 1944 , buried in city of Kelme , Lithuania .

(translation by Inna Stryukova ) Fyodor Tichy born 1888 would have been quite young to have a son born in 1905, so possibly there is an error somewhere on the ages. Two sons of Fyodor, born 23 years apart, is a strong indication of two different mothers, but not necessarily fact.

Perhaps, it is Fyodor seated with Elisabeth and the twins Nick and Katie, on page 11.


# 126 Name: Joseph Tichy

Date born: 16 November 1893

When, where, who, and how at baptism: 08 September 1897 , in Kherson Roman Catholic Church Parish, a baby named Joseph was baptized by priest Miroslav Zakharchik with the observation of all the ceremonies and sacraments.

Parents, when, and from where, in which parish the baptized was born: Austrian citizen Joseph Tichy and Magdalena born Dorn, legal spouses’ son, born in 1893 on 16 November in the colony of Lvove.

Godparents and those present: Godparents were Antony Tichy and Karolina Dorn.

Translation by Inna Stryukova of Nikolaev , Ukraine . (Inna spelled family name as Tihy.)

Joseph Tichy, 1893 – 1921/22

Inscription on back of photo:
To my godchild, Katerina Philipovich Schafer. From Josef Josefovich Tichy

Name on back of photo: Josef Josefovich Tichy

As children, were told by our mother that this Joseph Tichy starved in Crimea during the first Famine which followed the Revolution in Russia .


Above excerpt from Hilda Riss book, Crimea , Our Fatherland. (Krim – Nasha Rodina). Page 245.

The translation would go like this: (Translation by Valya Fromm Kramer, 13 Dec 2008 )

Tichy, Ceciliya Antonovna, (1890-1955). Born in Terekli-Scheich-Eli, Education elementary. She had a son, Tichy, Peter Josephovich, born 1922. Before war she lived in Terekli-Scheich-Eli and worked in Kolchoss. In 1941 she was deported to Nichniy Tagil. She died in 1955.

Comments: 17 Dec 2008 . This information would suggest that Peter’s father was Joseph Josephovich. If Joseph died during the first Famine, he may already have been dead when his son Peter was born. We were told as children, that Grandmother Elisabeth nursed the baby of her sister Rose (who had died) at the same time that my mother Rose was born in 1923. Uncle Nick talks about this in his video interview with his son Joe.

Heimatbuch 2007 / 2008, published by Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland

Article by Hilda Riss – “Crimean Germans in Labor Camps of Swerdlowsk Region”

Page 85 – Tiche, Paul-Josef d. Jakob. Born 1921 in Tuke-Eli, Suja Raion. Deported in August 1941 to Sokolowsk Raion, north Kazakhstan , mobilized into the Trud Armee 19 Jan 1942. Was in Tagilstroj until 01 Jan 1946 .

Comments: In a letter written to me by the author Hilda Riss in April 2008, she said the mother of Paul Tichy was Cecilia Antonovna. So Paul was either a brother to Peter, or he was the same person, from page 245 of Hilda Riss’s book. To date, I have found no records for a Jakob Tichy, and I assume this is an error. I think this Paul was a son of Joseph Tichy.


# 118. Name: Nikolai Tichy

Date, born / baptized: 14 / 2

When, where, who, and how at baptism: 02 August 1898 , in Kherson roman Catholic church parish, a baby named Nikolai was baptized by priest Adolberg with the observation of all the ceremonies and sacraments.

Parents, when, and from where, in which parish the baptized was born: Austrian Citizen Joseph Tichy and Magdalena born Dorn, legal spouses, son born the same year on 14 June in the colony of Lvove.

Godparents and those present: Godparents were Nikolai Yavorsky and Miklalira Kasberuk.

Translation by Inna Stryukova of Nikolaev , Ukraine . September 2008.


No. 125- Name: Paulina Tichy

Date 21 January, 1896 -Baptised, 8

When, where, who and how was baptized: Eighteen ninety seven, 08 September in Kherson Roman Catholic Church Parish, a baby named Paulina, was baptized by priest Miroslav Zacharchik with the observation of all the ceremonies and sacraments.

Parents, when and from where , i.e. in which parish the baptised was born. Austrian citizen Joseph Tichy’s and Magdalena, (born Dorn). Legal spouses, daughter born 1896, 21 January in the colony of Lvove.

Godparents and those present. Godparents were: Anton Tichy and Karolina Dorn

Translation by Valentina Fromm Kramer. September 2008.


Written on the back side in Russian:

Ivan Josephovitch Tichy with family, wife Karolina, Magdalena and Alexander Tichy. From Magdalena Tichy. (signed by Magdalena in her own handwriting as “Magdalena Tihin”.

Comment: Ivan is the Russianized form of Johann.


Copy of birth/baptism record of Alexander Tichy, son of Ivan (Johann) Tichy and Karolina Schmidt.

# 41 – born / baptized -- 14 / 26

When, where, who and by whom, with water only or all the holy ceremony observed. 26 April 1914 in Simferopol Catholic Church, a baby Alexander by name was baptized by curator Pavel Schubert with all the holy ceremony observed.

Who the parents are, when and where, in which parish the baptized was born. A son of petty bourgeois from Karasubazar, Ivan Tichy and Caroline born Schmidt, a married couple, was born on 14 April the same year in the village of Aisha , Eupatoria uyezd.

Names and ranks of the Godparents and those being present at the ceremony. The Godparents were Alexander Seiferling and his wife Maria.

Comment: The only Alexander Seiferling I have found in the records for this time-frame was married to Elisabeth Ruckhaber . I know from other Church records that Ruckhabers also lived in Anakoj-Eli which connects to the Tichy family. Perhaps Elisabeth was also known as Maria.

Joseph Tichy had a brother named Anton, born ca. 1850’s. Anton Tichy married Karolina Dorn 26 Oct 1872, according to Nikolajew City Parish records. Karolina is most likely a sister to Joseph’s wife.  Karolina is also referred to as Katarina in at least one record.


I have these records for Anton Tichy and Karolina Dorn.

Part One. about Baptised – Anton Tichy

No. 110

Date born Decenber 2, 1880 Baptised January 28, 1883

When, where, who and how was baptized. Eighteen eighty three, Jauary 28 in Kherson Roman Cahtolic Church Parish a baby named Anton was baptized by priest Miroslav Zaharchik with the observation of all the ceremonies sacraments.

Parents, when and from where , i.e. in which parish the baptisedd was born Austrian citizen, Anton Tihy and his wife Karolina (born Dorn) legal spouse a baby son, December 2, 1880 in the Chutor Barschaluvka.

Godparents and those present. Godparents were: Ivan Gernich and his wife Margarita

Part One. about Baptised – Katherina Tichy

Date born 22 Baptised 20

When, where, who and how was baptized. Eighteen ninety two, June 20, in Kherson Roman Cahtolic Church Parish a baby named Kathernina was baptized by priest M. Berleson with the observation of all the ceremonies sacraments.

Parents, when and from where , i.e. in which parish the baptisedd was born. Citizen Anton Tihy and his wife Katherina (born Dorn) legal spouse, a daughter born in this year January 22 in colony Klosterdorf.

Godparents and those present. Godparents were: Johan Benko and his wife Katherina Benko

--translations by Valentina Fromm Kramer, September 2008.


1917 Census Card, Simferopol Archive

(translation by Inna Stryukova )

Fond 529, opus 1, delo 111, list 1413

1. Anton Antonovich Tichy, 34 yrs, Polish-Austrian subject, Catholic, healthy, born in Russia, never been abroad, made a request to be a Russian subject, applied in 1914, had no relatives in the Russian army, was not poor.

2. Eduard Antonovich Tichy, 29 yrs, the same information as above.


St. Petersburg Consistory. 484 – 1 -- 2375 – 297 - # 8 . 16 April 1913 . Bjuten Parish. Eduard Antonovich Tichy married Katarina Heinrich, daughter of Daniel.


St. Petersburg Consistory. 2378 – 143 - # 26 . 27 October 1914 . Bjyten Parish. Friedrich Heinrich, son of Daniel, married Katarina Tichy, daughter of Anton.

These records establish at least three children of Anton Tichy and Katarina Dorn – Anton 1880, Eduard 1885, and Katarina 1892. 


Other Tichy Data:

In the “Book of Memory” of people who perished during WWII, there are two more Tichy men listed:

o Tichy, I.A. , born . . . . . . (can’t read it) district, village of Kainash (Krasnoflotskoye), Russia , a soldier is missing.

o Tichy, Alexander Yakovlevich (Jakob), a sergeant, was killed on 28 March 1942 , buried in the common grave in Prudnikovo.


Tichy, I.A. is likely a son of Anton Tichy. The “I” could be for Ivan or Johann, or it could be for Iosef or Joseph. The birth village of Kainash is interesting because Anna Marie Schafer, a sister to my great-grandfather Anton Schafer, was born in Kainash in 1861. 

To date I have found no Jakob Tichy, so I am wondering if Tichy, Alexander was perhaps the son of Ivan (Johann) Tichy. See birth / baptism record on page 30.


Nikolaev Archives 484 – 1 – 2360 – 81 - # 466 .

Birth of Emilie Karezki, 07 October 1906 in Anakai-Eli.
Father – Martin Karezki, Eupatoria petty bourgeois. Mother – Katherine Kraminski.
Baptism Witnesses – Friedrich Kraminski of Anakai-Eli and Katherine Tige of Anakai-Eli.

Comments: Because Rose Tichy, Grandmother's sister was married to Fred Kraminski, I am guessing that Katherine Tige in this record is actually Karoline Tichy, nee Dorn, wife of Anton Tichy. However, Anton and Karolina also had a Katherine Tichy, born 1892 in Klosterdorf, daughter but she would have been 14 yrs old.


Was Josef Tichy an Austrian citizen? Uncle Jack in his 1994 video-taped interview says his grandfather was born in Austria . Several birth and marriage records refer to Josef as an Austrian citizen. It is likely that Josef’s grandfather was Franz Tichy born before 1800, likely in Austrian Galicia. Today this region is part of western Ukraine , but in Franz Tichy’s time, it was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Records show Franz Tichy to be a municipal secretary, for his signature appears on several documents in the Glückstal colonies. If he never became a land-owner, he would never have acquired Russian citizenship. Therefore, he and his descendants would continue to retain the designation as Austrian citizens. As late as 1914, Anton and Eduard Tichy were referred to as Polish-Austrian subjects, and had applied for Russian citizenship.


History of Lvove Colony

At least three children of Joseph Tichy and Magdalena Dorn were born in Lvove colony, about 50 km east of the city of Kherson , Ukraine . Elisabeth’s passport gives Kherson as her birthplace, but I would interpret this as also being Lvove colony, Kherson parish. Uncle Nick’s memory is that she was born in Taku-Eli where he was born. 

Following is a history of Lvove taken from http://marcusfamilyweb.com/history.html This website also includes a 1877 village map which shows in Household # 65 a “Josef Fiting”. I am wondering if this could not be Tichy, lost in the translation. Is “Fiting” a Jewish name? And of course the interesting question – Why was Joseph Tichy living in a Jewish Colony?

Lvovo was founded in 1841 on the right bank of the Dnepr by Jews from the provinces of Vitebsk and Mogilev in Belarus . At the time of the establishment they received from the government 4,759 desyatins and set up 119 agricultural farms each of an average of 40 desyatins. The number of Jews increased gradually, and after the agrarian reform, reached 1,367 souls in 1879. In 1887 the number of farms in the colony was 181. Because of the severe lack of agricultural equipment and horses and oxen, many families had to rent areas to strangers. So were rented 500 desyatins of the colony’s land. Many tried to leave the place, and the number of farms fell in 1894 to 136 households.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the number of farms rose to 272 (in 1906). In agriculture were engaged then 176 families on an area of 2,760 desyatins, slightly less than half (2402 desyatin) of the area of land which they received at the time of the establishment of the colony. The size of the allotments per farm was not equal. So 175 farms had at their disposal about 10 desyatins, for 51 there were 25 desyatins and only 45 had larger allotments. Amongst them were those who had more than 40 desyatins. Those with less land made a living from hired work on the large farms. Others worked in industry and trade, such as the production of butter, cheese, timber storage, a workshop for blacksmithery and 8 shops. Also there was on the colony a medical attendant and a pharmacy. In 1911 the planting of a vineyard was began by JCA and this improved the income of tens of families. Until the end of the nineteenth century a port was built on the Dnepr River , and from it much agricultural produce was sent, mainly grain. In Lvovo there was a market day on Wednesdays and two fairs per year. Paramedic Moshe Izranson, who lived there in the middle of nineteenth century saved a lot of lifes at the time of cholera and scurvy plagues. A pharmacy was built in Lvovo before the First World War and it was owned by a Jew.

In 1869 a biannual government school was established in the Russian language. There were 107 students and two teachers. Ten years later there were only 76 students of 229 school age children on the colony. In 1880 another school was established with 90 students, but it was closed 15 years later. In 1907 124 students learned in the institution out of 230 school age children. During the second half of the nineteenth century officiated in Lvovo the Rabbis Menakhem Nakhum Sverdlov in the years 1845-1885, and after him in 1886 his son Eliyahu Yehudah. He was still rabbi in 1908.

The Civil War caused a great deal of suffering to the inhabitants of the colony. As a result of the pogroms 65 orphans were left. In the winter of 1920/21 169 people died of starvation and Typhus. In 1922 were died of starvation about 200 Jews. The number of inhabitants and farms decreased, but in the main the livestock was affected. The number of horses decreased from 670 to 100, the number of cows from 330 to 100, and in the colony remained 90 wagons out of a previous 334.

In the middle of the twenties was founded an agricultural cooperative with 566 members. Its purpose was to assist in the restoration of the farms. Likewise there was in the colony a cooperative organization of vintners and bee keepers. At the end of the twenties was established a Kolkhoz called Pobeda Ilicha, into which entered 160 farms (the majority). In 1930 was the regional tractor and the heavy farm equipment station was transferred to Lvovo and it served 18 kolkhozes in the region.

Several tens of families made a living from three flour mills, two dairies, a factory producing bricks and from loading and unloading at the port on the Dnepr River .

In the first half of the twenties Ozet and Joint opened a clinic and small hospital of 10 beds. From the health services benefited also villagers of the region. From February 1920 operated in Lvovo a Jewish village council.

During the twenties many young people left the place and went to the large cities for work and studies. So the population of Lvovo was decreased by one third. In 1931 about 71% of Lvovo Jews were members of the Kolkhoz.

In the study year 1922/1923 a school with Yidish as teaching language was opened and 120 children learned in it with three teachers. In 1926 113 children learned there. Over a year the number of students increased to 149. During the first half of the thirties the school was enlarged and in 1941 studied in it 158 children with 9 teachers. During the twenties a school for uneducated adults operated. In 1926 the agricultural school from Kalinindorf was transferred to Lvovo. Assistance in setting it up in the early years was given by Agrojoint and Ozet. The institution had the use of several tens of desyatins, ten horses and agricultural equipment. In 1927 studied there about 70 students aged 16 to 21. In 1932/33 studied in the Agrotichnikum about 200 students, some of them not from Lvovo. In the same year graduated 80 agronoms. The institution had a dormitory and living there in 1939 were ten students. The school existed until June 1941. From 1923 there was there an orphanage with 39 children, of them 27 with no parents. This institution was manged by two teachers. During the second half of the thirties, many left the settlement and many houses stood empty. In 1927 the school was closed by authorities.

After the outbreak of war between the Soviet Union and Germany , and with the advance of the front, 300 people managed to evacuate. The Germans captured Lvovo on the 24th of August 1941 . On the 16th of September 1941 Germans murdered 404 Jews, on the 11th of October were murdered 70 more Jews and on the 2nd of November were murdered 70, in total 564 people from Lvovo and nearby places, mainly women, children and elderly. Lvovo was liberated on the 12th of March 1944 . A monument was erected in memory of the murdered. About 138 of the people of Lvovo served as soldiers in the Red Army, most of them Jews. 55 of them fell in the war. 123 were decorated with medals. At the end of 1990s lived in Lvovo a number of Jewish families.

Courtesy of: Albert Kaganovich



Franz Tichy

Franz Tichy had come to the Glückstal District by 1821, probably from Austrian Galicia. He was the Gebietschreiber (district secretary) on a District report dated 18 Jan. 1822 (SAOR File 252-1-463), regarding 1819-1820 new immigrants from Galicia , including a Namenlichte Liste (Name List) of those immigrants quartered in the Glückstal District [unpublished report, in German and Russian]. He also prepared a Population Report dated June 1826 [Glückstal3, Appendix C]. He also prepared the 1830 Kassel Anna hme [Glückstal1, pp. 251-254]. He married about 1821 to Margaretha Geckenheimer, who appeared in the 1818 Glückstal Census, having arrived with her family in 1817 [1818 GlkCensus]. They had three children in Glückstal, 1833-1836 – Augustina Rosina (b. 8 Nov. 1833 ; d. 29 May 1834 ); Franz #1 (b. 11 March, d. 27 March 1835 ); Rosalia (b. 18 Feb. 1836 ). Apparently Franz Tichy moved his family to Nikolajew Province in 1836-1837.

A son, Franz Tichy, was born in Michailowka on 20 Nov. 1837 (Nikolajew Parish record). Michailowka may be the Falz-Fein estate (now Mihajlivka) located south of Cherson City near the Crimean Peninsula, or it may be a Ukrainian town (now Mikolaivka) located about 100 km northwest of Nikolajew City, about 28 km south of Wosnesensk, west of the Pivdennij (Eastern) Bug River. Because of evidence that later generations of the Tichy family eventually lived in several Crimean villages, Michailowka was probably the Falz-Fein estate. On this birth record, Franz Tichy was listed as a Catholic Oesterreicherisch Unterthan (Austrian citizen), with his wife, Margaretha Geckenheimer, as Lutheran. [LDSStP]

A daughter, Maria Christina Friederika Tichy (b. 27 Jan. 1827 , Glückstal), was confirmed in Odessa on 14 June 1842 . She married in Odessa on 19 Oct. 1847 to Johann Jacob Forsch (a.k.a. Johannes, shoemaker from Freudental). Several children were born and died in Odessa , from 1848 to the 1870s. Johann Jacob Forsch died in Odessa on 4 Feb. 1877 (b. ca. 19 Feb. 1820 in Freudental). The Forsch-Tichy family is found in the 1841-1860 Odessa City Family Book, page 113 (SAOR File 630-1-355), listing six children born in Odessa City , 1848-1853 [OdCityFamBk1].

By 1843, Franz Tichy had moved his family to Alt Postal, Bessarabia , where his wife died. Margaretha (Geckenheimer) Tichy died on 2 March 1843 , age 42 (b. ca. 1800), born in Hagsfeld, Karlsruhe , Baden . No further documentation has been found to reveal where Franz Tichy might have moved after his wife died. However, it appears that a member of his family lived in Glückstal in 1844.

In 1844, Anton Tichy and his wife, Margaretha Pfoh, had a child in Glückstal – Maria Margaretha Tichy, who was born in Glückstal on 31 March 1844 ; both parents were labeled as evangelical religion. How this family fits in the Tichy family is not known; however, it is assumed that Anton was the son of Franz Tichy and Margaretha Geckenheimer, probably born in Glückstal ca. 1821-1823. Margaretha Pfoh was probably a Catholic from München or Rastadt [Stumpp1, pp. 394 & 785]. She may be the daughter of Joseph Pfoh (1816 München RL:36, age 21, son of Michael Pfoh from Hilsbach, Sinsheim, Baden ). The fate of this family is not known, but they apparently initially moved to Nikolajew Province .

An Anton Tichy married in Nikolajew Parish on 26 Oct. 1872 to Katharina Dorn. A Josephine Tichy married in Alt-Schwedendorf Parish on 27 Nov. 1881 to Johann Matteika; and an Alois Tichy married in Nikolajew Parish on 2 Nov. 1882 to Elisabeth Mateika. It is assumed that the later two couples are sister and brother marrying brother and sister. These three Tichys could be the children of Anton Tichy and Margaretha Pfoh, born in unknown locations in Nikolajew Province between 1850 to 1860.

It is known that the Tichy family name was in Crimea . In the 1917 Census for the village of Taku-Eli, two Tichy brothers were listed – Anton Antonovitch Tichy, age 34 (b. ca. 1883), Polish-Austrian subject, Catholic, born in Russia, never been abroad, made a request to become a Russian citizen; and Eduard Antonovich Tichy, age 29 (b. ca. 1888), same information as his brother. These brothers, whose father's name was Anton, may be sons of Anton Tichy and Katharina Dorn, who married in Nikolajew Parish in 1872. The Tichy family was also in the village of Anakoi-Eli , Tabuldinskaya volost, Simferopol Uezd. The 1917 Census lists Fyodor Josephovitch Tichy, age 29 (b. ca. 1888), a tenant in Anakoi-Eli, who was absent for two years as he had been drafted into the army. His sister, Elisabeth Tichy (b. 1892 Anakoi-Eli; d. 1943), was the grandmother of Merv Weiss , a descendant of Franz Weiss from 1816 GRL :32, who moved to Selz, Odessa Province ca. 1817. It is probable that the father of Fyodor and Elisabeth Tichy, Joseph Tichy, was a son of Anton Tichy and Margaretha Pfoh.

I believe that Franz Tichy was on the Falz-Fein estate of Michailowka in 1837 when his son, Franz was born. This estate is found on Stumpp's Nikolajew Gebiet map, south of the city of Cherson , not far from the neck of land leading into the Crimean Peninsula . If I am correct on this location, it might help explain why the Tichy family eventually was found in Nikolajew Province and then in Crimea .


Comments: subsequent to Tom’s work, I learned that Joseph Tichy was married to Magdalena Dorn, and their marriage record clearly lists Joseph’s parents as Anton Tichy and Margaretha Pfoh. This information helped us to build the Tichy family groups. The un-proven hypothesis is that the Anton Tichy who married Margaretha Pfoh is indeed the son of Franz Tichy and Margaretha Geckenheimer.

Tom Stangl is a prominent researcher of the Germans from Russia . Much of his research has been concentrated in the Glückstal Colonies. My Weiss ancestor, Franz Weiss, lived in the colony of Glückstal from 1805 to 1817, and this is how I first met Tom. Years later, our research paths would cross again with my ancestor Franz Tichy. I am extremely grateful for Tom’s work in connecting my Tichy information to his. It is quite likely that my 3rd Gr-Grandfather Franz Tichy knew my 3rd Gr-Grandfather Franz Weiss during the time that both were living in Glückstal in the early 1800’s.

20 Mar 2009. Three more files have recently been located in Odessa State Archives showing the signature of Franz Tichy.


Found in Odessa Archives by Sergey Yelizarov

File 6-1- 8714

"On priest Doll's request as for 83 Roubles 50 Copecks debt to be exacted from foreigner TICHY"


A letter No 124 dated October 24, 1846 of Nikolayev Evangelical divisional priest addressed to the Board Chairman where he asks to exact from foreigner Franz Tichy holding a clerk office at one of the colonies within the Board jurisdiction, 80 Roubles in assignations borrowed from the petitioner several years ago when he, Tichy served as a manager at the estate of admiral Greig. Over that he, the petitioner last year in Odessa gave Tichy 3 Roubles 50 Copecks in assignations more and as a result he, Tichy owes him 83 Roubles 50 Copecks so the petitioner asks for soonest exaction of the amount mentioned.

/Novaya Odessa/

Comments: From 1816 to 1833, Admiral Elexey Greig (or Grieg) was Military Governor of Nikolaev. It appears from the above record that he had a private estate somewhere in the area around Nikolaev, and that my ancestor Franz Tichy was the manager for this estate around 1840 to 1845. Determining the location of this estate will be part of my on-going research. 


Next Steps – researching the family and location origins of Franz Tichy, born late 1700’s?

This Family Group Record can be found at familysearch.org 

Franz Tichy, born 1712, Kunstat , Moravia , Czechoslovakia
Married 30 Apil 1761 in Kunstat , Moravia
+Marina Kada, born about 1740 in Kunstat , Moravia , Czechoslovakia

· Johann Tichy, christened 24 Jun 1761 , Kunstat , Moravia
· Anna Tichy, christened 14 Apr 1768 , Kunstat
· Franz Tichy, christened 18 Aug 1770 , Kunstat
· Georg Tichy, christened 31 Mar 1744 , Kunstat


Descendants of Franz TICHY:

Franz TICHY b. bef 1800
+ Margaretha GECKENHEIMER b. abt 1800 m. abt 1821 d. 1843

I. Anton TICHY b. abt 1823 **un-documented ASSUMPTUION
+ Margaretha PFOH

1. Maria Margaretha TICHY b. 1844

2. Joseph TICHY b. 1850 d. abt 1899
+ Magdalena DORN b. 1862 m. 1881 d. aft 1925

a. Emelia TICHY b. 1880
b. Rose TICHY d. abt 1918/19
c. Ivan TICHY
d. Fyodor (Theodor) TICHY b. 1888
e. Fredrick TICHY
f. Elisabeth TICHY b. 1892 d. 1943 -- my maternal grandmother
g. Joseph TICHY b. 1893 d. abt 1921/22
h. Christopher TICHY
i. Paulina TICHY b. 1896
j. Nikolai TICHY b. 1898

3. Anton TICHY b. 1850's
+ Katharina/Karolina DORN m. 1872

a. Anton Antonovich TICHY b. 1880
b. Eduard Antonovich TICHY b. 1885/86
c. Katharina Antonovna TICHY b. 1892

4. Josephine TICHY b. 1850's
+ Johann MATTEIKA m. 1881

5. Alois TICHY b. 1850's
+ Elisabeth MATTEIKA m. 1882

a. Josef Aloisii TICHY c. 1887

II. Maria Christina Friederika TICHY b. 1827
+ Johann Jakob FORSCH b. 1820 m. 1847 d. 1877

1. Theresie FORSCH b. 1852 d. 1875
2 . Marie FORSCH b. 1856 d. 1878
3 . Caroline FORSCH b. 1858 d. 1871
4 . Julie FORSCH b. 1864
5 . Mathilde FORSCH b. 1870 d. 1871

III. Augustina Rosina TICHY b. 1833

IV. Franz # 1 TICHY b. 1835 d. 1835

V. Rosalia TICHY b. 1836

VI. Franz TICHY b. 1837


The DORN Family

Researching my Tichy family background lead to the Dorn family, and I know now that my grandmother Elisabeth Tichy was a first cousin to:

1. Johann Dorn who married Jakobina Schafer – Schuler, Lancer
2. Elisabeth Dorn who married Peter Ries – Fox Valley , Liebenthal
3. Rose Dorn who married John Grünwald. – Fox Valley , Richmound
4. Gustav Dorn (see photo)
5. Anna Dorn who married “Bulekarb” ? (see photo) – no further information.

 All five Dorns above were children of Johann Dorn(1851) and Maria Benko.

Johann Dorn (1851) died in 09 Jan 1907 in Anakoi-Eli. I have a copy of the death record. He was known to the Trotsky family, cited in Leon Trotsky’s book “My Life”, Chapter II, page 32:

"The German settlers constituted a group apart. There were some really rich men among them. They stood more firmly on their feet than the others. Their domestic relations were stricter, their sons were seldom sent to be educated in town, their daughters habitually worked in the fields. Their houses were built of brick with iron roofs painted green or red, their horses were well bred, their harness was strong, their spring carts were called “German wagons.” Our nearest neighbor among the Germans was Ivan Ivanovich Dorn, a fat, active man with low shoes on his bare feet, with a tanned and bristling face, and gray hair. He always drove about in a fine, bright-painted wagon drawn by black stallions whose hoofs thundered over the ground. And there were many of these Dorns."


written on the back in Russian: 01 February 1918 . To my dear friend Philip Antonovich Schafer from his friend, Gustav Ivanovich Dorn, as a memento.

Comments: I do not know which of these men is Gustav Dorn. I do not know the other soldier. February 1, 1918 was an historic day in Russia . It was the day the Lenin administration decreed that Russia discontinue the use of the Julian calendar, and convert to the Gregorian calendar used by the western world. So February 1, 1918 was declared to be February 14, 1918 , moving Russia ’s calendar ahead 13 days. In academic reports you will often see a date followed by O.S or N.S., meaning “old style” or “new style”. Thus a record found in an archive with the date 22 May 1892 would be written in an academic report as 22 May 1892 O.S. The change in calendar dates has lead to much confusion as to “what day exactly was Grandfather born?” Some emigrating pioneers gave their birth-dates “old- style”, and some gave them “new style” with 13 days added.


L-R: Johann Dorn & Jakobina (Schafer), Peter Ries & Elisabeth (Dorn), John Grünewald & Rosa (Dorn). Early Homestead days in south-western Saskatchewan .

written on the back in Russian: To my relative-in-law, Philip Antonovich Schafer, in memory of his father, from me, Bulekarb Bulekarbovich Anakov and Anna .

Comments: I believe this is Anna Dorn and her husband, because of the reference to being a relative by marriage, rather than a direct genetic relative. Philip’s father, Anton Schafer and my great-grandfather, died in February 1908, according to oral family history.


Descendants of Johann DORN

I. Johann DORN
+ Katherina MEINERT

1. Johann DORN b. 1851 d. 1907
+ Maria BENKO

1-1. Rose DORN b. 1882 d. 1966
+ John GRÜNWALD b. 1883 m. 1906 d. 1953

a. Walter GRÜNWALD
b. John Jr. GRÜNWALD b. 1910 d. 1988
c. Katherine GRÜNWALD b. 1913 d. 2004
d. Joseph GRÜNWALD b. 1914 d. 1973
e. Peter GRÜNWALD b. 1916 d. 1944
f. Elizabeth GRÜNWALD b. 1917
g. Mary GRÜNWALD b. 1919 d. 1983
h. Ann GRÜNWALD b. 1920 d. 1930
i. Lena GRÜNWALD b. 1922 d. 1991
j. Adam GRÜNWALD b. 1924 d. 1989
k. Sam GRÜNWALD b. 1925 d. 1972

1-2. Johann DORN b. 1885 d. 1926
+ Jacobina SCHAFER b. 1880 d. 1933

a. Gottlieb DORN b. abt 1905 d. abt 1977
b. Phyllis (Philippina) DORN b. 1911 d. 1972
c. Rosie DORN b. aft 1911
d. Mary DORN
e. Sally DORN
f. Ann DORN
g. John DORN

1-3. Elizabeth DORN b. 1887 d. 1928
+ Peter RIES d. abt 1967

a. Rosalia RIES b. 1908
b. Beatrice (Beata) RIES b. 1911
c. Elizabeth RIES b. 1916 d. 1952
d. Peter RIES
e. Phyllis RIES b. 1917

1-4. Gustav DORN c. 1889

1-5. Anna DORN b. 1892

2. Katharina/Karolina DORN
+ Anton TICHY b. 1850's m. 1872

2-1. Anton Antonovich TICHY b. 1880

2-2. Eduard Antonovich TICHY b. 1885/86
+ Katherina HEINRICH m. 1913

2-3. Katharina Antonovna TICHY b. 1892
+ Friedrich HEINRICH m. 1914

3. Magdalena DORN b. 1862 d. aft 1925
+ Joseph TICHY b. 1850 m. 1881 d. abt 1899

3-1. Emelia TICHY b. 1880

3-2. Rose TICHY d. abt 1923

3-3. Ivan TICHY
+ Carolina SCHMIDT

a. Magdalena TICHY
b. Alexander TICHY b. 1914

4 Fyodor (Theodor) TICHY b. 1888
+ (---) (unknown)

a. Nikolay TICHY b. 1905 d. 1944
b. Ivan TICHY b. 1928 d. 1944

5 Fredrick TICHY

6 Elisabeth TICHY b. 1892 d. 1943 -- my maternal grandmother
+ Philip SCHAFER b. 1887 m. abt 1911 d. 1956

a. Nickodemus SCHAFER b. 1912 d. 1992
b. Katherina SCHAFER b. 1912 d. 2001
c. Philip SCHAFER b. 1916 d. aft 1943
d. Jacob SCHAFER b. 1918 d. 1995
e. Ann SCHAFER b. 1919/22
f. Rose SCHAFER b. 1923 d. 1990

7 Joseph TICHY b. 1893 d. abt 1921/22
+ Cecilia Antonovna (---) b. 1890 d. 1955

a. Paul-Josef b. 1921
b. Peter TICHY b. 1922

8 Christopher TICHY

9 Paulina TICHY b. 1896

10 Nikolai TICHY b. 1898


One of my favorite photos of Crimea , taken near Simferopol on the road from Sevastopol . 2005

Konstantin Ponomarenko was born in Anakoj-Eli in 1921, two years before my mother. Here we had to cross the Burul’cha River to get to the site where the village once stood. June 2005

Standing on the site of Anakoj-Eli. You can see a bend of the Burul’cha River. Behind us to the north, the buildings mark the site of Taku-Eli, the village where Grandmother’s mother lived. 2005.

Looking towards the south from Anakoj-Eli. I took this photo to show the beginnings of the Yalta Coast mountains in the distance, which my grandfather would have looked at every day. Yalta is about 72 km in a straight-line from Anakoj-Eli.


--as remembered by Konstantin Ponomarenko
-- story and letters translated by Inna Stryukova
-- editing by Merv Weiss , November 06, 2005 .

The lovely Burulcha River begins in the mountains of southern Crimea . In winter it is small and does not have much water. But when spring comes and the snow begins to melt in the mountains, the river gets bigger and its water flows all over the valley. In this beautiful valley there were many small villages which had been part of Karasu-Bazar or Kai-Ma Khan’s estate. The villages had names which were given to them by the Tatars. Burulcha district consisted of 25 villages, including Anakoj-Eli, Tuku-Eli, Sarachel, Staraya Burulcha, Novaya Burulcha, and the village of Baraskhan in between them, Karlovka, Arganchuk, and others. Along with other villages in the valley, there were also the villages where mainly the German population lived. They were Terekli-Shikel, Kerklech, Rosental, Neusatz, and others.

After Crimea had been joined to the Russian Empire in 1783 the tsarist government started populating the peninsula. Part of the Tatar population emigrated to Turkey . During this time, both Russian and Ukrainian families moved into these Crimean villages. At the beginning of the 19th century, foreigners were allowed to settle in Crimea , under very advantageous conditions. Thus, Germans, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenian, and others appeared in Crimea . Among the villagers in Anakoj-Eli there were two Tatar families, the Estonian family, the Gypsy family, Russians and Germans. Everyone got along well. Those who were richer helped families with many children, and widows of soldiers who had been killed during World War I. 

The land in our valley, thirty thousand hectares, was owned by landlord Rusov, who lived in Odessa . Later all the land belonged to landlord Dick. The manager was a Schmidt. In 1924, according the Decree on Land, the land was confiscated from landlord Dick and given to the peasants. He fled to France . The four-year Civil War, which began really in 1914, was over in Crimea in 1920. There were many foreign war prisoners in Crimea at that time.

Staraya Burulcha was the capital village because it was the landlord’s estate. His three two-storeyed houses were situated there, one for the landlord, and two for his workers. There were also other dwelling houses, grain-storage buildings, a stable, a blacksmith shop, a carpentry shop, a canteen and dining area, and barns for livestock. The stockyards were surrounded by high fences.

Anakoj-Eli was situated on the hills on the right bank of the Burulcha River . There were about 25 houses there, the design of which was rather primitive. They were built of stone and “kalyb”. Kalyb was a mixture of clay and finely cut straw. They kneaded it with the help of horses, or by feet. Then they put it into moulds and left it to dry. All the new settlers built this way. The houses in Anakoj-Eli were covered with the soil and ash on top. The floors were also covered with soil. In the middle of the house there was a stove. People used straw and sunflower stalks for fuel. In summer, those people who had livestock made small blocks of manure and dried them on the stone fences, on the barns and other farm buildings. I do not know why, but people did not cut wood [for fuel]. 

The citizens of Anakoj-Eli were mainly farmers. They had vegetable gardens which they watered bringing the water from the creek. There was a meadow which provided them with grass and hay. They divided it between the farmers. There was also the “fund” land which was given to the people who lived near the forest. The farmers of the village grew grains, vegetables and orchard crops. The Germans grew much corn. The main food was the corn flour which they mixed with wheat and baked the so-called cornbread.

The holidays, weddings, birthdays, and baptisms were celebrated together. The Orthodox believers visited the Russian Church . The Tatars went to the Mosque. There were also Prayer Houses. The weddings were big events because the villages were small at that time and all the villagers were invited. Before the Revolution of 1917 there were only church weddings. The nationality was not important. In Anakoj-Eli, there was a family where Yuri was Russian, and his wife, Philomena, was German. 

The main holidays were the New Year, Christmas, Easter and Baptisms. A very important holiday was Pokrov [1] . Everybody was looking forward to this holiday. All the workers were hired until Pokrov, on the eve of which, the masters had to pay the workers, who then left for their homes. Only the native villagers remained. The wages were very low, but the money seemed to be enough.

Before the Revolution, the farmers used horses and oxen to plough the land. The first tractor, as far as I remember, appeared in Anakoj-Eli about 1927. It was given to the village for a short time, but then it was taken away. I do not remember why or where it went. The formation of the collective farms started in 1927. Many of the Germans had already left, some to Germany , others to Canada and America . The productivity of the collective farms was low in the first years of the collectivization. Since the 1930’s the so-called machine and tractor stations were formed. They worked for the collectives and the state farms. Soon the collective and state farms began to own their own sowing and threshing machines and later the tractors. Before World War II, the collective in Staraya Burulcha had three cars. The life of the farmers was getting better but the peaceful development was interrupted by the war with Finland first and then with Germany . The World War II lasted for four long years and brought hardships and sufferings to all the nations in Europe .

My parents came to Crimea on foot and lived there all their lives. They could not go back to Ukraine because their parents died early. They were 14 years old when they came at the end of the 19th century. I would like to say that the German nation was, is and will be noted for being very hard-working, educated, and I would say, very cultured.

[1] Pokrov is the Feast of the Protection of the Virgin. It marks the end of the harvest and beginning of winter. At this point, the harvest is essentially over and the last fruits to ripen, the pumpkins, are picked on this day. Another custom was to not cut down the last sheaf of wheat from a year’s harvest. It was decorated with ribbons and left standing in the field, until the following spring, when it was plowed uunder. This ensured the fertility of the spring planting. 

Not part of Konstantin’s remembrances of Anakoj-Eli, but included in a second letter from Konstantin, are his thoughts regarding other features of Crimean history.

When I was born [1921] there was a terrible famine in Russia and Ukraine . My mother told me that America had helped Russia , Ukraine and Crimea . We are so grateful for that aid. We remember it and tell every new generation about it. There was another famine in 1933. Many people died including innocent children. After the war, in 1946-1947, food was very scarce in our country. I came back home from the Front and found out my family had no bread. This is how all people suffer from war.

We came back from the Front and began to build up the economy destroyed by the war. We were happy. Our lives were improving every year. But our government made a big mistake by launching thousands of missiles to develop our military potential. Praise the Lord the third world war did not happen. All that expensive military equipment would be of better use by turning it into scrap metal to build ploughs and combines.

In 1991 another stupid thing was done, a strange and unnecessary Perestroika. Before perestroika, everything was well organized. We had good yields of crops. Industries were productive. Food and education were free. And then suddenly, within five to ten years, all good things achieved with such difficulty were ruined, upset and stolen. Millions of un-employed appeared in the country. It was all so stupid. And nobody is responsible for anything. It was decided to give the land to the people. But the farmers do not have the equipment to work, and they do not have the money to buy it. People lost their savings in the banks due to the devaluation of our currency. Few people want to work on the farms. The young people tend to move to the cities. The collective and state farms have been destroyed. It is not profitable to raise cattle, grow vegetables and fruit. The salaries are low and people have to go abroad to earn money. Who will grow the crops? The prices for fuel and for machines have practically killed farming. That is the result brought to us by perestroika and the market economy which we cannot understand. Ten percent of the population got rich, and the rest became poor and un-employed. 


October 2008. I helped Konstantin publish a book about his experiences as a Soviet soldier during World War II, based on a daily diary which he kept for five years.

Konstantin Ponomarenko is a much-decorated and celebrated Soviet war hero from World War Two. He was wounded four times. He showed me a deep chest scar from the Battle of Stalingrad. He was part of the Russian occupation forces in Austria . He is also a much-celebrated writer and poet. He has sent me many poems. I am including two below in which he talks about my visit to Crimea .


Poem by Konstantin. 29 Nov 2005. Russian-English translation by Inna Stryukova.

Shefer lived in Russia ,
He served the Russian Tzar.
He defended his Russian homeland
When Napoleon started the war.

Merv Weiss flew from Canada,
It wasn’t his first trip.
To Crimea he came,
Liking everything here.

His ancestors lived in Crimea ,
And the people worked very hard.
So he paid tribute to the land
Where is ancestors used to live.

He searched for his mother’s birthplace,
That place he decided to visit.
A place with a river full of trout,
The village of Anakoy-Eli.

The love for his mother was very abundant,
His memories of her returned, they often did.
So he wanted to see that place,
The village where she was born.

Now he’s in the village,
His heart begins to sing,
He stands alone here, his Patti he did leave,
She waits for him alone, he knew she would.

His daughters and their husbands,
Were also left at home.
Standing on the bank, looking at the river,
He wanted them to see it too.

Now he shows me the document,
My father’s handwriting I saw.
He signed their visas,
Then hurried to the train station.

Yes, our ancestors lived in Crimea ,
They didn’t know each other.
It makes me very happy,
That I have found a brother.

Now here lives Konstantin,
The only person left.
As once our houses stood nearby,
As the apple trees bloomed in the garden.

The village is gone,
Only the railway station is left.
But, Yes, there once was a village here,
It’s people were poor, but they enjoyed their life.

The River Burulcha flows here,
The people ploughed the land.
Little rain brought summer draught,
So they moved to other places.

The land belonged to a land baron,
As thatch grew along the river.
So gardens grew along the river,
So no one expected any trouble.

Now the war was near,
People couldn’t sleep.
They suffered because of the war,
Enough was enough, they decided to immigrate.

My story goes on,
Our mother’s village was found.
Because our ancestors once lived here,
I took a handful of soil.

We couldn’t communicate,
So, Valya and Inna helped us.
We’re thankful to them,
Praise God they were with us.

The telephone is a handy thing,
It rang while at Shura’s.
An old lady was found,
Who said she knew me.

Konstantin was sad when he stopped here,
Because, during the war he kept a diary.
He wanted to type it but could not,
Merv Weiss said that he would.

The diary said many things,
It told of brother-in-arms.
Of fighting and of dying,
As they defend their motherland.

So don’t blame me,
For being in the war.
We soldiers are not to blame,
Or are they guilty.

We must obey their orders,
It seemed we died many times.
Before some took their last breath,
To defend our precious land.

So now my story is done,
As the table is ready for dinner.
Good wine is waiting for us,
As are the stories of those distant days.


Crossing the Burul’cha River on Highway M17 east of Simferopol . Oct 2008.


A CANADIAN COMES, by Konstantin Ponomarenko.

A Weiss family heart stands by the River,
In great anticipation and deep in thought,
He thinks, the years pass, a village disappears,

He came to pay tribute,
His ancestors of long ago
A place where she was born,
A place where she lived.

His mother died a long time ago,
Sorry she was so young!
His mind has a vivid imagination,
He clearly sees her image.

As he stands by the river, deep in thought,
He thinks of his mother,
While Konstantine dances
With a lady from Dakota.

He can feel her hand
Touch his hair tenderly,
Like a wonderful misty dream,
Almost hearing her voice.

Her father puts on his boots,
And takes Rosa to the River,
And this water is from the Burulcha,
It’s the same as they used to drink.

So, a bottle left for Canada ,
To taste and have a drink,
And for his complete fulfillment
There is no greater gift.

END OF PAGE --(page created 21 Mar 2009)