Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Introduction to 1801 Censuses for Chortitza Settlement
Extracted by Tim Janzen
This site makes available a census of the Chortitza Colony in South Russia that was taken on September 1, 1801. The census was compiled under the direction of Peter Siemens who was oberschulz (administrator) of the Chortitza Colony at that time and was apparently based on information supplied to him by mayors of each of the 9 villages. The census lists the names and ages of 1,665 residents of the Chortitza Colony as well as statistical data concerning their possessions. The original document was written in German and may be found on frames 1 to 123 of File #67 of the microfilm of selected files from Odessa Archives, Fund 6, Inventory 1. Additional detailed statistical data about crop production for each head of household is also found on the microfilm in the second half of File #67 but has not been extracted up to this point. The data from this census is available for review as tables of the original census data for each village in which I have attempted to spell people's names exactly as they appeared in the original document.
The data from this census is available for review as tables (see links in File 67) of the original census data for each village, as a compilation of the entire colony, or as a gedcom file which may be downloaded in which the ages of the people mentioned in the census have been converted into approximate years of birth. In the tables of the census data I have attempted to spell names exactly as they appeared in the original document. In the gedcom file the names are also spelled exactly as they appear in the census, except that the umlauts have been converted. To search the gedcom file most effectively I suggest researchers import the gedcom files into the Brother's Keeper program and conduct searches using the name codes as found in Grandma database.
Researchers should note that "diana" is universally substituted for "Anna" in this census. As with the 1795 Chortitza Colony census published by B. H. Unruh, stepchildren are designated as such only part of the time and their actual surnames are given only occasionally. Thus researchers will need to interpret the actual census data found in the tables carefully.
I have noted only one definite error in the ages given in the census. At Neuendorf #12 Abraham Friesen's wife Anna's age is given as 3 in the census. It likely should have been entered as 30 as her age is given as 30 in the 1802 Neuendorf census published by B. H. Unruh. I have placed 2 question marks in the table of the Chortitza village census data in the columns for the number of cattle at households #2 and #3 where the original document is illegible. In reviewing the economic data I discovered that whoever did the addition in the original census made 7 errors in the totals listed at the end of each village. I have put the correct totals in the tables of the census data rather than entering the totals found in the original for these 7 totals. The errors I noted are as follows:
It is important to note that the census taken September 1, 1801 included only the families and servants of landowners and thus some people living in the Chortitza Colony at that time who were not landowners were not included in this census. Many, if not almost all, of the people not included in the September 1, 1801 census were listed, however, in a separate listing of single people and families who were not landowners which was compiled on April 25, 1801. This list is found on frames 1-7 of File #92. Some of the people found in the April 25, 1801 listing were also included in the larger September 1, 1801 census. Unfortunately, the ages of the people found in the April 25, 1801 listing are usually not given. The April 25, 1801 listing is available both as a table showing the original data and as a gedcom file.
If you have any questions about any of this data feel free to contact me.
© 2001 Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta