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John Repp Mar 1884 Yagodonay Polyana m Julianna Weitz
Posted by: Richard Repp (ID *****8811) Date: July 19, 2006 at 07:11:05
  of 209

Any information? I found a Geneology of Julianna, but not John.

John Repp Mar 1884 Yagodonay Polyana, Russia d 1953 Colfox Wa.
Julianna Weitz b. Jan 13, 1886 in Yagodnaya Polyana, Russia d: 1933 in Colfax, WA

Children

........................................7 Peter Repp b: Abt. 1905 WA _.
.......................................7 Henry Repp b: Dec 9, 1907 Colfax, WA _
........................................7 John Repp b: Jul 12, 1909 Colfax, WA _
........................................7 female Repp b: Colfax, WA_
........................................7 Philip Repp b: Oct 12, 1917 Colfax, WA_
........................................7 Frank Repp_
........................................7 Adam Repp_.
.......................................7 female Repp_
........................................7 female Repp_
........................................7 Alex Repp_
........................................7 female Repp

In 1763 Catherine the Great of Russia issued her second Manifesto inviting German colonists into her county. She promised freedom of religion, immunity from all taxes, draft exemption and land possession "for eternal time." Catherine's careful scheme to convince the impoverished German masses to emigrate to Russia involved the establishment of numerous recruiting offices. Leaflets were distributed enticing citizens to leave for Russia. Transportation costs were paid by the Russian Crown, and emphasis was put on the desirability of colonist with families.

Thousands of emigrants gathered in Budingen, Hesse Germany in the summer of 1766 before beginning the long trip to the Volga River Valley where eventually 104 colonies were established. They traveled for over a year through the harsh environment, wintering in Russian homes to reach the steppes of Russia. On August 28, 1767 the Russian Cossack officer told the German colonist this was there home, some 400 southeast of Moscow and 50 miles from Saratov, the capitol of the province.
Without houses or trees, this was not the paradise they had envisioned. This was the beginning of Yagodnaya Polyana (Yagoda) or Berry Meadow. Eighty families made up of 269 souls, of the Lutheran faith were the founders of Yagodnaya Polyana. The youngest, Anna Margarethe Morasch was just 8 days old. The colony would be built with only rough-hewn tools and determination. A Russian peasant taught the inexperienced Germans how to make earth houses, which were simply big holes in the ground covered with lumber from the wagons. That first winter Germans ate all the seed wheat they had brought to plant and large packs of marauding wolves added to the frightful conditions. The infant mortality rate was unusually high during that first year. After the spring floods forced them out of the dugouts, provisions were brought which included agricultural implements and saws. Until 1775 the population of Volga region declined due to the harsh conditions. Luckily, Yagodnaya was located far enough north to avoid the devastation of many villages by Pugachev, a mentally deranged Cossack and the Kirghiz, native tribes.

Divorced from their fatherland, the Germans turned inward to form an isolationist attitude that would characterize their behavior for years to come. The church was the center of community life. The village's immense beautiful church was built in 1858. In spite of difficulties, German farmers began a general trend of continued progress. Since Yagodnaya soon became the largest town in the area, the county seat was established there. By 1912, the population had shot up to 8,845 with nearly 100% church membership. A family with eight or more children was not uncommon. Since parents restricted children's names to traditional Christian ones, all males were usually christened Adam, Konrad, Peter, Henry, George or John and females were generally named Katherine, Anna, Elisabeth or Marie. Since relatively few new people came to the town, surnames also became widespread. It was not uncommon to have many Marie Repps or Adam Moraschs. To solve this problem Germans resorted to an elaborate system of nicknames.
Yagodnaya's namesake was the little wild strawberries that grew everywhere in the fertile area. The farmers soon found the land was well adapted to the production of wheat, as well as rye, barley, oat and maize, which were harvested with a sickle and flailed. In the summer entire families would often move out to the countryside until harvesting was complete. Large garden plots in town were tended by families, which included watermelons, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cherries and apples. Sunflowers were raised, and the seeds were separated and pressed to yield a high-quality oil used for cooking. Flour mills around the town ran from water power provided by the little stream, which ran from a large spring in the center of town.
Additional crop land was needed as the population grew, so in 1857 an additional 700,000 acres of land was granted to the Germans by Tsar Alexander II. This land was located on the Wiesenseite or plains side (eastern) side of the Volga River. In response to this action, many families took advantage of the opportunity to gain more land and soon villages such as New Yagodnaya, Schonfeld, Rosenfeld and Schonthal were springing up along the Jeruslan River. By 1867, a total of sixty-six daughter colonies had been established. One Weitz family, Heinrich Peter Weitz and his children moved to a daughter colony.

The situation in Russia shifted dramatically when Alexander the II issued a decree in 1871 dissolving all the privileges granted originally by Catherine the Great over a century earlier. Additional anti-German strategy was employed throughout the reign of Alexander III (1881-1894) and soon the prosperous and isolated German-Russian found out that new taxes were being required. Eligible men began receiving draft notices. This started a trickle of immigrants to the United States around 1875, promoted by the US railroads. In 1890 the great Russian famine and the rise of the beet field in the Western USA caused a great rise in the immigration of Volga Germans. Another blow came when the Germans were required to close their German schools and attend inferior Russian schools and learn the Russian language.
The people of Yagodnaya Polyana settled in only a few specific areas of the USA and Canada. This was partially due to the fact that the first immigrants sponsored other immigrants to their area and helped them to get settled. The first immigrants came to Kansas (Great Bend and Wichita County) and then onto to Washington in the Endicott and Colfax area. Some settled in Walla Walla, WA or Portland, Oregon. These immigrants were primarily grain farmers. Others settled in Loveland or Fort Collins, Colorado where many became sugar beet farmers. Grain farmers also settled in the area of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Pine Island, New York was a small and isolated enclave of people from Yagodnaya, where they raised onions or became dairy farmers. Other areas where they settled were Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Argentina, Gibbs and St. Maries, Idaho, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Maryland.


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