Meeting ID: 896 9870 4112
We will be following in the footsteps of the Billigmeier family, who left the Pfalz region after the “Year Without a Summer” to immigrate to Russia in search of a better life. After years of peaceful prosperity in the Beresan (Odessa) area, the fate of two branches of the family diverged. One branch went to Bessarabia and then on to homestead in North Dakota. The branch that remained in the Odessa region had their farms seized and collectivized, suffered during the famine genocide, and finally faced arrest and execution. Some family members were exiled to Kyrgyzstan. The presentation blends historical events and the story of a specific family. It will also review the documents that were used to re-create the lives of this family, from church records to local histories to copies of KGB/NKVD files.
Speaker: Carolyn Schott
Carolyn Schott has researched her German ancestors for 20 years. She’s a founder of the Black Sea German Research Community, a former board member of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, and author of the book, “Visiting Your Ancestral Town.”