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Our German ancestors were invited as colonists to form settlements in Russia under Czaress Catherine. They were settled in villages on the Russian Steppe along the Volga river and thus came to be known as Volga Germans. Colonists came from Germany and neighboring France to the colonies near Odessa in South Russia, now the Ukraine. From 1797 to 1814, France ruled Speyer, Germany and the surrounding area. The town of Speier, is located beside the River Rhine.

This town in Russia was named after Speyer, Germany. In 1688, war was at the gates of Speyer, this time the invading troops were French. Over 700 houses were destroyed and many towers and gates of the town fortifications were blown up. Colonists from the Wetzstein family were some of the many Germans from Russia, who later migrated to the United States. One branch of the Wetzstein family settled at Spier. When the village of Speier was dissolved by the Russian Government. The last 25 years of it's existence was marked by much suffering and misery as the Russians raided the villages, murdered the men, stole their belongings and tried to force the German families to leave Russia. Taxes were imposed, and raised to ridiculous heights so that the Germans couldn't possibly pay them. Property was seized for payment.

Famine and hunger were rampant, as the government first took all of their crops (but the Germans replanted with their seeds) and then returned to take the seeds as well. Many families died the slow death of starvation. By this time, many of our ancestors had already left their village to come to America, or had entered into Germany. Many were gathered up and sent off to Siberia to work in the labor camps, never to be heard from again. A very few that have survived these camps, have in recent years been allowed to leave and emigrate into Germany.


Johann (Hans) Michel Borger born: 1710 in Frankenhausen, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, and Anna Catherina Schele born: 1725-29 in Husten, Hochsauerlandkreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Anna Catherina Schele married Johann Michael Borghaus in 1751 in Germany. One of the sons of Johann Michel Borger and Anna Catherina was Abraham Lewis Burger who was born in 1765 in American Allen, Ohio, and died 01 Apr 1828 in Bedford Co., PA. (See notes on surname "Louys/Louis/Lewis."
The surname of Johannes (Hans) Michel Borger's wife Anna Catherina Anna Catherina Schele is of interest, as it is obscured by the Americanized spelling of Shell.

The surname "Schele" derives from "A hut or shelter." Anna Catherina Schele's father was Hubertus Schele born in 1690 in Husten, Hochsauerlandkreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He died before 1757 in Weikenohl and is buried at Drolshagen. Her mother's name was Anna Maria Hitze, the daughter of Wilhelm Hitze born in 1650. He was the son of Heinrich Hitze. (Mother unknown) Anna Maria Hitze was born in 1695 in Weikenohl and died: 23 Dec 1764, Weikenohl, Germany when she was aged 69 and is buried in Drolshagen.

Another Schildt family member is Johannes Casper (Sr) Schild Schell (son of Peter "Petro" Schild(t) and Catharina) was born Jan 01, 1716 in Ettringen, Rheinland Prussia, Deutschland (Germany) and died Apr 10, 1806 in Lincolnton, Lincoln Co., North Carolina. Johannes Casper served in Revelutionary War. He was naturalized, April 10, 1767. His marriage to Anna Catharina Gertrude Bott took place on 24 SEP 1749 in Lancaster Co., PA. Johannes Casper's Immigration: 1742 Philadelphia, PA; Aboard the ship "Robert and Alice." Emigration: 1770 Casper moved to Hampton Twp. of Lancaster (later Cumberland)

The older European spelling of Schele is Schildt. It's similar to the surname Rothchild, (Rot-schildt meaning Red Shield).

The surname is related to the surname Shields, with the same root word "schele." The name was trasliterated to Shell in documents in America.

In Finland, we find Schildts and until the 17th century when the Swedish king began collecting taxes from noble families for the use of the "von" or "van" before the name was Von Schiledt or Van Schieldt. To avoid this form of taxation, they dropped the Von or Van from before their name. Numerous members of the Schildt's lived in Bukovina, nestled in the Carpathian Mountains of southeastern Europe. Until 1918, this was the easternmost crownland of the Austrian Empire. Bukovina annexed to Romania after WWI and after 1940, the Soviet Union took control of northern Bukovina.

Hans Michel Borger was the son of Hans Christoph Borger born Apr 1662 in Hadermannsgruen, Oberfalz, Germany and Barbara Mertz born 1663. Hans Cristoph Borger married Barbara Mertz. Born: 1663 died: 17 NOV 1737 in Frankenhausen, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany Abraham Lewis Burger's Marrige #2: Anna Margaretha Ackerman born 14 Oct 1706 in Frankenhausen, Hessen-Daemstadt, Germany. They were married on 13 March 1732 in Seeheim, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. Hans Christoph Borger was the son of Adam Borger and Margretha Schuster Born:OCT 1633 in Hadermannsgruen, Franconia, Germany and died: 1668 in Germany.

Most German colonies were established near the Volga River in the Czarist provinces of Saratov and Samara. “Bergseite” on the Volga River’s west bank is a portion of Saratov province. “Wiesenseite” on the Volga River’s east bank is a portion of Samara province. The 18th century charter-districts of Catherine, Pokrowsk, and Warenburg were established along the Volga River in Samara province. The Hans Michael Borger family settled in the Village of Holstein near Saratov.

NOTE: In 1762, Sophie Auguste Friederike 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)[1] to immigrate and farm Russian lands while maintaining their language and culture. Although the first received little response, the second improved the benefits that were offered and was more successful. In addition to land developed in particularly large numbers due to poor conditions in their home regions.

People in other countries such as France and England were more inclined to migrate to the colonies in the Americas than to the Russian frontier. Other countries, such as Austria, forbade emigration. The settlers came mainly from Bavaria, Baden, Hesse, the Palatinate and the Rhineland, over the years 1763 to 1767. Those who went to Russia had special rights under the terms of the manifesto. These were later revoked when the need for conscription into the Russian army arose in the latter part of the 19th century. This was especially offensive to the German Mennonite communities, whose doctrine teaches against war and aggression. Some Germans emigrated to the Americas or Germany to avoid the draft, though many did remain in Russia.

A man by the name of Johann Michel Borger born in 1727 in Darmstade, Freibach Place, Germany, resided in a Volga German community founded on May 26, 1765. This was a German Evangelical colony wich was founded on the banks of the west side of the Volga River. Johann Michael Borger died there in Russia. The family was still living in the Holstein Colony in 1816, and a son named Johann Christoph Borger was born to Johann Jacob Borger and Catharine Margethe Enhardt. She was born in 1790 in Tichebakote Colony, Russia. They were married 03 Dec 1807 in Russia. These Volga Germans were perhaps related to our Hans Michael Borger, who married Anna Maria Rudel in Germany.

The village was called Holstein and by 1772 the town had 202 residents. By 1798 it had 354 residents, a vineyard and three apple orchards. The government offices were locvated at Saratov. Villagers lived in simple block houses of fir or pine, and chinked with clay, some 24-30 feet long and 20 feet wide.


As an artist myself, I love the colors of Van Gogh's farmland. My appreciation for French Impressionism came through my parents, and the French Country theme and impressionist style are favorite art subjects of mine to paint. My husband Tom and I love to travel and have been to Europe a number of times. Our interest in Europe is partly derived from our European family backgrounds. Our country home is located in a river valley that is remarkably beautiful in every season of the year.

My desire to paint classical art 16th-19th century European peasants also comes partly from agricultural backgrounds. Our lineage includes farming within our families, including Burger/Borger, Wetzstein, Fortineaux/Ridenour,L'Aine and other surnames. My mothers sister's name is Mariane, symbolic of Republican France.

My ancestor James Russell Cuff, listed in the Canadian censuses of 1881 and 1891, was born in 1828 France, lived in Ireland and emigrated to Ontario where he resided in the village of Cannington, Ontario, Canada. James R Cuff was a relative of William Andrew Laughlin, on his mother's side (Mariane Lain(L'Ain) nee Cuff. Canada Census records for 1891 list James R Cuff in the Ontario Deathes, 1869-1931 and Overseas Deaths, with a his death date of 28 December 1902, at Brock, Ontario. Brock was an early name for Cannington Village. In 1891 James Cuff was age 60, with an estimated birth year of 1831. He was single, and resided in Ontario.

Internet info on James Russell Cuff is located at the following URL under surname spelled :

CUFF - 1891 census @ca.on.100d family 037 @ca.on.ontario_county.cannington_village page 9 film T6357 lds1465782 electoral district of Ontario County North 9 CUFF James R. m 60 - - France Ire Ire CofE 10 LANE {?} Eleanor f 61 widow lodger Ire Ire Ire CofE


My grandparents settled in Chatham, Ontario. This was where the family home was located, and my mother, her and her sisters Mariane and Merle and brother Bill Laughlin were raised. Their lives were somewhat entwined with Sussex St Marie, Toronto, Windsor, and Cannington, Ontario as well. Originally part of the original Brock Township, Cannington was first settled in 1833. It was originally known as McCaskill's Mills after a local mill-owning family. In 1849, a post office was opened, at which point the settlement was renamed Cannington after former British foreign secretary and Prime Minister [George Canning] (1770-1827). Cannington separated from Brock Township in 1878 when it was incorporated as a Village.

We also have Acadien French ancestry with those that lived in Vielvique in Bretagne (1645) Vendee which was Bas-Poitou (1700s) Sarthe, Perche, Nord, (Normandy) Rhone-Alps, and Loire-Atlantic, Seine-Maritime, Alsace-Lorraine, France, and Prussia, and French ancestors residing at Port Royal, (Acadie) Annapolis Royale, Nova Scotia, Canada. Under the spelling Fontaneaux ancestors resided at Threadneedle Street, London, England where the famous Huguenot church was located. Our family has a number of patriots that fought in the American Revolutionary War.

During severe persecution, Johann Jonas Fortineau (born 1650) and his wife Sara Menton Fortineux fled with a French pastor and several families, into Prussia, to reside under the protection of the Queen Elizabeth Charlotte who'd agreed to give protection to 700 villagers whose homelands were ravaged by the French troops. Records state the pastor and his group left Germany in Spring 1728 to go to the Land of Penn. The Fortineuxs later met Pastor Stoever, Sr. who pastored the Hebron Church in Madison, Virginia. The church was built in 1740 by the Germanna immigrants of 1717 (the second Germanna Colony). They had moved down to the Madison area from the Germanna settlement

Two million Huguenots, or French Protestants, fled France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685--an edict which had originally protected them from persecution at the hands of the Catholic Church. Dispersing first to the Netherlands, then to England, Ireland, and even South Africa, then to America and Canada, thousands of these French Protestants became the founders or early settlers of such places as Oxford, Massachusetts, Narragansett in Rhode Island, New Amsterdam, New Rochelle, and New Paltz in New York, the Santee River and the Orange Quarter in South Carolina, Manakin-Town in Virginia, and a host of other sites in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina--in many cases establishing permanent settlements long before the arrival of the first English colonists.

France had actually begun its attempts to colonize North America in 1592, sending Jean Ribault and a band of French Huguenots to Florida. On the banks of the St. Johns River, Ribault erected a stone marker with the French coat of arms announcing France's claim to Florida. Thereafter, then sailed northward along Georgia's coast to present-day Port Royal, South Carolina, where they built a fort. The first Germans to settle in Virginia were a group from the Siegen region of Hessen-Nassau in 1714. A second group followed them in 1717 who were from the northern region of Baden-Wurttemberg. About 1721 several additional families joined this group. These three groups appear to have come direct to Virginia in their respective years. Many later Germans joined the earlier colonists or moved to other parts of Virginia after 1730, however by this time the emigration route by way of Philadelphia was well established and nearly all emigrants came through that port before continuing their journey to Virginia. Much information has been reconstructed on the original German settlers to the Germanna Colony in Orange, Culpepper Counties of Virginia, most notably by Holzclaw and Zimmerman/Cerny.

My father who was an attorney, lived and worked in France when he was young, and shared his own love for France with me. From early research into Tom's genealogy, they appeared to all be English. Imagine our surprise to discover that so many of the Brits among Tom's ancestors were of French descent and received land grants in Britain following the Norman Conquest. His French family surnames like Norton was originally Norville, and Preston was Prestone. When our daughter Ami was 6 we were invited to go to Britain with a prophetic team for two weeks. Then we caught a ferry to Calais and traveled around France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and to some other places, with a Eurail Pass for several weeks. My mother was an avid fan of such 19th century artists as Renoir, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh, and we had prints of these on our walls as I was growing up. Her mother, who I stated was an artist in oils, was born in the South Pacific where her Danish parents were invited by the government to colonize in the 1800s, and they owned a farm of over 40 acres in Wairarapa.

Our parents purchased costumed dolls and books for us with beautiful watercolour illustrations for us children. I loved studying the history of these cultures with their marvellous ethnic costumes. I enjoyed collecting stamps from all over the world, and friends would save their international stamps to contribute to my collection. During my childhood, this hobby familiarized me with geography, ethnic cultures and costumes, as well as ethnic artwork. Books with articles and illustrations or stories of Eastern Europe, including the lifestyle of gypsies, their costumes and violin music, and medieval artwork and themes were favorites of mine. Among traveling bands such as these, were the Jewish merchants that transported their wares. Also loved Russian folk costumes, architecture, and carved or hand painted troikas.

Born in California, my family moved to Washington state. Those who are familiar with my artwork know that I like to paint themes from Spain and Mexico. As the borders of Europe have changed through the centuries because of wars, a portion of my ancestry goes back long ago to the Volga region of Russia, where Czaress Catherine the Great invited and encouraged German colonists to form settlements there.


We traced Tom's German-Jewish background to Prussia through his great-grandfather Rabbai Bernhard Hoppe, a Rabbai in a village there. His son Bernhard Hoppe was born in Prussia or Germany, was born 1835-Died 22 July 1913-Cleveland, Ohio. He is buried West Park Cemetery (Ohio Death Records 1908-1956.) Bernard Hoppe married Rhoda Susanna Hanks in 1874. Rhoda was born: 1847-Died 27 December 1925 at Bellingham, Wa. at age 76 years.

Their son Victor Hugo Hoppe was born in 1 Oct. 1884. and died 1955. For 40 years was drama coach at WWU. 2) J Werner Hoppe born 1878 in Illinois - died 05 December 1917 in Spokane, Wa 3) Carl C Hoppe-born 01 February 1886 at Summit, Ohio 4) Elizabeth (Bessie) Hoppe-born 1874. Ohio Death Records 1908-1953-List Bernhard Hoppe death as 22 July 1913 in Cleveland, (Cuyahoga) Ohio. The document states he was born in Germany. It names his father as Brunhard Hoppe with wife Sarah Rohan) also born in Germany. The Hoppe family resided in Prussia which encompassed Germany and is modern day Poland. I was told by a Wetzstein descendant that some of the our German side of our family lived in villages in Russia, having been invited to colonize along the Volga River in the area which is now Ukraine, by the Czaress Catherine. These are termed
Volga Germans.

War heroes in Tom's Campbell lineage as well as mine includes American Revolutionary War heroes, as well as lots of German surnames such as Wetzstein, Hoppe, Brumbaugh, Schantz, Berger. Tom's American patriots include Ephraim Kimberly and wife Mary Riggs, Gideon Kimberly and Mary Osborne, Abraham Kimberly and Abigail Fitch, daughter of Thomas Fitch and Abigail Goodrich,(born 4 March 1682-Hartford, Connecticut, Thomas Kimberly-Founder of New Haven, Connecticut, who married Alice Atwood, Elder William Goodrich (married Sarah Marvin born 13 Feb 1621 in Essex, England) and brother John Goodrich, who are first located in the area of Watertown, Mass. He was among the very first settlers at Wethersfield, being one of a small party known as the adventurers who wintered there before the arrival of the main body. and earlier English born ancestor Abraham Kimberly, born at Gloucester, England.

Tom & Alana Campbell 5214 South 2nd Avenue, Everett, Wa 98203-4113

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