Germans from Russia Census

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Germans from Russia
Wiki Topics
Alexanderwohl Church.jpgAlexanderwohl Mennonite Church in Goessel, Kansas
Beginning Research
Original Records
Settlement Groups
Compiled Sources
Background Information
Finding Aids

A census is a count and description of the population. Censuses have been taken by the various governments of places where Germans from Russia lived and by some ecclesiastical officials. These were taken primarily for population studies, representation in Congress, or taxation purposes.

Censuses and census indexes vary greatly from nation to nation, and from state to state. For more detailed information use the “Census” pages of the United States Wiki article and the Canada Wiki article to learn about national censuses in those countries. State and provincial census records are described in the state and provincial Wiki articles for each state or province.

Where available, census records can provide family relationships, age, year of birth, description of property, religion, place of birth. Census records are especially valuable because they list a large portion of the population, most are well-indexed, and they are readily available at many repositories. They can provide information where all or portions of other records are missing. Generally, you will find more complete family information in more recent censuses. Use the information with caution, however, since the information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

ranscripts of some church censuses in Russia are available from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. See the description of their computer Internet site in the “Archives and Libraries” page of this Wiki article.

Revision Lists. A revision list (ревизкие сказки = revizkiye skazki) is a census or tax list created by the Russian government to identify taxpayers, but listing each member of the family by name and giving their ages and relationships. Revision lists often show the birth and death date of individuals who died since the last list was made. They are written in Russian. The earliest revision list was made in 1719 and the most recent in 1858. They were usually taken in the month of December when people were more likely to be at home. Certain classes were exempt from taxation. Selected lists with concentrations of German families have been transliterated and are available on the Internet (see “Archives and Libraries”), for example, the Volga German colony at Norka revision lists of 1834 which shows 445 German families. Examples of lists published on paper are:

The 1775 and 1798 Censuses of the German Colony on the Volga Lesnoy Karamysh also Known as Grimm. Lincoln, Neb.: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1995. (FHL book 947.85/L1 R4t 1995; computer number 804934). Includes index to head-of-household and spouse by maiden name. Does not index children. Lists 167 families and many genealogical notes.

Glückstal Colonies Research Association. 1858 Glückstal Colony Census. Redondo Beach, Calif.: Glückstal Colonies Research Association, 1998. (Not at Family History Library.) Gives 1858 revision list number for 182 families, names, relationships, ages, 1816 revision list number, and a few notes. Includes surname index.

The Family History Library has some revision lists from Minsk and Tver provinces on microfilm. Revision lists are cited in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


An in-depth article about revision lists is:

Everett, Joseph B. “‘Soul’ Searching in the Russian Censuses of the 18th and 19th Century.” FEEFHS: Newsletter of the Federation of East European Family History Societies (Salt Lake City: FEEFHS) vol. 5 no. 3-4 (August 1998): 34-42. (FHL book 940 C4f; computer number 724497.) Discusses history of Russian censuses in general, the ten revision list censuses, their contents, organization, how to use them, and limitations.