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The mostly Reformed (some Lutheran) colony of Norka, aka Nekrasovo or Weigand, was founded by the Russian government on 15 August 1767. Its official population was: 772 (in 1769), 957 (1773), 1,358 (1788), 1,660 (1798), 2,509 (1816), 4,113 (1834), 5,951 (1850), 6,300 (1857), 6,894 (1860), 7,641 (1886), 10,200 (1891), 10,518 (1894), 13,623 (1910), 14,236 (1912), and 7,210 (1926) {Mai, Vol.I, p.23}. For the exact location of Norka, click on the Saratov Area Map [not yet available].

The official census report in 1798 said "... all villagers are of the Reformed faith having their own pastor and parish church with a schoolmaster who teaches small children reading, writing, and religion in a school building. The colony lacks sufficient arable farmland, hay fields and water. All are engaged in farming with seven also pursuing trades: three blacksmiths and four cobblers. All are favorably disposed toward work. A few live in good conditions, most in mediocre conditions. All buildings are constructed of wood and, except for 26 new ones, the homes are dilapidated but have been repaired. Six houses are of stone. Yards are separated from the streets by fences, and on the inside are divided by wattle fences. Gardens lie behind the farmyards. There are two flourmills on the Norka River. They have no orchards or apiaries. They till by plowing. They cannot grow flax or hemp. Harvests of grain in several places are good, but only mediocre in most places. The common granary is in good order and constructed in a suitable place storing rye, wheat and oats (Mai, Vol.I, pp.170-171)."

My Norka Ancestral Families

DEINES

70 and 71. Johannes (1755-aft.1798) m. Katharina Maria SORBEGER (1758-aft. 1798). As can be seen on the Dönhof page of this website, young Johannes DEINES age 11 was listed in his parents' household (Johann Georg and Barbara Elisabeth DEINES, in the 1768 Dönhof FSL. In the 1775 Dönhof census he is still listed with them, age 20. But by 1798 he is no longer listed in Dönhof, but is at Norka #60: Johannes DIENES 43, wife Katharina Maria Sorbeger 40, children: Jakob 21 (plus Jakob's wife Anna Maria WALTER and son Johann Heinrich age 1/2}, Barbara Elisabeth 17, Wilhelm 15, Konrad 10, Margaretha 8, Johannes 2, Philipp Jakob 1/4.

35 and 34. Louisa (1779-aft.1798) m. Johannes Nagel. It seems very likely that the Louisa DEINES who married Johannes NAGEL (see above 1798 Norka census, household #1), was the daughter of Johannes and Katarina DEINES who are household #60 in the Norka 1798 census (Mai, Vol.I, p.768): DEINES, Johannes 43, wife Katharina Maria (SORBERGER) 40; sons Wilhelm 15, Konrad 10 and Johannes 2; daughters Barbara Elizabeth 17 and Margareta 8; along with son Jakob 21, his wife Anna Maria (WALTER) and their son at 1/4 year.

HEINRICH

138 and 139. Andreas (1725-aft.1775) and Anna Dorothea (1727-bef.1798). The 1766 Kuhlberg Lists #4005, p.259, says arriving in Oranienbaum, Russia on ship Slon commanded by Lt. Sergey Panov were: HEINRICH Andreas, Ref., farmer from Isenburg, wife Anna Dorothea, children: Ludwig 18, Magdalena 8, Catharina 6, and the wife's sister Eva Maria 22. In 1768 Norka FSL #63 has HEINRICH Andreas 43, ref, farmer from Isenburg, wife Anna Dorothea 38, children: Ludwig 22, Magdalena 10, Katharina 8. By 1798 the parents are gone.

69 and 68. Magdalena (1756-aft.1798) m. Sebastian NAGEL. Magdalena is listed in her parents' household in the 1775 Norka census: household #86 HEINRICH, Andreas 50, wife Dorotea 48, daughters Magdalena 17 and Katarina 15, as well as son Johann Ludwig 23, his wife Rosina 21 and 1-year old son.

NAGEL

136 and 137. Jakob (1717-bef.1798) and Catharina (??-1767). The Kuhlberg Lists #3648, p. 239, has Nagel Jacob, Ref., farmer from Isenburg, wife: Catharina: children: Johann 19, Johannes 17 and Sebastian 15, all arrived from Lübeck on 29 Aug. 1766 in Oranienbaum, Russia on a Lübeck ship commanded by Johann Schkott. The Norka FSL #182 says Nagel, Jacob 50, ref., widower farmer from Isenburg, children: Johann Melchior 19, Johannes 17 and Sebastian 15 arrived in Norka on 26 August 1767. -- If I am correct in my guess about Maria Dorothea's parentage (see 34. below), these two are my ggggg grandparents!

68 and 69. Sebastian (1754-aft.1798) m. Magdalena HEINRICH (1756-aft.1798). These are my likely gggg grandparents. He is listed in the 1775 Norka census (published by AHSGR) as household #105: NAGEL, Jakob 63, son Sebastian 18, along with son Johann Melchior 26, his wife Anna Maria 25 and their two children ages 1/4 and 3 1/2. In the 1798 Norka census (Mai, vol.I, p.759) household #1, there are Sebastian 44 and Magdalena 42 (HEINRICH) NAGEL -- (Sebastian was then the mayor or elder of the village), listed along with his son Johannes 21 and Johannes' wife Louisa (DEINES) 19 NAGEL with their 1-year old first child

34 and 35. Johannes (1777-aft.1798) m. Louisa DEINES (1779-aft.1798. In the 1798 Norka census (Mai, vol.I, p.759) household #1, Johannes 21 and wife Louisa (DEINES) 19 NAGEL along with their 1-year old first child, are in the household of Sebastian 44 and Magdalena 42 (HEINRICH) NAGEL. My guess is that Johannes, born about 1777 in Norka and Louisa, born about 1779 in Dönoff, became the parents of Maria Dorothea.

There are other possibilites. Johannes' younger brother Melchior would have been 20 in 1808, could have married young and had Maria D. -- but not too likely. Johannes' father could have remarried a young woman who birthed Maria D. in 1808 -- possible, he would only have been 54 or so in 1808. Johannes' first cousins Sebastian (who married Katarina Prinz about 1792) and Johann Mechior (who married Anna Maria Dergard about 1797) both surely were still having children in 1808 -- both are very possible fathers of Maria D. Johannes' uncle Johannes could have remarried a young woman who birthed a daughter in 1808 -- not likely at all, if he lived that long, he would have been 68 or so in 1808. These five possible fathers of Maria Dorothea are all either grandsons or great grandsons of Jakob Nagel.

17 and 16. Maria Dorothea (1808-aft.1858) m. Johann Peter KRAUS. In my KRAUS Family Chart (hereafter KFC), Prof. Pleve said that Maria Dorothea NAGEL b. 1808 married Johann Peter KRAUS about 1828; therefore she must have been born about 1808.

SORBERGER or SORBEGER

142 and 143. Jakob (??-1766)and Anna Katharina (1725-??). Kuhlberg Lists #2716, p. 185 has SORBERGER Jacob, Ref., teacher from Isenburg, wife: Anna, children: Louisa 13, Catharina 11, Johann 7, Abraham 5 and Heinrich 1/4, all arrived on a Russian ship accompanied by a Lt. Ilyin from Lübeck at Oranienbaum, Russia, on 31 July 1766. Upon arrival in Norka on 2 Sept. 1767 most of these were dead. The wife, Katharina 42 had remarried to Eberhard Anspach a handicrafter from Isenburg, while her three children (Louisa 13, Katharina 9 and Wilhelmine 4) were listed as his step-daughters.

71 and 70. Katharina Maria (1758-aft.1798) and Johannes DEINES. The 1798 Norka census #60 has Johannes DEINES 43, wife Katharina Maria SORBERGER 40, son Jakob 21 (Jakob's wife Anna Maria WALTER 23 and their son Johann Heinrich 1/4), Barbara Elisabeth 17, Wilhelm 15, Konrad 10, Margaretha 8, Johannes 2, Philipp Jakob 1/4.

MAIDEN NAMES UNKNOWN

143. Anna Katharina (1725-aft.1768) wife of Jakob SORBERGER. Was her family name ARMBRÜSTER?

139. Anna Dorothea (1727-bef.1798) m. Andreas HEINRICH.

137. Katharina (??-1767) m. Jakob NAGEL.

I have no idea as to the origins of these women. If someone can help with this, please let me know at dickkraus1@yahoo.com. Thanks!

In case you want to pursue your own research, translated census lists are a good place to start. Steve Schreiber notes that the titles of those Norka censuses now available are shown on the Center for Volga Germans website; to get there click on: Norka Censuses. He rightly says that these lists can help you greatly in your research.

In addition he has brought together some very helpful research links for Norka. To see them click on Norka Research.

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