Joanne Hertz Townsend SUBMISSION

Not all "Leipzigers" came from Bessarabia. The City of Leipzig certainly had a part in its name.

I suspect that many settlers came from Eastern Germany & although some went as far as Bessarabia & stayed awhile, others continued on & their end point was in the Odessa area, now in the country of Ukraine.

I know the Hertz family came from Wurttemberg & in 1804 got a passport to go to Russia. They settled in the Neuberg Colony near Odessa, Ukraine area. The name Neuberg came from a German town on the Danube.

In 1796 the city of Odessa was a free port & through its gates came people of all ethnicities. In fact the first "Western" music (such as German, French, & Italian) came through its gates.

One of my ancestors from which came Emanuel Hertz's first wife who was the mother of my father Herbert & his brother & two sisters (Elizabeth died at 31). He was from Italy & married a young Austrian woman who had moved to the Odessa area (surname Costa, then Kosta).

My German ancestor on the Hertz side was Ludwig Hertz (Herz) from Wurttemberg, Germany circa 1804. He died soon after & his children were raised by a family named Braun but the children kept their Hertz name. They settled in the Neuberg Colony, named after a German town on the Danube.

The young men worked for some time in Treblitz. Ludwig's successor John Phillip, came to the USA circa 1873 by backtracking to Bremerhaven to Quebec taking the train west to the ND area border, then south to the SE corner of what was the Dakota territory where the Hertz's first homesteaded!

There were 5 sons of the next Hertz Frederick, of which two sons came to the little settlement of Leipzig, ND & started the Hertz Brothers Store when it moved to the railroad tracks. 

These intrepid Germans, some of which married with other nationalities (I know some in New Leipzig had French ancestry) originally were offered land in Russia from Catherine the Great (also known as the Czarina & Queen of the Russias). The Germans, who were known to be good farmers offered religious freedom (from Russian Orthodoxy) & freedom from Army conscription.

However, with the death of Catherine the Great her successors began to clamp down on "non-Russians". Some were treated poorly & some were sent to Siberia while Stalin killed others. So, our German ancestors again left their home to find a better life in the Americas from Canada to the South Americas! Just think what they endured to allow their families a better life in a faraway land! Had they not risked all we would be Russians today!

Written by: Joanne Hertz Townsend

P.S. The following was added as an addendum.

Catherine the Great died in 1796, the year that my Italian ancestor (Costa,) arrived & married an Austrian wife who married into the Hertz name.

Upon Catherine the Great's death her son Peter succeeded her but with much animosity towards him even his mother did not approve of him & his wife (also named Catherine) and & of a German line like her mother-in-law took power & she too became Catherine the Great! It was she who had her husband arrested.

These were tumultuous times. I read where there was a succession of Czars not kind to the Germans in Russia. According to the Germans from Russia Society their take on conditions in the period of the 1860's (below) was taken from their website.

"The first change came in 1866 when the Germans started to lose control of their schools. Russian instead of German was decreed as the language of instruction in the German schools. Then in 1874 the Military Law was introduced which abolished the exemptions the German colonists had enjoyed for decades. Young German men were eligible for conscription into the Russian Army which was considered a death sentence in many cases."

As I mentioned before, this was a heavy burden for those Germans who were protected before & they felt they must leave the Ukraine.

I hope I have corrected who was in power when our ancestors felt they must leave Russia & come to the Americas.