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History of Dobrinka

Click here for other histories of Dobrinka, converted from a Russian history of the village.

Click here for information on daughter colonies where people of Dobrinka moved to.

Click here for information on Germans who immigrated to Denmark from 1759-1762, before immigrating to Russia.

Dobrinka, the first German colony in the Volga region, was located at the mouth of the Dobrinka Brook where it flows into the Volga River. This location is approximately 600 miles (950 km) south of Moscow in southern Russia. The population of this Lutheran colony was 323 in 1769, 353 in 1773, 552 in 1798, 5400 in 1912, and 3209 in 1926.

The book Volga Settlers 1764-7, by Professor Pleve, states five Catholics were in Dobrinka. They were:
     *Johann Ridelmann, age 32, Kath, arrived 29 June 1764
     *Christian Seiffert, age 37, Kath, arrived 29 June 1764
      Johannes Glas (Glaser?), age 40, Kath, arrived 15 April 1765
      Stephan Nemeti, age 35, Kath, arrived 29 April 1765
     *Johann Jacob Utz, age 22, Luth, arrived 15 April 1765
     *Joseph Utz, age 60, Kath, arrived 15 April 1765.
* For those listed with an asterisk, the 1798 Volga Census has Ridelmann as Reidel, Seiffert as Siefert, and Utz as Utt.

In 1798, there was a weaver and three shoemakers in the colony. The rest of the population were farmers. Although there was stone suitable for building, it is not used because Dobrinka was located on the Volga River and people could buy wood. There were two apple orchards and five mills, three were on Dobrinka Brook, and two were windmills.

By the late 1800s Dobrinka was very cosmopolitan. Jon Hardt's father was a miller and owned two windmills. He was mayor of Dobrinka. Ruth Holman's family was in the hotel business and another Klauser was a "iron" (hardware) dealer. Jon's neighbor, a retired judge whose father lived in Dobrinka and was in the shipping business, made boat trips with wheat to various ports all the way to Turkey. Arliss Hoskin's relatives were farmers.

In 1852, families from Dobrinka, Galka, Grimm, Holstein, Kutter, Norka, Schwab, Scherbakovka and Stephan founded the daughter colony of Oberdorf. Look at the surnames page to see a listing of the surnames of the families from Dobrinka who founded the colony.

People from Dobrinka also moved, in significant numbers, to found the following daughter colonies:

Eckheim: founded in 1855
Frankreich: founded in 1861
Kana: founded in 1860
Neu-Galka: founded in 1860
Neu-Weimar: founded in 1861
Strassburg: founded in 1860
Weimar: founded in 1860, primarily with people from Galka

Drawing of the church at Dobrinka



Click on the picture to the right to see a 1912 picture of Dobrinka.