1920 Chortitza Colony Census

State Archive of the Zaporizhzhe Region, Zaporizhzhe, Ukraine

Fond R-121, Opis (Inventory) 1, Delo (File) 79

Translated by Jakob Quiring, edited by

The following is a translation of a census of the Chortitza Colony in South Russia that was compiled in May 1920. The original census is written in Russian. This translation was created by Jakob Quiring of Abbotsford, BC in 2002. The Kronsthal file has been edited by Tim Janzen of Portland, Oregon, and Natalia Prikhodko reviewed selected names and words that were difficult to translate. A few question marks appear in the translation after some names or words that are difficult to read in the original.

The census lists for the other villages have not yet been reviewed for accuracy, but are made available here as is.

The original census is found Fond R-121, Opis (Inventory) 1, Delo (File) 79 in the Zaporozhye Archives in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. This census is among a collection of 130,000 pages of documents at the Zaporozhye Archives that were microfilmed in the 1990s under the direction of the Dr. Harvey Dyck of the University of Toronto. The census is found on Microfilm #55 of the collection. The four institutions that have copies of these microfilms are:

  • Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, Abbotsford, British Columbia.
  • Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

    There are about 9,300 people listed in the census. Not all of the people listed in the census were Mennonites. Some surnames are clearly Ukrainian and others with surnames such as Klein are probably of non-Mennonite German background. The data for the village of Chortitza in particular contains a lot of non-Mennonites. It appears that about 80% of all the people listed in the entire census are Mennonites. While the frames on the microfilm are not numbered themselves, the pages in the file were numbered at one point. The page numbers are given in the right upper corner of every other frame. All of the frames are readable, but portions of the pages are somewhat faint. The following table summarizes the location of the census data for each village in the file and the number of people listed in each village:

    Page No.VillageNumber of people
    in village
    1-35Chortitzaca. 1,200
    37village index 
    47-69Nieder Chortitza979
    70village index 
    71-95Chortitzaca. 900
    103village index 
    119-121village index 
    123-144Neu Osterwick1,423
    156village index 
    157-161village index 
    218village index 
    233-234village index 

    The census includes the birth dates for almost all of the people listed in the census. For the residents of the village of Neuendorf the census gives the birth dates for only the husband and wife of each family and gives only the names of their children without giving their ages or birth dates. For some villages, in particular the village of Chortitza, the census also gives the name of the father of each mother listed in the census. In almost all cases the name of the father of the head of each household is also given. Most of the village censuses were also indexed at the time the census was taken so one can locate more readily specific heads of families by reviewing the index for each village. The census includes the village where each family was registered at the time the census was compiled. If the village of residence is not the same location as the village of registration, then the father of the family likely lived in the village where the family was registered at some point in the past.

    The data from this census will eventually be available for review as tables in two different formats:
    1. An original version in which the census data is shown in the exact sequence as the names appear in the original register.
    2. An alphabetized version in which the names of those who are listed in the census have been sorted alphabetically by surname.

    If you have any questions about any of this information feel free to contact .

    Page created 11 November 2007; additions on 19 December 2010, 29 August 2013, and 1 November 2020; HTML by Richard D. Thiessen

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