I apologize for the lateness of my response.For some reason the board does not always inform me when one comes in.
My family's situation doesn't seem to be reflected in any of the literature I've seen so far.I've received two very close (predicted 3rd cousin) autosomal DNA matches whose only plausible connection to me can be through this grandmother.Our 95% most likely common ancestor must have been born born between 1780 and 1820 in Lower Saxony--although my grandmother herself was clearly born in Ukraine.
I've seen tons of stuff written about Silesians, Pomeranians, East Prussians and people from Baden Wuerttemberg moving to Ukraine, but only a single reference to someone from Lower Saxony moving there.No explanation of how that happened.
But then again, most of the histories I've seen seem to be very high-level, general works.
When I try to drill down deeper into the local history of nearby towns, I find stray references to Austrian landowners based in Galicia holding property in this area of Volynia.None of the popular histories mention any of this and it seems like there are some big chapters missing from the histories.None of these strange, one-off references mention why a subject of the Austrian crown would be allowed to purchase land in the Russian Empire.
I know the von Wintzingerode family owned estates surrounding the village where one of my DNA match's ancestors lived in Lower Saxony.In the early 19th century two members of this family married into the family of some Polish/Ukrainian magnates and became generals in the Austrian and Russian armies.
I wonder if the von Wintzingerode family ever owned estates in this part of Volhynia, and recruited tenants for them from their estates in Lower Saxony.I've never seen anything like this written in any history, but it might explain my grandmother's distate for the Polish-accented German that I assume would otherwise have been common to that part of Ukraine.