Your family may fall into the category of immigrants we call "Germans from Russia" or "Volga Germans." Google these terms to find a wealth of information. There is a Volga Germans history group headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, that has done voluminous research on the various surnames, immigrants to Nebraska, and villages of those immigrants in the Volga region of Russia. It's a unique ethnic group in that they retained their German customs, religion, and traditions for generations after immigrating to Russia. In their new homeland they were allowed the autonomy and independence to do that. The political situation changed toward the end of the 1800s; Germans within Russia began to be persecuted; drought and famine plagued them; and those who were lucky immigrated to agricultural regions in the USA that were similar to their Russian landscape.