Hello, Here's a little history from my branch of the family as i understand it. During the reign of Catherine the great, many Germans were encouraged to relocate into Russia. Our family being one of them, Catherine being German herself, knew that the hard working German people would be an asset to her new country.Many seemed to settle along the Volga river, my family lived in a small town named dietel. How long they lived there i don't know. Due to the unrest leading up to the Russian revolution it was decided that part of the family would leave for America, get settled then the other part would then follow. Unfortunately the revolution broke out in 1917 before the second half of the family made it to America. My Great grandfather Henry "kindsvater" went to a small town in Colorado named "Windsor" near greeley. Many Volga Germans ended up there. Henry past away in the 1930's, his son's name was John(John past away in 1963). John married Mary Michel and had two sons who are still living (both in southern California). We always thought that our ancestors who remained in Russia must have been wiped out because of the Russian revolution. Apparently that wasn't the case. I spoke to a Professor at CSLB afew years ago and was told that there are still Volga Germans living in that area ( he said he had helped some students research their family tree that had come from that area). I also spoke to a high school teacher who concured with that. His ancestors also came from the Volga region,leaving before the revolution. He said that many of the Germans that went to Russia were actually German-Jews who were given the "left foot of fellowship" by the German people. He said one of ancestors was actually a Rabbi. He also said his family had to actually change their name from shiffner to shiffer to hide their Jewish roots and avoid persecution. A German women i spoke to said she had never heard of the name "Kindsvater" (childrensfather) before so it might have been changed also somewhere though time. If someone knows i would really like to know the original name so i can research beyond the "Volga". Also if anyone has more general info i would like to know.
I hope what i posted helped fill in acouple blanks for someone. If anyone has questions i'll ask my father and he might be able to help.