Dahlinger Essay

This page was begun 12 May 2001; revised 3-5 November 2002 -- rak.

My great grandmother was a Dahlinger.  As will be shown below, I may be related to all, and surely are related to most, of the German Dahlingers who came out of Russia.

I have seen the family named spelled Dalienger, Dalinger, Dallinger, Doehlinger and Dollinger, in addition to the apparently more standard Dahlinger.

I never heard great grandmother referred to as anything but Mary, and was greatly surprised a few years ago to find that she entered this country as Catherine.  I had gotten the notion in my head that her middle name was "Dorothy", but I must have gotten that from her daughter-in-law, my dad's mother.  The two women did not like each other and grandmother probably either did not pay attention or deliberately "forgot" her mother-in-law's middle name.  Or perhaps I simply confused David Kraus' mother's name with his wife's.  His mother was Maria Dorothea.

At any rate, I learned just two years ago that she was baptized Maria Katarina Dahlinger.

A couple of years ago one of my Dahlinger cousins and I commissioned Igor Pleve to do a Dahlinger family chart on our ancestors.  It is a beauty and you can obtain a copy by going to www.rakgen.com.

In addition to that chart, I have our cousin Brett Mai's two volume set covering the 1798 censuses of the Volga-German villages.  Between the two, I have constructed an almost complete beginning picture of the Dahlinger families in Russia up to 1798, and at least 85% complete after 1798.

One of the mysteries I started with was Frederick Dahlinger.  He was born in 1832 and became a vigorous leader in part of the religious movement that swept the Volga-German villages in the mid 1850's.  My great grandparents Kraus were part of his group coming to the US in 1876.  My older relatives always gave me the impression that he was a brother or cousin of great grandmother Mary, but I'm not certain anyone ever said exactly that.  [I wrote that sentence in 2001; since then I have checked my original notes from the 1960's -- there was no ambiguity -- every single senior family member I interviewed said clearly that Mary and Fritz were siblings ... rak, 3 Nov. 2002]  Anyway, when the Dahlinger family chart came, I could not find him on it.  He is a fairly important historical figure and he has descendants [I was looking mostly in the wrong branch of the family and the Chart birth years for him and his siblings turn out to be off the mark ... rak, 3 Nov. 2002].  

Evidently the senior male Dahlinger going to the Volga settled with his wife in family in Galka and immediately, in 1767, died leaving his wife, Maria b. 1717, and at least four grown children: Christian b.1744 m. 1764, Michael, b. 1755, Georg b. 1758, Gottfried b. 1761.  All dates are approximate based ages given in census or census-like documents.  If there were daughters they evidently were already married living in separate households but did not survive through 1798 when maiden names were recorded in the census, or they simply stayed in Germany.

The birth years certainly raise the question as to whether Maria was a second wife, there perhaps being a first wife who died before 1754 or so, who was mother to Christian.

My guess is these people were all one household so that their relationships were laid out in the Original Settlers List for Galka.  Otherwise, I can't imagine where Pleve could have gotten the information showing their relationships.  [With the First Settlers' List now available it is clear that they were living side-by-side in two Galka households, all coming from the same German town and arriving in Galka on the same date ...rak, 3 Nov. 2002].

According to all the evidence in the 1798 censuses, the only other Dahlinger who came to the Volga from Germany was Andreas b. 1741 who by 1798 was a widower living in Hussenbach.  Now Hussenbach is a long ways (especially so in those days!) from Galka, but according to the essay on Hussenbach in Mai's first volume, the village of Dobrinka (which borders Galka) had some land which bordered Hussenbach.  If that were true, there almost had to be some regular traffic between the Galka area and the Hussenbach area.  [More First Settlers' Lists are now available, but the one for Hussenbach evidently no longer exists, unfortunately.  On the 1768 Katharinenstadt FSList at #155 are listed Stephan (22, luth, maurer from Herbsthausen), and wife Katharina (28, kath) Doehlinger who arrived in the colony on 23 July 1767. ... rak, 3 Nov. 2002].

In that case, it certainly must be considered as a possibility that the eldest married son of Maria Dahlinger's husband, instead of coming with the family to Galka, set off, with in-laws or friends perhaps, to seek his own fortune in Hussenbach just as soon as the family arrived on the Volga.  If that were the case, then Andreas and Christian, could well have been brothers, sons of Maria's husband's first wife, if not her own eldest sons.

On the other hand, Andreas might represent an entirely different family.  I have feelers out trying to find if anyone knows from whence in Germany Andreas came [There is no Andreas in the Galka FSList, which tends to support the separate origins hypothesis ... rak, 3 Nov. 2002].. 

According to Pleve, who must have used a Galka Original Settlers List, the Galka Dahlingers were Lutherans who came from "Baden/Durlach, Langealp? place".  If anyone knows where that was, please let me know!  They arrived in Galka on 4 December 1766.

Andreas may have had a (half?) sister or daughter, Barbara, b. 1759, who first married Gottlieb Kolleber, had several children, and who in 1798 was living in the village of Kratzke with her second husband, Jakob Hergins, age 53, he having come from the village of Merkel.  The only evidence I have for relation to Andreas is that he and Barbara had the same family name and that they lived in neighboring villages.

Andreas surely did have a daughter Katharina b. 1768 who in 1798 was living with her husband Johann Mich in Hussenbach with there 4 children.  The only evidence I have for relation to Andreas is that they had the same family name and that they lived in the same small village.

Christian in 1798 was still living in Galka.  According to Pleve, his first wife was Elizabeth b. 1747, and his second was Louisa Katharina Reich b. 1748.  His suspected and known children were born 1765, 1768, 1770, 1776, 1779, 1781, and 1790.  So it might be that only the youngest was the child of Louisa.  Except possibly for two, his children evidently are chronicled in Galka church records.  They and their children are in Pleve's chart.  He has the notation that one of these families "moved to Erlenbach colony and another five "moved to Rosenberg colony in 1852".

My great grandmother Mary was part of that last move.  She was Christian's great granddaughter.  She later married David Kraus and they lived in the neighboring colony of Alexandertal.  Her brother Georg Frederick Dahlinger evidently remained in Rosenberg until he, his wife and children and the David Krauses left for the US in 1876.  The ages of Mary, Frederich and their siblings seem to be awry both in the Dahlinger Family Chart and in the 1857 Rosenberg census on which their birth years are based.  I think the reason for this is that their dad had died before the 1857 census.  The odds are good that he was the only member of the family who could speak a little official Russian and so it was very difficult for the Russian census taker and the non-Russian speaking remaining members of this family to communicate well.

Michael also was still living in Galka in 1798 having married Anna Maria Heck from Doenhof, a village even farther away than Hussenbach, but in the same direction.  They had at least five children who lived to 1798, and, since Anna was 43 in 1798, probably none born after that census.  The Pleve chart included none of Michael's grandchildren.  

Evidently Georg b. 1758 did not survive to marry.  No trace of him or any descendants is found in the 1798 census.

The youngest son, Gottfried b. 1761, is not directly listed in Mai's compilation of the 1798 censuses.  The movement charts have him marrying a Dreispitz girl in 1790 and living at a mill near the village of Goebel.  However, I think he must actually have been listed in the 1798 census since Pleve's entries in the chart include three young daughters the last born in 1797.  Pleve's entries only include data that would be available in a census and none of the data that would be available in church records.  At any rate, his wife was young and there would likely have been several more children after 1798. 


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