Random Acts of Living

Monday, August 13, 2007

AHSGR: Golden Wheat Chapter Picnic

Saturday, August 11, from noon till 4pm was the annual picnic of the Golden Wheat Chapter AHSGR. AHSGR is the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. Kansas is filled with people that are descendants of Germans from Russia, only many of them don't know it. Do you know people by the name of; Bergen, Brandt, Braun, Buhler, Buhr, Derksen, Dyck, Elias, Ens, Epp, Esau, Falk, Fast, Fehr, Franzen, Friesen, Froese, Funk,Gerbrand, Giesbrecht, Ginter, Goertzen, Groening, Hamm, Harder, Heppner, Hiebert, Hildebrand, Isaak, Janzen, Kehler, Klassen, Klippenstein, Koop, Kornelsen, Krahn, Kroeker, Lemky, Leppky, Letkeman, Loeppky, Loewen, Martens, Mueller, Neudorf, Neufeld, Neustaedter, Niesen, Nikkel, Olfert, Penner, Peters, Plett, Petkau, Pries, Ratzloff, Redekopp, Reimer, Rempel, Sawatzky, Schapansky, Schellenberg, Schmidt, Schroeder, Schulz, Schwarz, Siemens, Spenst, Stobbe, Stoesz, Striemer, Suderman, Tiechroew, Thiessen, Toews, Unger, Unrau, Vogt, Wall, Warkentin, Wiebe, Wieler, Wiens, Wolf, or Zacharias, they might have ancestors that came from Russia. This is only a very small sampling of the surnames in the Germans from Russia database. The Germans from Russia played a very important role in the growth of Kansas, they were the ones that brought the Turkey Red winter wheat from Russia that made Kansas the bread basket of the world. There are German/Russian settlements in Ellis county that are mostly Catholics, the German/Russians around Hillsboro and Newton are predominately Mennonite and there are also groups that are Lutheran but I'm not as familiar with where they settled. The majority of Mennonites that are of Mennonite ancestry in Kansas can trace their ancestors back to Russia around the 1870's.

The Golden Wheat Chapter of AHSGR gathers together several times a year to learn and share information relating to our German/Russia ancestry, to enjoy the fellowship and, hopefully, pass on some of the heritage that has survived. There's always plenty of food at our gatherings. If you look all the way to the end of this long table of food you will see two of my darling granddaughters.

After our meals we have our meetings which usually includes some type of program. Our annual picnic usually is the next get together after our International Convention and therefore our program will be related to that. This year the Convention was held in Hays, Kansas and my husband and I attended. I took one of the T&S Mobile Projectors' camcorder and recorded most of the programs. I am in the process of getting them burned to DVD for our chapter library. For the picnic my son and I set up the big screen and projector to share two of the programs from the convention.

Here's what makes this annual get together a "picnic". It is held at the shelter house at Hyde Park in Wichita. This picture is two of my grandsons getting out of the sun.

Our organization is "graying", we are in need of younger families to get interested and get involved. But as I stated previously, there are many that do not have a clue as to their ancestry. Prior to my involvement I thought that my family was "German" but I had no clue that they came from Russia. If you are interested in family research, and have questions, please ask. I'll try to help as best I can, or point you in the right direction anyway.

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