walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

History and Genealogy

I received a message from a distant cousin on ancestry. There was a question about a shared ancestor who is believed to have been born in 1764. Many trees show this man, a Mennonite, as being born in Russia. When I saw that, I went, yeah, that's not right. Because the first Mennonites arrived in Russia in 1787, and 1787 is after 1764. So I just put in "Prussia" and didn't think of it again.


So my distant cousin would like to know my rationale for saying "Prussia" rather than the "generally held" South Russia.

So I politely pointed the cousin at the above link, and suggested reading Dyck's history, and maybe Klassen's book (_Mennonites in Early Modern Poland and Prussia_).

I love history, so it is a joy to have an excuse to read more, and a frisson of wonderment to feel like I am reading about my relatives. But I understand that even many genealogists find history incredibly boring. Still, genealogists need to know the timeline of migrations of Their People, or they will get sucked into really embarrassingly obvious errors.

I'm betting I'll be getting another message shortly about why I think the man's son (who was born after the first settlement was established in Russia) was also born in Prussia. I'll need to dig around to remember why I thought that.
Tags: genealogy

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