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This fascinating book is the life’s work of Hattie Plum Williams (1878-1963), an American who grew up among the German-Russian immigrants of Nebraska. Indeed, Mrs. Williams died before her painstakingly collected research could be fully fleshed out into a book. After her death, however, the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia turned her manuscript over to three editors who finished Mrs. Williams’ book, and produced the great book that is seen here.
The first chapter of the book examines German emigration during the eighteenth century, focusing primarily on emigration to other European countries and the United States. Chapter two is an excellent look at the formation of the German colonies in Russia (the German immigrants tended to form their own separate “colonies,” rather than simply merging into the Russian population). The third chapter looks at the Volga Germans in Russia, mainly from the period of 1767-1871 (which was when the mass emigration of German-Russians began). The fourth and final chapter focuses on the emigration of the German-Russians to the United States.
Overall I found this to be a fascinating book. Both my wife and I have ancestors who were German-Russians (mine were Mennonites, while hers were Lutherans), so I really enjoyed seeing all that Mrs. Williams had to say. So, if you have any German-Russian ancestors, then you really should get this book, which will make their story come to life for you. I give it my highest recommendations!