Sunday, July 20, 2008

Glückstal colonies of Russia

Researchers with an interest in the Glückstal colonies of Russia will have a chance to review contributions, assess accomplishments, and consider the future, when they come together for a workshop during the 2008 International Convention of Germans from Russia July 28-August 3 in Casper, Wyoming. Leaders of this session will be Margaret Freeman of Redondo Beach, California, and Homer Rudolf of Richmond, Virginia.

The Glückstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) will meet in Ballroom B of the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Casper at 3:30 p.m., Friday, August 1st. Their workshop is just one of 40 oustanding sessions planned for the week-long Germans from Russia convention.

GCRA was founded in January 1986 by Margaret Freeman and Carolyn Wheeler, aided by Art Flegel and Gwen Pritzkau. The initial association mailing went out 22 years ago this month, and the first newsletter was published in the fall of 1987.
The purpose of the Glückstal Colonies Research Association is two-fold: coordinate the efforts of individuals researching descendants of the colonies; and locate, gather, organize and access all sources pertaining to researching descendants of the Glückstal, Neudorf, Bergdorf, Kassel and their daughter colonies.

Margaret Freeman is a native Iowan. Her mother’s Aman family arrived in McPherson County in 1885, and her grandparents are buried in Lehr, North Dakota. It is through her mother’s family that she has roots to Eureka and earlier to Bergdorf/Kassel of the Glückstal Colonies. Margaret has been involved with GCRA for more than 20 years.

Homer Rudolf was born in McIntosh County, North Dakota, and raised in Wishek. All of his ancestors on both sides of his family were from the Glückstal Colonies of south Russia. He recently completed a three-year term on the GRHS Board. Homer is very active in the GCRA and is a contributor and editor for the new GCRA publication scheduled for release during the Casper convention. He is an active researcher in the history and culture of Black Sea Germans from Russia – particularly their music. He was chief researcher and script writer for the 2005 Prairie Public Television documentary A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans from Russia.

During the Casper convention, GCRA will be presenting their eighth book, "The Glueckstalers of New Russia, the Soviet Union, and North America." There will be a book signing with Homer Rudolf, Editor; Harold Ehrman, Desktop Publishing; and the principal writing team: Allyn Brosz, Barbara Horn, James Klein, Jan Huber Stangl, Thomas Stangl, and Margaret Freeman, among others.

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