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Home: Surnames: Hiebert Family Genealogy Forum

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Posted by: Ed Hiebert Date: August 03, 2000 at 13:59:51
In Reply to: HIEBERT FAMILY-LICHTFELDE, MOLOTSHCNA by scott sheppard of 259

I had found Jerry Hiebert's website on Hiebert Genealogy a while back and saw his information on Klaas Zacharias Hiebert. After corresponding with him, I realized that this must be the same person as Klaas Sacharij Hiebert, whom the index to the 1835 Molotschna census shows to be part of family number 14 in Alexanderwohl and family number 19 in Lichtfelde. According to Jerry, he was accepted into the household of Heinrich Unruh in 1819, presumably in Alexanderwohl, then moved to Lichtfelde in 1832.

"Sacharij" is apparently a mis-translation of "Zacharias." I had corresponded with Alf Redekopp of the Mennonite Heritage Center in Manitoba about the variations in spellings of names in the 1835 census when compared with spellings from other sources. Here is his explantation of what happened when volunteers working for the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society's Genealogy Committee translated the census: "When translating from the Russian (cyrillic leters), there was a level of variation which naturally developed. For example, the Russian language doesn't have a letter equivalent to our 'H' and most often a 'G' is used. And so if a non-German was translating the names, and did not know the common German names, he might create the surname 'Gibert' instead of 'Hybert' or 'Hiebert' or 'Hübert'. The other aspect that one has to remember is, that when the Census was being taken, in all likelihood, you would have a Russian scribe writing down names transmitted verbally in a Low German pronunciation. So then we are left with a German name which has been transcribed into Russian and now is being transcribed/ translated back into German (or English.)"

I had found a listing in Benjamin Heinrich Unruh's book, "The Netherlands-Low German background of the Mennonite migrations to the East in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries," which I thought might have some relevance to this family. This is from page 350 and is part of a list of families (family 64 in this case) who immigrated to the Molotschna region of South Russia in 1804. Here is the listing in it's entirety, alas in the original German:

Hübert, Claas, (Nikolaus), Holm, geb. 24. 12. 1739 Königsberg, Grützer u. Bäcker, wanderte am 4. 7. 1804 aus. Starb auf der Reise am 28. 7. 04 in Schlonen hinter Grodno. (1. Frau Anna Dyck tot), verh. II 6. 6. 1790 Stadtgebeit, Zacharias, Susanna, Holm, geb. 25. 8. 1764 Stolzenberg, nach ..., Molotschna, Ki 1. Ehe: Claas geb. 12. 1785, Agnet geb. 19. 11. 1787. Ki 2. Ehe: Peter geb. 12. 4. 1791, Catharina geb. 22. 9. 1792, Maria geb. 6. 3. 1797.

I am not able to translate all of that, but it shows the family of Claas Hübert, whose real name is apparently Nikolaus, born on December 24, 1739. His first wife is dead, and he married his second wife, the former Susanna Zacharias on June 6, 1790 (she was born on August 25, 1764). The oldest child by his first marriage is Claas, born in 1785 (part of his birth date is missing, so we don't know if 12 is the day or month of his birth).

This family may not have any relationship to the family of Klaas Zacharias Hiebert, but it seems more than a little coincidental to find the names Claas, Zacharias, and Hübert (Hiebert) in the same listing. The middle names of the male heads of households in the 1835 census are derived from the first names of their fathers. Somewhere we should expect to find a Zacharias Hiebert, who is the father of Klaas or Claas.

The Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society has just published a new book by Peter Rempel, "Mennonite Migration to Russia, 1788-1828." This apparently features information not found in Unruh's book, so perhaps it would have more information on the family of Claas or Zacharias Hiebert.

I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you would like any more information on these sources.


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