Place Names

Many of the places in Europe where Mennonites have lived have undergone shifts in sovereignty, borders, and names over the centuries. Throughout this website, places are given the names they would have had at the time the clock or its story originated.

Two major examples are Prussia and Russia. Most of the area known as the Kingdom of Prussia is now known as Poland, with some areas now a part of Russia. Many Mennonites moved to the Russian Empire at the invitation of Catherine the Great starting in 1789 and settled in what was then known as New Russia or South Russia. Between 1922 and 1991, this area was a part of the Soviet Union. It is now Ukraine.

Because parts of eastern Europe have been politically reshaped, in many instances their cities, towns, and villages have been invested with new names or transliterated spellings of old names.

As well, transliterating place names from different languages sometimes results in different spellings. While we’ve done our best to accommodate other common spellings, please note that the guide to contemporary place names, below, is not exhaustive.

 
 

Glossary

Alexandrovsk, Russian Empire
After 1921, name changed to Zaporizhia; now a city in Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Chortitza, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire
Also known as Khortitsa, Khortitsa Colony; now Verkhnya Khortytsya, a part of Zaporizhia, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Danzig, Prussia
Now Gdańsk, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

Grosser Werder, Prussia
The area between the Vistula and Nogat rivers in what is now Poland. 

Hegewald, Grosser Werder, Prussia
Now Podwale, Tczew County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

Krebsfelde, Grosser Werder, Prussia
Now Rakowiska, Nowy Dwór Gdański County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

Kronsthal, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire
Adjacent to Osterwick. Formerly known as Pavlivka (1892–1963), now Dolynske, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Lichtenau, Molotschna Colony, Russian Empire
Now Svitlodolynske, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Lindenau, Molotschna Colony, Russian Empire
Now Liubymivka, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Michaelsburg, Fürstenland Colony, Russian Empire
Now Mikhaylivka, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Molotschna Colony, Russian Empire
Also known as Molochna or Molochnaya Colony. The area formerly covered by the colony is now a part of Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Nieder-Chortitza, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire
Now Nyzhnya Khortytsya, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Oblast
An administrative division corresponding to an ‘area’, a ‘zone’, or a ‘region’.

Osterwick, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire
Also known as Neu-Osterwick; adjacent to Kronsthal. Formerly known as Pavlivka (1892–1963), now Dolynske, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Petershagen, Molotschna Colony, Russian Empire
Now Kutuzivka, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Prussia
Mennonites began moving from the Netherlands to the Vistula Delta in the Duchy of Prussia in the 1530s. In 1701 the Duchy became the Kingdom of Prussia, a title it retained until the end of the First World War. The Kingdom of Prussia became a part of the German Empire in 1871. The Treaty of Versailles turned the area around Danzig (now Gdańsk) into a semi-autonomous city-state, the Free State of Danzig, until the Second World War, when the Germans claimed it. Since the end of the Second World War this area has been a part of Poland.

Reimerswalde, Grosser Werder, Kingdom of Prussia
Later Leśnowo, an abandoned settlement in Nowy Dwór Gdański County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

Rosenthal, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire
Also known as Rosental; later Kanzerovka, now Verkhnaya Kortitsa, a part of Zaporizhia, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Schönwiese, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire
Annexed to the city of Alexandrovsk, now Zaporizhia, in 1911. Now a part of Zaporizhia, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine.

Stobbendorf, Gross Werder, Prussia
Now Stobiec, Nowy Dwór Gdański County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. 

Voivodeship
A province. Poland currently has sixteen voivodeships.