Drefs (Drews) Bessarabian Research
I am Reuben Drefs and I am involved in research of the Drefs (Drews)
family name. As the graphic of a church indicates, my ancesters were faithful
to the Lutheran faith, the faith of northern Germany. They carried this
faith with them as they moved into the eastern provinces of Germany into
Poland and the Ukraine and finally to the USA frontier in South Dakota.
My grandfather Frederick Drefs immigrated from Bessarabia/Urkaine
in 1876. Bessarabia had been claimed by Russia in 1812 and except for the
years 1920-40, which was the Rumania time, remained part of Russia until
the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990's. I am the village coordinator
for Neu Arcis, Bessarabia, the village from which the Drefs originated
I welcome any assistance, questions, comments, and especially new
insights into finding our family lines in Germany and Poland. However,
before that can happen new research especially during the 1780-1815 interlude
in Poland needs to clarify the place of birth for strategic years, e.g.
1797,1800, 1803 and marriages about 1795 and 1814.
My key ancestor John (Johann) Drews is documented for birth data in church
books for the year 1800. Indications point to his father Jacob Drews, born
1771, although no hard documentation has been discovered at this point.
John Drews name was altered to John Drefs about 1835 and since that time
the family has used the "f" rather than the "w". The family of Jacob Drews/Drefs
immigrated to south Russia (Ukraine) in 1814 and was part of the original
colonists of Arcis, Bessarabia, not far from the Black Sea and some 50-60
miles west of Odessa. John Drefs married Anna Elisabeth Wenzlaff in 1826.
They had nine children between 1828 and 1842. In the year 1839 my great
grandfather John was born. John had twin brothers that were born in 1842
and in 1844 the mother Anna Elisabeth died. My great great grandfather
John (1800 birthyear) never remarried. In 1860 John Drefs, born 1839 married
Christina Tschritter of the village of Alt Elft, Bessarabia. To this union
my grandfather Frederick was born in 1862. At about age eight his mother
died, 1870, and John his father remarried to Christina Zeitner. A few years
later, as threats to russify became more pronounced, John took his family
to America in 1876.My ancesters were farmers, so they homesteaded southeast
of Tripp, S.D. where my father was born in 1898, over one hundred years
|About 1900 our family moved from southwest of Tripp, S.D. to twelve
miles north of Delmont, S.D. I was born and raised on a farm there. This
is a picture of my sister Anna milking a cow and my sister Malinda and
myself playing on an unusual cow.
My research efforts have largely been completed in Neu Arcis, Bessarabia.
At the present time I am searching for the Drews famiy in their sojorn
in Poland between the years 1770-1815. This time frame covers the birth
of Jakob Drews(1771), Johann Drefs (1800), Rosina Drews birth,(1797) daughter
of Jakob, and the marriage of Rosina Drews to Andreas Schulz, in Warsaw,
1814. Recent research has confirmed the Drews family originated in the Bromberg,
West Prussia area. Precisely this was the Netze District in 1772. Dialect research
conducted in 1941 suggested Neu Arcis colonists originated in the Bromberg area.
Precise maping of the dialect spoken in Neu Arcis, Bessarabia which was also
spoken in Bromberg area is available through the research book of Albert Eckert.
I welcome any comments and suggestion you may have to searching for
ancesters in Poland in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
Links to Other Research of Germans From Russia
GRHS Homepage - A great site for Black
Seas Germans from Russia.
AHSGR Homepage - Visit this site for
more coverage of Germans from Russa with specialization in Volga German
Feefhs Frontpage - Federation of Eastern
European Family History Societies includes German as well as all other
European ethnic groups. The German site includes Germans from Russia as
well as general German genealogical sources.
Homepage constructed by R. Reuben Drefs, August 18, 1997
2053 Woonsocket, Toledo, OH 43615
Graphics on this page provided by Chris Stern at Cherished