A Digital History and Photo Archive for the Beresan District, Odessa, Russia


The KIEFEL Family


Valentin Kiefel & wife Walburga Wolf & family According to the information found in Karl Stumpp's book "The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862, the KIEFEL family came out of Neeweiler/Lauterburg-Elsass in 1808, heading for the colony of Franzfeld, Odessa, South Russia..  Whether or not they ever made it to that particular village is hard to discern, since they aren't listed in the 1816 census for Franzfeld!   HOWEVER....they DO show up in the 1816 census as residents in the colony of Selz in the Kutschurgan area of South Russia!!


However, the family is found "on the move" again...and living in FRANZFELD (of all places!!) in the 1858 census for that village! 

From here, I can only surmise that my Great Grandfather, Valentin Kiefel and his wife, Walburga Wolf, took their family and continued traveling south into Romania; settling in Gross Mangeapunar, on the edge of the Black Sea.

The Black Sea at Gross Mangeapunar, Rumania


George Kiefel and Helena Marthaller It was here that my Grandfather, Georg Kiefel, married his first wife, Helena Marthaller...
They married in 1903 and had 5 children before Helena died in 1917:  Valentin, Elizabeth,  Christian, Philippina and Alexander.  Valentin died shortly after his birth, and Christian died around the age of 2.   Georg remarried in June of the same year to my Grandmother, Walburga Hirsch.  Together, they had 8 more children.


My Aunt Elizabeth was born in 1907, in Gross Mangeapunar.  She married Maxmillian Hintz, and had 4 children before her husband was killed in Poland during the trek back to Germany in 1945.

Alexander was born in 1915, married Anna Pechel and had 3 children before he was killed during WWII.  His wife and children left Romania and are living in Germany.

Alexander Kiefel


Hintz & Renner families

My Aunt Elizabeth with her family to the left of her:  George, John, Ed and Renate.  My parents are standing on the right with two of my brothers.

Alexander's family   Anna Pechel Kiefel, and their children, Agata, Bernard and Annaressa.

Anna Pechel Kiefel & family


Children  of  George   Kiefel  and  his  second  wife,  Walburga  Hirsch

Gregor Kiefel

Matthias Kiefel & my mother, Angela Kiefel

Michael Kiefel.jpg (9306 bytes)

Gregor Kiefel Matthias Kiefel & Angela Kiefel Michael Kiefel


My Grandmother, Walburga Hirsch, & Aunt Marianna Helena Kiefel & her husband
Walburga Hirsch & MariannaKiefel Helena Kiefel & Nikolaus Dettl Dora Kiefel & Karl Holzfurtner


Angela & Michael Renner with son, Alexander

My mother, Angela Kiefel, was born in 1922 in Gross-Mangeapunar, Romania.   She had many very fond memories of life as it was on the Black Sea just outside their home.   The members of the German families all spoke German at home, but in school were taught to use the Romanian language.  When the War broke out, her half-brother, Alexander and her brother, Jacob,  were drafted into the German Army...and both died while fighting.  In 1933 her father also died.

In the early-1940's, as the Russian army was advancing towards Romania, the German Army came into their village and began moving the German residents out.  They were first loaded onto a train which traveled to a shipping port, and then onto a ship which took them to Austria.  From there they traveled on foot from town to town...sometimes staying for quite some time, and sometimes only for a few days.   In each town in which they would be staying for any length of time, the Germans would force the villagers out of their homes and these were given to the German families to use.  Many times, the evicted villagers would return and work as servants for the German families.  Slowly, most of the German families made it into Germany by 1944, where my mother later met my father while she was living in a Red Cross camp.


Matthias & Michael Kiefel George Kiefel had 6 brothers and one sister that we know of.  Of these, only Franz left to come to America.  In 1907, he left Romania with his wife, Leogadia Weiler, and his son Joseph, barely one year old, and sailed from Bremen, Germany to the US on the S.S. Kolm.  They settled in Richardton, ND.

Franz was a carpenter by trade, and was one of the tradesman that helped construct the St. Mary's Church which still stands in Richardton.

Brothers Matthias and Michael Kiefel

His wife, Leogadia, died in 1912.  In 1913, Franz married the widow Louisa Schmidt Vetsch, who arrived from Kandel, South Russia with her two children.  Together, he and Louisa had 6 more children.  Franz died of pneumonia in May of 1925.  Louise remarried to John Streifel.

Franz Kiefel and 2nd wife, Louisa Schmidt

Franz Kiefel & Louisa Schmidt


Joe Kiefel & Frances Renner Joseph Kiefel was born in 1906 in Gross-Mangeapunar, Romania.  He arrived in Richardton with his parents, Franz Kiefel and Leogadia Weiler in May of 1907.  Joe married Frances Amelia Renner (daughter of Pius Renner and Margaretha Hoerner) in 1926 in the church that his father had helped build.  They started a family, and moved to Spokane, WA, where Frances died in July of 1975.  Joe remarried in 1976 with the widow Elizabeth Hoerner Patjens.  Elizabeth died August of 1997, and Joe died in October of 1998.


Helena Kiefel & Marianne Hirsch

Helena Kiefel and Marianna Hirsch.

Walburga  Kiefel & children, Dora,Michael, Helena & Angela                             

Grandma Walburga Kiefel  & family






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Last Update:05/02/10
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