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Welcome to Berger Ancestry 

 There were two Berger families that lived in the Beresan District of Odessa in Russia. Both had arrived there in 1809 and originated from Alsace in France. The Berger family from Goersdorf were founder members of the village of Speier and the Berger family from Climbach were founder members of the village of Landau.

Although Goersdorf and Climbach are village communities close to one and other in Alsace, we have so far never been able to link the two families. There have however, been marriages between the two families since 1809.
This site is primarily for people researching the Berger family from Speier who originated from Goersdorf in Alsace Lorraine, France but I do have a lot of information on the Berger family from Climbach that settled in the Beresan village of Landau should you need any help.

Within the site you will find the record of the travels of the Bürger/Berger family. Our journey starts in Bobenthal, Südwest Pfalz and then in 1736 to Goersdorf in Alsace Lorraine. During the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleanic Wars, the family were forced off their land and had to leave the vineyards and their home in France in 1780 and escape to Minfeld and Freckenfeld in the German Rhinepfalz region where they lived for nine years before moving on to Jockgrim in 1789.

Following a lot of unrest in the region due to frequent attacks by the French troops and Mathias Bürger being made a Military Fugitive by the advancing French Army, the family decided in 1809 to take up an offer from Catherine the Great of Russia and make the long migration to the Beresan Valley north east of Odessa on the Russian Steppes. Here they were offered freedom of Religion, exemption from military service, interest free loans and freedom from land taxes. Mathias and his wife Maria Catharina with their family were founder members of the village of Speier.

At the turn of the 20th Century, following the rise of the Bolsheviks and unrest in the towns and villages of the colonists where things that were once promised were now being denied, many sought a new life in America, Argentina and Canada.

In 1903 my great grandparents, George and Elizabeth Berger and their family, travelled by train back to Germany and they all emigrated from the port of Hamburg and arrived in Canada through the port of Halifax in Nova Scotia and also through Ellis Island in America. Here they caught a train to Richardton, North Dakota. They then made their various homestead claims where they farmed and raised cattle in the villages of Taylor and Manning in North Dakota.

My Grandfather Kasimir, sold his homestead by auction in 1912 in Manning, North Dakota and emigrated to Saskatchewan in Canada. The rest of the family stayed in America. My father was born in Forget, Saskatchewan and came to England during WWII with the South Saskatchewan Regiment and never returned.
Brian Berger.
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