Przechowka was the mother congregation not only to Alexanderwohl, Gnadenfeld, and Waldheim in the Molotschna Colony but also to the Neumark villages (Brenkenhoffswalde, Franzthal, Neu Dessau) and Low German Volhynian villages (Karolswalde, Antonovka, Karolsberge, Jadwanin, Grünthal, Fürstenthal, Fürstendorf, Dosidorf, Heinrichsdorf) as well. Many descendants of Old Flemish Przechowka villagers could also be found in Deutsche Wymysle and Kazun west of Warsaw.
The Przechowka Church Records were compiled beginning in the year 1784 by Elder Jacob Wedel (1754-1791; Grandma #106634). The presentation before you here consists of the digitized pages of the Church Records which can be found at https://mla.bethelks.edu/metadata/cong_15.php, and the frame numbers refer to frame numbers found at this website. Included here are the listing of Gültige Numbers and Notes (Frames 1-3), the church Names Register (Frames 4-40, 42-50, 61, 62), a Baptism Register (Frames 53, 54), a Marriage Register (Frames 58, 59), a two-part Death Register (Frames 51-53, 55-57), and a Reference Index (Frame 41). Not included here are notes and amendments added after the congregation moved to Alexanderwohl in the Molotschna Colony between the years 1819 and 1824.
Great care has been taken to reproduce an accurate reproduction of the Church Records but given so much data some errors may still appear. Much of the translation of various notes is taken from the 1974 edition of the Church Records compiled by Jacob A. Duerksen, Velda Richert-Duerksen and the staff at The Mennonite Immigrant Historical Foundation in Goessel, KS. Thank you to Glenn Penner for helping with other bits of translation, particularly with the Baptism Register.
I have tried to standardize place names on each list according to modern-day spellings. However, I have been unable to identify several villages, thus these spellings have remained as they appear on the original document. I have reproduced names, both first and last, as they appear on the original documents, including feminine versions of surnames and diminutives. Occasionally, however, I have cleaned up the spelling of some names. There is a good deal of variety in the spelling of some names, such as Nachtigal, so I’ve tried to lend a bit of consistency there.
Many females are identified by diminutive forms of their first names which can be confusing to the uninitiated. Some of the more commonly-used diminutives include:
Elder Jacob Wedel made many understandable numbering errors in the Membership Register. He assigned each church member a serial number and tried to keep family members together. Inevitably some family members were overlooked but he employed various strategies to place these entrants with their families including the addition of letters, of Roman numerals, and even of Hebrew numerals. This is a list of the instances where Hebrew numerals are used and the sequences in which they appear:
Elder Wedel included the serial numbers 2000, 2001, 6000, and 6001, towards the end of the Membership Register. These numbers do not fit any other sequences of numbers on the list but they are reproduced faithfully from the original. Lastly, I have included a column on the far left simply to keep the whole thing in its original order, including blank lines. This column is my own invention; it does not appear on the originals.
A note on translation: words in [brackets] indicate illegible material and may contain my own best guess for what the word says or other notes made by me. Underlinings indicate letters or words which could not be read.
Rod Ratzlaff, October 2017
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