Kessler (Orlovskaya)*

Spelling Variations: 
Kessler (Orlovskaya)*
Кеслеръ (Orlovskaya)*
Kößler (Orlovskaya)*
Settled in the Following Colonies: 
Discussion & Documentation: 

An article by Hermann Wäschke records the following going to Russia (these entries are believed to refer to the same family):

Heinrich Keszler, a guardsman (Schutzgenosse) and thresher (Drescher) from Sollnitz, with his wife and three children. The auction of the possessions he left behind brought 10 Thlr. 3 Gr. 6 Pfg. This amount is compared with debts of 5 Thlr. 22 Gr.

The following are recorded on a list of subjects from Sollnitz who escaped to Russia:

Heinrich Kößler, a 43-year-old tenant (Mietsmann) born in Schierau, with his [unnamed] 30-year-old wife who was born in the Marke, and 3 children (Sophia, age 12; August, age 6; Johanna Maria, age 2), from Schierau.

Heinrich Kessler, a farmer, his wife Dorothea, and daughter Sophia (age 10) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 4 July 1766 aboard the English frigate Love & Unity under the command of Skipper Thomas Fairfax. Heinrich's wife died and he remarried to Maria.

Heinrich Kesler [sic], his wife Dorothea, and daughter Dor. Sophia (age 10) are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.

Heinrich Kessler, a farmer, his wife Maria [sic], and daughters (Johanna Sophia, age 12; Johanna Augusta, age 6-months) are recorded on the 1767 census of Orlovskaya in Household No. 17. They had settled there on 7 June 1767.

Widow Dorothea Kessler, her daughter Justina [Augusta?], and her daughter's family are recorded on the 1798 census of Orlovskaya in Household No. Or13.

The 1767 census records that Heinrich Kessler came from the German village of Söllnitz in the region of Dessau.

There are no known surviving male lines of this Kessler family among the Volga German colonies.


- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Or13.
- Mai, Brent Alan and Dona Reeves-Marquardt. German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767) (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): #1100, #1104.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 315.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #1278.
- Rauschenbach, Georg. Deutsche Kolonisten auf dem Weg von St. Petersburg nach Saratow: Transportlisten von 1766-1767 (Moscow: G.V. Rauschenbach, 2017): #0560-0562.
- Wäschke, Hermann. "Deutsche Familien in Russland" in Roland, Archiv für Stamm- und Wappenkunde, Jubiläumsschrift, 18 January 1912: 90.

Contributor(s) to this page: 

Brent Mai

Karl Becker

List of subjects from Sollnitz who secretly escaped to Russia in 1766.
Source: Karl Becker.

Pre-Volga Origin

Volga Colonies