Fresno Metropolitan Area, California

Includes the following communities: 
Fresno, Fresno Co., California
Clovis, Fresno Co., California
Reedley, Fresno Co., California
Sunnyside, Fresno Co., California
Tivy Valley, Fresno Co., California
Sanger, Fresno Co., California
Kerman, Fresno Co., California
Kingsburg, Fresno Co., California
Selma, Fresno Co., California
Fowler, Fresno Co., California
Del Rey, Fresno Co., California
Biola, Fresno Co., California
Caruthers, Fresno Co., California
Raisin City, Fresno Co., California

The first group of Volga Germans to immigrate to Fresno left the colonies of Straub and Stahl am Tarlyk on 8 May 1887. They arrived at the old Southern Pacific Depot in Fresno on 19 June 1887. This first group was comprised of 31 men, women, and children. It consisted of the following families: Andreas, Berg, Kerner, Karle, Metzler, Mehling, Nillmaier, and Steitz. The second and third waves of Volga German arrivals in Fresno brought the following families: Bopp, Bitter, Diel, Gleim, Hartwig, Heinze, Hubert, Lieder, Roth, Scheerer, and Schwabenland.

Over the years, immigrants also arrived from Anton, Bangert, Gnadendorf, Jost, Kautz, Kukkus, Laub, Lauwe, Neu-Schilling, Shcherbakovka, Stahl am Karaman, and Warenburg. By 1891, the number of Volga Germans living in Fresno reached 167; by 1899 it was 734; and by 1908, it had reached 3,000.  By 1920, the Volga German population in and around Fresno had grown to 8,000. The Volga German population by 1970 reached over 100,000, and it is estimated today that there are at least 250,000 Volga German descendants in the Fresno metropolitan area.

The first Volga German settlers to arrive in Sanger, southwest of Fresno, came from the colonies of Dreispitz and Shcherbakovka.

The original Volga German neighborhood in Fresno was bounded by Church, Mono, G, and Fruit Streets.

Volga German Congregations: 

Cross Church
St. Paul's Lutheran
Third Congregational
Wartburg Lutheran Church
Zion Congregational Church

Volga German Families: 

The following Volga German families settled in and around Fresno:

Adolph from Warenburg
Alles from Walter
Amen from Frank
Andersen from Dinkel
Andreas / Andrews from Warenburg
Arnbrister from Galka
Arndt from Warenburg
Arnst from Reinhard & Warenburg
Aschenbrener from Gnadendorf
Axt from Jost
Bauer from Frank
Baum from Kukkus
Becker from Kukkus
Befort from Ober-Monjou
Befus from Katharinental
Behm from Dönhof
Beiden from Dinkel
Biehl from Gnadendorf
Beier / Biar / Bier from Warenburg
Benzel from Kolb
Benzler from Dinkel
Bessinger from Stahl am Tarlyk
Bichner from Laub
Bischel from Jost
Bitter from Lauwe
Blehm from Straßburg
Boos from Warenburg
Bopp from Straub
Borgart from Schwed
Borgdorf from Stahl am Tarlyk
Borgens from Frank
Borger from Warenburg
Bos(s)ler from Straub
Brack from Pobochnaya
Brase from Jost
Bretzer / Pretzer from Laub
Burgdorf from Stahl am Tarlyk
Busch from Laub
Buseck / Busick from Kukkus
Buxmann from Wiesenmüller
Christian from Dinkel
Constance / Constanz from Warenburg
Dahlinger from Kraft
Damm / Dunn from Schilling
Dauer from Jost
Debus from Kukkus
Deibert from Dinkel
Deis from Laub
Demler from Laub
Dermer from Straub
Desch from Pfeifer
Die(h)l from Straub
Diener from Warenburg
Dreiling from Herzog
Eberlein from Laub
Eckhardt from Lauwe
Ehrlich from Shcherbakovka
Eichmann from Gnadentau & Schwab
Eirich from Friedenberg
Eisner from Warenburg
Engelmann from Kolb & Kukkus
Eurich from Kukkus
Fatius from Kukkus
Feuerstein from Brunnental
Fischer from Warenburg
Fleck / Flach from Jost & Warenburg
Floth from Frank
Foos from Dietel
Forschauer from Kukkus
Frank from Kautz
Frantz from Laub
Friedrich from Laub
Fries from Hussenbach
Frisch from Warenburg
Funkner from Warenburg
Gammel from Bangert
Ganshorn from Anton
Gaus from Fischer
Gerhardt from Warenburg
Geringer / Goeringer from Lauwe
Gettman from Frank
Gleim from Gnadenflur & Hoffental
Glock from Straub
Glockhamer from Kautz
Göbel (Gabel) from Warenburg
Gossman from Urbach
Götz from Kukkus
Graf from Schilling
Grasmick from Lauwe
Grass from Stahl am Tarlyk
Groman from Dinkel
Hart from Laub
Hardwig / Hartwig
Heinrich from Kukkus
Heintz from Bangert
Helmuth from Stahl am Tarlyk
Hergenreder from Kukkus
Herstein from Kukkus
Herzog from Kukkus
Hieronymus from Straub & Warenburg
Hilzer from Norka
Hintergardt from Stephan
Hölz from Warenburg
Horch from Stahl am Tarlyk & Warenburg
Horn from Laub
Horst from Gnadendorf
Isheim from Kukkus
Jacoby from Laub
Johannes from Kukkus
Jost (Yost) from Warenburg
Kaiser / Keiser
Karle from Straub
Kerber from Stahl am Tarlyk
Kerner from Lauwe
Kinzel from Warenburg
Kisling from Warenburg
Kissler from Frank
Kister from Warenburg
Klamm from Warenburg
Klaus from Ober-Monjou
Klemm from Kukkus
Kraft from Straub
Krell from Stahl am Tarlyk
Krumm from Kukkus
Kruse from Laub
Laikam from Laub
Lambel from Straub
Laub from Laub
Laubhan from Shcherbakovka
Legleiter from Liebental
Lehman from Stahl am Tarlyk
Leiker from Ober-Monjou
Leisle from Warenburg
Lindgren from Stahl am Tarlyk
Lofink from Warenburg
Lung from Straub
Mahling / Mehling
Markus from Lauwe
Maser from Kukkus
Maul from Schilling
Meisner from Lauwe
Merk from Laub
Metzger from Warenburg
Metzler from Laub & Straub
Miller from Kukkus & Warenburg
Morasch from Lauwe
Nein from Schilling
Neuhard from Kukkus
Nielsen from Stahl am Tarlyk
Nillmaier / Nilmeier from Stahl am Tarlyk
Oehlschlaeger from Straub
Ohlberg from Kukkus
Pfister from Urbach
Pinnecker from Wiesenmüller
Preuss (Price) from Lauwe
Pretzer from Laub
Quisnar from Jost
Rebensdorf from Dinkel
Rein from Konstantinovka
Reisig from Shcherbakovka
Reitz from Bangert & Kukkus
Ressler from Laub
Ries from Dinkel & Warenburg
Rommel from Hussenbach
Rosenberger from Nieder-Monjou
Rosental from Kukkus
Rothermel from Straub
Rube / Ruby from Lauwe
Rudolph from Straub
Saalfeld from Konstantinovka
Salwasser from Stahl am Tarlyk
Sauermilch from Gnadendorf
Scharton from Straub
Scheerer / Scherer
Scheideman from Norka
Scheidt from Stahl am Tarlyk
Schiebelhut from Stahl am Tarlyk
Schiffmann from Warenburg
Schledewitz from Jost
Schlotthauer from Dobrinka
Schmall from Stahl am Tarlyk
Schmidt / Smith
Schneider from Kukkus & Straub
Schwabenland from Straub
Schwengel from Warenburg
Schwindt from Dreispitz
Seher from Straub
Seib (Sipe) from Stahl am Tarlyk
Seibert from Warenburg
Simon from Karlsruhe (North Caucasus)
Simon from Laub
Sinner from Stahl am Tarlyk
Sitzenstock / Zitzenstock from Lauwe
Spaet / Spate from Bangert
Spomer from Stahl am Tarlyk
Steinhauer from Warenburg
Steinmetz from Brunnental
Steitz from Straub
Stenger from Stahl am Tarlyk
Stier from Jost
Stiglitz from Lauwe
Stuckert from Wiesenmüller
Stumpf from Warenburg
Traudt from Norka
Trippel from Warenburg
Utz from Neu-Weimar
Wagenleitner from Warenburg
Weber from Laub
Weigand from Kukkus
Weisbrod / Wiesbrod from Straub
Werner from Warenburg
Wiederkehr from Laub
Will / Wills from Lauwe & Straub
Worster from Balzer
Wulf from Dinkel
Zisch from Dinkel
Zitterkopf from Huck


- Challenger, Tom. Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno (8 September 2017). [Online]
- Germantown, Fresno (Fresno, CA: City of Fresno, Planning and Development Department, 2006). (online link)
- Koch, Fred C. The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977): 215.
- "The Religious History of the Germans-Russians in the USA." California District Council Report (Fall 2003): 6-7. (online link)


1920 Census (Fresno Co., CA)
Extracted Germans from Russia A-D, E-H, I-L, M-R, S-T, U-Z

Pre-Volga Origin

Area of Fresno where "Germantown" used to be.
Source: Architectural Resources Group.

Area of Fresno where "Germantown" used to be.
Source: Architectural Resources Group.

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fresno (1882).

Corner of L Street & Old Mill Ditch in Fresno (1884).
Source: San Juaquin Valley Library System.

Fresno in 1888 (looking northwest on J Street (now Fulton Street).

Southern Pacific Railway Depot in Fresno.
Source: E.P. Charlton & Co.

Volga Colonies

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