Between 1764 and 1772, 106 colonies were established along the Volga River near Saratov. Historically, these colonies became known as "Mother Colonies". Colonists were assigned to settlements according to their religious confession.
As the colonies grew, they became overcrowded, and beginning in the 1848 a series of "Daughter Colonies" were established, mostly to the south and east of the original colonies. The daughter colonies were inhabited by descendants of the original colonists.
Another group of new colonies were established at this same time in the midst of the Volga German colonies by a group of Mennonites from West Prussia. Another group of these Mennonites settled in the Volga region to the north of Samara. They were soon joined by a group of Evangelical Germans who established another group of colonies.
Read more about the colonists arrival in Russia.