Stephan
Names
Stefan, Stephan, Vodnobuyerachnoye, Vodyanoi Buyerak, Wodjanoi Bujerak, Wodjanoy Buyarak
Location
50º32' N 45º38' E
History
      Stephan was founded on 24 August 1767 by the Government as a Lutheran colony by 31 families who came Darmstadt, Prussia, Württemberg, and Mecklenburg. The colony was named Stephan after its first leader. By official decree dated 26 February 1768, the colony received the Russian name of Vodyanoi Buyerak which means "water gully."
      In 1841, a fire destroyed 22 homes in Stephan.
      Since 1770, there was a parochial school in the colony. A government (Russian) school was founded in 1874, and in 1898 a private school was established by L. F. Schneider. There was also an orphanage called "Salem" was also located in Stephan.
      In 1856, several families settled in Oberdorf, a daughter colony to the southwest of the other colonies on the Bergseite. From 1859 and 1886, 78 families (total of 671 people - 351 male & 320 female) resettled to daughter colonies on the Wiesenseite. Between 1863-1868, three families (29 people) moved to the Stavropol Province. Immigration to America began in 1886.
      There was a hospital in the village as of 2003.
Church
      The Stephan parish was founded in 1771 when a wooden church was constructed. A new Lutheran church was built of stone in 1872. Some residents of Stephan were Baptist.
Pastors
      The congregation in Stephan was served by the following pastors:

The following served in Stephan as vicar:

Population
Population Table
Year
Households
Population
Total
Male
Female
1767
93
1769
31
98
51
47
1773
32
144
70
74
1788
36
242
129
113
1798
38
294
153
141
1816
63
510
285
225
1834
101
923
484
439
1850
158
1,496
735
761
1857
176
1,713
841
872
1859
130
1,756
868
888
1886
202
1,539
787
752
1891
183
1,949
1,015
934
1894
182
2,210
1,125
1,085
1897
1,607*
806
801
1905
2,840
1911
3,447
1912
2,910
1920
319**
2,047
1922
1,641
1923
1,700
1926***
316
1,656
801
855
1931
2,081****
*Of whom 1,597 were German.
**Of which 318 households were German.
***Of whom 1,653 were German (1,656 households: 798 male & 855 female).
****Of whom 2,054 were German.
Sources:
- Beratz, Gottieb. The German colonies on the Lower Volga, their origin and early development: a memorial for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers on the Volga, 29 June 1764. Translated by Adam Giesinger (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1991): 353.
- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.
- Mink, A.N. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of the Saratov Province [in Russian] (Saratov, Russia, 1898): 128-131.
- Mittheilungen und Nachrichten fuer die evangelische Geistlichkeit Russlands: 1841, p. 295.
- Pallas, P.S. Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs. Theil 3,2, Reise aus Sibirien zurueck an die Wolga im 1773sten Jahr (St. Petersburg: Kaiserl. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1776): 621.
- Pleve, Igor R. The German Colonies on the Volga: The Second Half of the Eighteenth Century, translated by Richard Rye (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2001): 318.
- Preliminary Results of the Soviet Census of 1926 on the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Pokrovsk, 1927): 28-83.
- Schnurr, Joseph. Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen, Evangelischer Teil.
- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 18.
Resources
External Links
Stephan (wolgadeutsche.net) - in Russian
Village of Stephan (Don Kutchera)
Last updated 6 April 2013.
Map showing Stephan (1935).