Shafter CA
N Dakota
S Dakota

Data from Cliff Wall's book Remembering Our Heritage is included in the Brothersfield Tree on

Genealogy of Early Russian Mennonite Immigrants in
Brothersfield Township, No. 100 North, Range No. 53 West Dakota Territory, USA

Brothersfield Immigrant Photos 1880 - 1900

"During the month of August, 1873 Mr. Daniel Unruh, with his family and a small party, arrived in New York. Mr. Unruh was a native of Crimea, Russia, and a member of the Mennonite Church. He came as far west as Elkhart, Indiana where he left his family and then traveled quite extensively for two months, which took him through most of the middle west states, including Dakota Territory. He viewed land west of Menno and decided to locate there. He went back and brought his family and party to Yankton, where they spent the winter. He eventually founded his home in Childstown Township and continued to reside there until the time of his death." Turner County Pioneer History - W. H. Stoddard.

Unurh's family and "small party" were the first Russian Mennonites to settle in Dakota Territory. Included were relatives from Bruderfeld, Crimea and Russia's Molotschna Colony. During the next few years more family relatives arrived from Alexanderthal, now called Oleksandrivka

Their journey to America is best described by Cornelius Duerksen, another Unruh relative from Alexanderthal, who came in 1874 but settled in Kansas.

Those who came to Dakota Territory arrived at the end of the railroad in Turner County's Yankton, stayed briefly to file for homestead land, then followed the "Government Road" north to Swan Lake where they turned east to visit Daniel Unruh at his home marked "Unruh's" on this early map.

Heinrich Adrian described the conflicts that arose in the 1880s when many of the Brothersfield Mennonite Brethren became Seventh-Day Adventists. The Diary of Tobias Schmidt reveals, with no mention of the conflicted congregations, much about daily life in Brotherfield Township from 1886 to 1890.

Photos of Brothersfield Mennonite Pioneers taken in the Parker, SD Kidder Gallery.

By the early 1900s most of the Mennonite families had gone to Canada where a new "Bruderfeld" was established. Most of the Adventists heeded a call for German speaking Adventists to join others homesteading newly opened land around Napoleon in Logan County. North Dakota. Many Brothersfield Adventists homesteaded there but stayed only long enough to prove up, sell out and move further north to Stutsman County's Lowery Township, which they called New Home (Church - Cemetery). Their land is shown on this Lowery Township Plat Map).

The Brothersfield Immigrant's data hs been compiled from the California Mennonite Historical Society Data, BLM land records, Turner County Plat Maps, the federal 1880 Census, Tabor College's Brothersfield MB Church records, Stoddard's Turner County Pioneers and of course, the many resources of

Heinrich ADRIAN (1822-1910) and children
Heinrich Adrian
Courtesy of Don Hiebert
Heinrich Adrian - Sarah Klassen
Heinrich was born in Rudnerweide, a village near Alexanderthal in Molotschna Colony Russia. His older sister Katharina (Catarina) married Heinrich Dirksen from Alexanderthal. The Adrian families and four Dirksen families arrived in Brothersfield during or soon after 1876. Dirksens, Guenthers, Funks and Walls were the May 17, 1877 charter members of the Brothersfield Mennonite Brethren congregation. On November 21, 1877 Heinrich Adrian and Heinrich Loewen were elected leaders then on April 23, 1878 Heinrich Adrian was confirmed the Church leader. He wrote the description in Friesen's "The Old Evangelical Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia 1789-1910" of Brothersfield conflicts and troubles.
GRANDMA 26985 58 years old in 1880.

From Rudnerweide, Molotschna Colony, South Russia. Parents and Eight Married Children

MB Record
Line s 19 and 20

Sec 20
Maria Adrian - Heinrich LOEWEN
Maria is the oldest child of Heinrich and Sarah (above). At the age of 22, while still in Russia, she married 53 yr old Hierschau widower Heinrich Loewen, whose 1st wife's daughter Helena is married to his brother-in-law Heinrich Jr. Adrian.

Maria and Heinrich went to Bruderfeld, Crimea where Maria's brother Heinrich Jr. Adrian was part of a group planning emigration to America. Their leaders were Daniel Unruh (Childstown), Tobias B Unruh (section 27) and Abraham J Voth (sec 20).

Maria and Heinrich's two surviving children, Johann and Abraham, are with them in Brothersfield.

103888 She is 33 yrs with (at least) 2 children. MB Record
Line 19

Sec 20
N Justina Adrian - Isaac LOEWEN
Justina is the second oldest child of Heinrich and Sarah (above). Husband Isaac is a son of Hierschau resident Jacob Loewen (1819-1886) whose sons went to Bruderfeld, Crimea and joined the emigration to America.
117204 In 1880 she 31
with four children
MB Record
Line 13

N Heinrich Adrian Jr - Helena LOEWEN
He was a son of Heinrich (above). She was a daughter of Heinrich Loewen (1816) and his first wife Maria Wiebe.
27288 29 and 27 with five children. MB Record
Line 14

N Peter K Adrian - Susanna Dirks
He is a son of Heinrich and Sarah Klassen Adrian, She is related to Andreas Voth's wife Susanna Carolina Dircks, but not to the Brothersfield Dirks(en) or Dirksen families.
86774 27 and 29 at marriage in 1880. MB Record
Line s 41 and 42

N Jacob Adrian - Maria GUENTHER
70091 23 and 18. Married in 1881 MB Record
Line 97

Sec 20
In OK before 1910
Sarah Adrian - Abraham VOTH
They are married soon after the 1880 census. Living on his father Jacob's farm?
70090 23 and 21 no children MB Record
Line 96

Sec 19
N Katharina Adrian - David FUNK
Married at age 17, she died a year later, two weeks after the birth of her first child, Oct 1879. They lived on David's father's farm.
484356 She died just before the 1880 census. She was 18. MB Record
Line 10

Sec 20 and 21
N Elisabeth Adrian - Jacob Thomas

They married in September of 1887 and had five children before they left for Hitchcock Oklahoma where the sixth was born in 1901. They came to Shafter, CA between 1910 and 1919 and joined the Adventist German Church. His letter includes a paragraph about Jacob Dirksen's preaching in 1888. Lived on her father's farm until 1900. (?)
70088 Both 15 in 1880. Married at age 22 MB Record
Line 110

Sec 20
BEIR Two Brothers from Waldheim and Crimea
N Unconfirmed Johann Beier - Aganetha ENGBRECHT
Three Brothers (2 in Brothersfield). Third brother Cornelius was in Homestead Township.

The Kidder Gallery family portrait is a guess. The ages of the parents and children appear close.

342627 31 and 28 with four children From Waldheim, Molotschna Colony, South Russia -
Sec 32
N Abraham Beier - Elisabeth BORN
Photo is only correct if the older girl is not theirs, but instead a "servant" or adopted child. Compare to his brother Johann. Did the two brothers bring their families to Parker's Kidder Gallery on the same day? Third brother Cornelius was in Homestead Township.
32165 25 and 22 with two children
Sec 26
Jacob BORN'S daughters (1831-1896)
Kidder Gallery
Helena Born - Heinrich LOEWEN
Sister of Elisabeth Born Beier, Their father's large family (2 wives) came to Marion, South Dakota in 1874.
103998 24 and 30 with an infant in 1880
N Elisabeth Born - Abraham BEIER
Sister of Elisabeth Born Beier, Their father's large family (2 wives) came to Marion, South Dakota in 1874.
103998 22 and 25 with an infant in 1880
no photo
Maria Born - Cornelius VOTH
One of Jacob's 12 daughters by two wives, her mother the second. Three of the daughters lived in Brothersfield.
33670 1842
N Heinrich Buller - Aganetha DIRKS
Is he related to Jacob Buller (below) or Maria Buller Wall ?
She is Benjamin Dirks(en)'s sister.
28413 46 and 38 with six children in Brothersfield
Sec 25
Jacob Buller - Anna VOTH
Is he related to Heinrich (above) or Mary Buller, 2 yrs his junior?
Anna is the oldest child of Jacob and Aganetha Ewert Voth. Her son Peter became a leader in the early Shafter, CA Adventist Church.
106205 1844 MB Record
Line 60

Benjamin DIRKS(EN) (1824- ? ) from Waldheim
Benjamin Dirks(en) - Susanna WEDEL then Katharina Dick

Benjamin's second wife Katharina's 1st husband Aron Thiesen died in Russia 1872. Her 2nd husband Heinrich Vogt was killed by Lightning in Marion SD June 8, 1880, the month the 1880 census began. She married Benjamin Dirks(en) about 1883. They followed the Adventists to New Home, ND. South Dakota Land Documents (collected by his great grandson Clifford Orvan Wall) show that Benjamin changed his name from Dirks to Dircksen. His family was not related to the Brothersfield Dirksens from Alexanderthal.
103920 56 with four children (one married) in Brothersfield. From Waldheim, Molotschna Colony, South Russia. MB Record
Line 21

Sec 8

New Home Twnp144 Range69 Sec 22

N Aganetha Dirks - Heinrich BULLER
She is Benjamin's (above) sister. Was her husband related to Maria Buller Wall ?
103991 38 and 46 with six children in Brothersfield
Sec 25
N Cornelius B Dirksen - Elisabeth, then Anna, Dirksen.
He is Benjamin's only son and not related to his father-in-law Jacob Dirksen. He married Elisabeth in 1888 then Anna in 1897, both daughters of Jacob DIRKSEN. Anna had been married to Johann Thiesen who died about a year after Elisabeth's death. Cornelius and Anna became Adventists and went to New Home, ND.
103922 22 in 1880 MB Record
Line 23

Sec 17

New Home Twnp144 Range69 Sec 19

N Eva Dirks(en) - Peter UNRUH
She is Cornelius' older sister. He is a son of Tobias B Unruh. They went to Canada about 1898.
345201 23 and 29 Married with three children.
Sec 28
and Sec 29
DIRKSEN Six Siblings from Alexanderthal
N In 19th century Molotschna Colony the family farm passed to the youngest son. This fact combined with the lack of land for new families often drove older children to opportunities far from their parent's farm. Oldest Dirksen child Johann Dirksen (33995) was in Kherson, Russia until June 29, 1885 when he came to North Dakota with his wife and six children. His siblings had sold the family farm and emigrated nine years earlier. Johann's wife died in 1901, probably in New Home. He married Widow Ulrich in 1903 and they moved to Oregon.
N Elisabeth Dirksen - Isaac Sr. then Peter HEINRICHS
The oldest of five siblings who came to Brothersfield. Their grandfather Johann Dircks emigrated from the Tragheimerweide area with the Paul Funk family. The families settled adjacent farms (#11 and #12) in Alexanderthal Molotschna Colony. Elisabeth's Husband Isaak Heinrichs died in Russia after his sons had left for America with Elisabeth's brother Cornelius. Later in America, she married Isaac's widowed brother Peter Heinrichs. Elisabeth was a midwife and practical physician among the German speaking immigrants. Her nephew Abraham A Dirksen wrote of her skill as a medical practitioner.
33999 40 year old widow with three sons MB Record
Line 72

With his brother Abraham's children about 1892

Jacob H Dirksen - Elisabeth then Sarah FUNK
Jacob and Elisabeth arrived in Yankton, ND on August 1, 1876 with his siblings Abraham, Cornelius and Eva with their families (all below). After Elisabeth died (1895, in ND?) Jacob married her first cousin Sarah. Their fathers, Heinrich (of Brothersfield) and Peter (of Kansas) FUNK, were brothers. Unlike their younger brother Cornelius, Jacob and his brother Abraham were not farmers! Both made their living as "Bone setters" (old country doctors) then, after 1882, selling Bibles and Adventist literature. Jacob's first two daughters were married to Cornelius DIRKS(EN).
33996 39 years old with three daughters, the youngest of which died soon after they arrived. The others both married Cornelius DIRKS(EN). MB Record
Line 5


New Home Twnp144 Range69 Sec 4

Dr. "Darkson"
Abraham H Dirksen - Sarah FUNK
Their homestead is adjacent (north side) to Brothersfield's section 8 and 9. They settled sec 31 Wellington twnp, Minnehaha County. He was struck and killed by lightning as he was returning home from Hartford, SD late Friday afternoon September 24, 1886. His body was given to his son and brother Jacob the next Saturday. He was probably buried on Jacob's farm in section 9 of Brothersfield.
33904 37 and 35 with five children in 1880 MB Record
Line 7

Ships Manifest July 28, 1876
Cornelius Dirksen - Gertruda Plett
They brought older sister Elisabeth's three boys with them on the SS Vaderland. Cornelius was the only farmer among the Alexanderthal Dirksens. He stayed on his South Dakota farm until his death in
33997 32 and 35 with four children.
N Eva Dirksen - Cornelius GUENTHER
Cornelius signed a Land Application document in Yankton, SD only three days after they arrived in Philadelphia! There were many trains and many passengers going both ways as they transported visitors and immigrants to and from the American Centennial Exposition being held in Philadelphia.
33998 24 and 27 with two children MB Record
Line 2

and 17
Peter ENGBRECHT (1808 - ? )
N Peter Absolon Engbrecht - Margaretha Warkentin
They are from Hierschau, Molotschna Colony. Connections to Hierschau Unruhs and Loewens may have drawn them to Dakota Territory.

Margaretha's younger sister Helena is married to Aron PETERS

102401 66 and 32 years old with 5 married children
Johann Engbrecht - Katharina UNRUH
He is Peter Absolon's son. She is a daughter of Tobias B Unruh.
265241 32 and 26 with 2 children
N no photo Mary Anna Engbrecht - Heinrich Koop
Last of three daughters of Peter Absolon (above). They stayed in South Dakota.
4422 28 years old in 1880. Twelve children.
N no photo Aganetha Engbrecht - Johann BEIER
Sometimes called "Anna", she is one of three daughters of Peter Absolon (above). They went to Canada.
342629 28 years old in 1880. One child.
Peter FRANZ (1823-1875) Schwetz, Prussia.
N no photo Peter Franz - Catharina Wohlgemuth
From Feodosia in Crimea. He was from Ober Gruppe, Schwetz, Prussia to Feodosia, Russia to Dakota Territory. Died in Yankton, SD 1878. His maternal grandfather was Peter Unruh whose children were all born in Dragass, Schwetz, Prussia (53.505653, 18.738950), where Peter was a contemporary of the Brothersfield Dirksen progenitor Kornelius Dircks. His mother was Maria Unrau born 1805 in Dragass. Were they related to Daniel Unruh's father, 274968?
282562 57 and 66 with 1 married son
Leonard Franz - Eva Dirks

Son of Peter Franz. Is Eva related to the other Brothersfield Dirks(en) women?
283774 32 and 27 with 3 children
Heinrich FUNK (1822-1879)
N s Heinrich Funk - Anna UNRUH
His father Paul Funk emigrated in 1819 from the Tragheimerweide area with the Johann Dircks (Dirksen) family. They came to Molotschna Colony where they settled adjacent farms (#11 and #12) in Alexanderthal. Heinrich's brother Peter Funk (Kansas) is the father of Brothersfield's Sarah Funk Dirksen. His sister Elisabeth married Franz Wall who may have been related (brother?) to the father of Brotherfield's Peter Wall.
60203 58 and 63 with 2 married daughters and a 19 yr old son
Anna Funk - Heinrich WALL
Heinrich Funk's oldest child. She married her aunt Elisabeth's orphaned son (1st cousin) Heinrich Wall. Her sister Elisabeth married Jacob Dirksen from the adjacent Alexanderthal farm, possibly in a double wedding, on November 13 1862.
54467 37 years old with 5 children, two of whom died in 1880. MB Record
Line 4

Elisabeth Funk - Jacob DIRKSEN
15 when she married 21 yr old Jacob in Russia
34246 34 and 39 with 4 children in 1880 MB Record
Line 6

N David Funk - Katharina ADRIAN
David is Heinrich and Anna Unruh Funk's only son. His first wife died at 18. David then married Jacob Voth's daughter Aganetha, who died at 25. He was an active member of the Brothersfield Mennonite Brethren before converting to the Adventists about 1882. He married Mary Fast about 1887, just before following the other Brothersfield Adventists to North Dakota. Mary outlived David. Justina Mamie Wall recalled, "I wondered how so many of them could live in such a small house!"
399460 19 years old, 1st wife and child dead, he has just married Jacob Voth's daughter Nettie. MB Record
Line 9

Brothersfield Sec 20

New Home Twnp144 Range69 Sec 23

N Sarah Funk - Abraham then his brother Jacob DIRKSEN
First cousin to the three Funks above, Sarah is a daughter of their father's brother Peter Funk, who came to Kansas from Russia.
34248 35 and 37 with Abraham and 4 children in 1880. MB Record
Line 8


New Home Twnp144 Range69 Sec 4

Franz GUENTHER (1827-1900)
N Franz Guenther - Maria Warkentin - Born in Fuerstenauerweide, Gross Werder, Prussia Franz came with his family to Tiege, Molotschna Colony in 1838. He was living in Blumstein, Molotschna Colony in 1874 and emigrated in 1880, following his children Cornelius and Maria Adrian to Dakota. His mother was an Isaac. 343052 53 and 50 in 1880 MB Record
Line 76
Living with son Cornelius on Sec 8 and 17
N Cornelius F Guenther - Eva DIRKSEN
They arrived on the SS Vaderland in Philadelphia on Friday July 28, 1876. Four days later, on Tuesday August 1, he signed a Land Application document in Yankton, SD.
399506 27 and 24 with 2 children, 3 have died. MB Record
Line 1

Section 8 and 17
Rosehill Cemetery
Franz (Frank) Guenther - Katharina Braun then Margaret REIMER
Did Frank come first to Canada in 1875 and then to America in 1878? Katharina was born in Nebraska. No children with either wife.
343049 22 years old in 1880
N Maria Guenther - Jacob ADRIAN
Daughter of Franz Guenther (above).
343053 18 years old in 1880 MB Record
Line 78

Rosehill Cemetery
Gerhard "George" Guenther - Katie Vogt
He is a son of Franz Guenther (above). She is a Niece of Heinrich Vogt
343054 16 years old in 1880 MB Record
Line 77
N Anna Guenther - Johann Fast
Daughter of Franz Guenther (above). Is he GM #69854,
343055 13 years old in 1880 MB Record
Line 79
HEINRICHS Brothers Isaac and Peter
The ancestry of brothers Isaac Heinrichs and Peter Heinrichs is uncertain. There are no records to prove that Isaac and Peter were sons of Alexanderthal's Abraham Johann Heinrichs, an original 1829 settler on farm #10 adjacent to Johann Dirksen and Paul Funk. All three men, and their families, immigrated at the same time, with the same group, from the same area in Prussia. Marriages between Alexanderthal settler's children was common, including that of Isaac Heinrichs and Elisabeth DIRKSEN. Abraham Adam Dirksen wrote in 1958, "Mrs. Heinrichs, a midwife in Russia, was my Aunt. She continued to play the part of a mid-wife while I knew her in North Dakota for many years and as a physician too, if I may say so, in Both Logan and Stutsman Counties". It is said elsewhere that Elisabeth's husband Isaac was institutionalized in Russia where she had to work as a midwife to pay for his care. Her three sons lived with her brother Cornelius, with whom they would emigrate in 1876. When their father recovered to find that his sons had gone to America, he had a relapse and died. His sons appear on the SS Vaderland's list with Cornelius and Gertruda. Elisabeth emigrated in 1879 (name spelled Hendriks) with her brother-in-law Peter Heinrichs, his wife Maria Siemens Toews and her son David J Toews. Elisabeth was reunited with her sons in South Dakota. When her son Isaac was widowed she tried to help him raise his children, but with little success. When her brother-in-law Peter Heinrich was widowed she married him. Peter and Maria settled in Parker Township, David J Toews settled in while Elisabeth joined her sons in nearby Brothersfield. In 1900 Elisabeth married widower Peter. The Toews and the Heinrichs became Adventists and followed them to New Home, ND.

Shafter 1945?
Isaac Heinrichs - Anna Heinrichs.
She is a daughter of Peter Heinrichs (above) and he is a son of Peter Heinrichs' brother Isaac Sr. who died in Russia. Anna Heinrich's first husband Cornelius WEDEL was a railroad brakesman, crushed between two train cars in 1885. Anna married Isaac 2 years later, she was 29 and he was 24. Anna and Isaac's fathers were brothers. Isaac's father, Isaac Sr, died in Russia between 1876 and 1879 when Anna came to America with her father Peter Heinrichs and Isaac's mother Elisabeth Dirksen Heinrichs, in June of 1879. After their marriage they went (1889) to Richville, German Township in Logan County, North Dakota. Many (if not all) of the Brothersfield Adventists went there about that time.
432259 17 in 1880 MB Record
Line 73

Click for Ship's Manifest
Johann Heinrichs - Anna WALL
Cliff Wall researched the Wall family for many years. He found very little about Johann Heinrichs. Cliff wrote, "Anna Wall's first husband John Heinrich lasted a very short while, he disappeared and was presumed dead."
706631 16 in 1880 MB Record
Line 74

Heinrich J Heinrichs - Justina Fast
The Immigrant Heinrichs Brothers (Isaac, Johann and Heinrich) are descended from Johann Heinrichs (1747-1805 GRANDMA #312326) who lived in Stuhm Prussia near the ancestors of other Alexanderthal immigrant families Dircks (Dirksen), Funk, Ediger and others. Justina Fast lived in Shafter California as did her mother and sisters Lena West, Mary Funk, Maggie Dirksen, Annie Unruh and Ida Voth.
706633 13 years old in 1880 MB Record
Line 75

Three KROEKER siblings
N no photo Brothers Martin Kroeker - Jacob Kroeker
Are they and sister Susanna (next) related to Mrs. Sarah Kroeker Loewen? 343836
399136 and 51764 They are 51 and 56 years old in 1880
N no photo Susanna Kroeker - Johann J Koop
Her husband died in Russia in 1873. She came to Dakota Territory with her two brothers and her son John Koop. They were probably living with her brothers on section 24. Neither she nor her son are on the 1885 census.
4421 She is 52 in 1880
Friedrich KUNKEL (1807-1885)
N no photo Friedrich Kunkel - Wilhelmina Sperling
Born in Prussia, they came to Waldheim in Molotschna Colony then went to Volhynia (?). Their children Friedrich, Tobias, Heinrich and Elisabeth (Brandt) were among the first Russian Mennonites in Dakota Territory, some surely influenced by the Crimean Unruh's. Their daughter Katie Unruh Block's first three children were Unruh, then she married Block in Crimea, 1871, emigrating in 1874. She went to Kansas. According to the book "Tale of Three Cities" the parents Friedrich and Wilhelmina, who came to Dakota with their children Anna (Thiesen) and Friedrich Jr on the Vaderland in 1877, were are reported to have been killed by horse thieves in the 1880s.
31763 73 and 70 years old in 1880
Eldest son
Friedrich Kunkel (Jr.) - Katharina Born
She appears unrelated to Born sisters Helena and Elisabeth
31899 41 and 39 years old in 1880
Kidder Gallery
Tobias Kunkel - Katharina Peters
31570 38 and 33 in 1880
no photo
Heinrich Kunkel - Maria Franz
Is she a sister to Leonard Franz?
31900 1845
N Elisabeth Kunkel - Peter Brandt
They came to America with their 1st two children, arriving in Philadelphia Jul 28, 1876 on the SS Vaderland. They are not recorded in the MB church Records and did not go north with the Adventists. Recorded on Section 35 in the 1880 census.
399467 She is 34, he is 32 in 1880
LOEWEN BROTHERS Heinrich (1816-1907) and Jacob (1819-1886)
N Heinrich Loewen - Maria ADRIAN
She is his second wife. The first, Maria Wiebe, had 5 children. Heinrich married Maria Adrian about 1869. She had 8 children.
103887 64 and 33 years old in 1880 MB Record
Line 25

Helena Loewen - Heinrich ADRIAN
Heinrich Loewen's daughter by his first marriage.
27289 27 in 1880 MB Record
Line 15

N Jacob Loewen - Maria Klassen
"A note added to his entry in the 1835 Census at Margenau #31 states that he moved to Hierschau, Molotschna Colony in 1849. He was residing in Hierschau in 1858 per the Molotschna School Registers. He moved to Crimea in 1862 (Helmut Huebert's book Hierschau, p. 44)." -GRANDMA. Seven of their children (listed next with their spouses) survived, married and came to Brothersfield with them.
103824 61 and 56 in 1880
N Jacob Loewen - Helena UNRUH
First son of Jacob Loewen (above). She is a daughter of Volhynian Cornelius Unruh (GM #65980) who died in Crimea 1879.
86296 38 and 31 in 1880 MB Record
Line 33

N Isaac Loewen - Justina ADRIAN

Second son of Jacob Loewen (above).
117205 37 and 31 in 1880 MB Record
Line 12

Dietrich Loewen - Sarah Kroeker then Anna WEDEL
Third son of Jacob (above). Relation to this Crimean Dietrich Loewen is unknown. Was Sarah related to the Brothersfield KROEKER brothers?
343835 31 and 29 in 1880 MB Record
Line 27

N Heinrich Loewen - Helena BORN

Fourth son of Jacob Loewen (above).
103826 30 and 24 in 1880
N Cornelius Loewen - Anna UNRUH

Fifth son of Jacob Loewen (above).
103827 28 and 21 in 1880 MB Record
Line 84

no photo
Mary Loewen - Cornelius T UNRUH

She is the only daughter of Jacob (above). Cornelius is a brother to his brother's wife Anna Unruh, children of Tobias B Unruh.
103828 24 and 23 in 1880
Franz Loewen - Sarah Sperling

Sixth (and last) son of Jacob.
103829 both 22 in 1880
Aron PETERS (1826-1890) and Children
Aron Peters - Helena Warkentin
Helena's older sister Margaretha is married to Peter Abson ENGBRECHT. All but one of their 10 or 11 surviving children came to America with them in 1874. The last child, Mary, was born in America.

"He (Aron) seems to have children in Hierschau student registers, both 1857/58 and 1873/74. There are discrepancies in children shown here as compared to student registers and as compared to ship list. Robert Gossen says he was born 18 Feb 1826. He migrated from Schoenau, Molotschna to Parker, South Dakota." -GRANDMA

53064 54 and 53 with 4 married children and 10 still at home in 1880.
N no photo Gerhard Peters - Barbara Koop
First son of Aron (above). They homesteaded on section 23, next to Barbara's Uncles Jacob and Martin KROEKER on Sec 24.
342631 31 and 25 with 2 children
Justina Peters - Tobias SCHMIDT
224797 29 and 28 with 6 children in 1880
N no photo Helena (Maria) Peters - Franz Gossen
Had two children prior to Marriage to Franz per verbal conversation with John Gossen. One boy and one girl per Bill Gossen. Birth: Family Register shows Franz married to Helena Peters. Daughter of Aron and Helena Warkentin Peters. John Gossen gave me the name of Maria Peters. -GRANDMA.
288371 26 and 24 with 3 children and an infant in 1880
N no photo Johann Peters - Elisabeth Koth
Went to Waldheim, Canada in 1899. "Source: Waldheim remembers the past pg 314. Naturalized in the Turner County Fourth Judicial District, Territory of Dakota. Declaration of Intent filed 7 Sep 1874, Second Judicial District, County of Yankton, Territory of Dakota." -GRANDMA
342632 25 in 1880
Aron A Peters
Not certain this is his photo.
702932 24 in 1880
N no photo Peter Peters
"His first name is given as Abraham on the ship arrival list in 1874 in Brothers in Deed, but his first name is given as Peter on the Hamburg departure list. Peter is more likely to be correct since he had a younger brother named Abraham who immigrated with him. There were two Peters. One died at the age of about 2 and then the next child born was given that name. He lived to be 70 years old." -GRANDMA
342633 17 in 1880
N no photo Abraham Peters
He married Katherina Isaac in 1888, they also went to Waldheim, Canada about 1901, then Escondido, California about 1910, and finally Shafter.
342634 15 in 1880
Heinrich Peters
He married Aganetha UNRUH about 1885. Their fifth child was born October 1899 in Brothersfield and the sixth September 1902 in Waldheim, Canada.
265249 14 in 1880
N no photo David Peters
He went to Hepburn, Canada (Brotherfield, Saskatchewan) in 1897.
78111 12 in 1880
N no photo Bernhard Peters 342636 9 in 1880
N no photo Heinrich Reimer - Anna Enns
399819 44 and 40 in 1880 MB Record
Line 29

N no photo Katharina Reimer
Heinrich and Anna's oldest child. In 1885 she married Aron A Peters, apparently not related to the other Brothersfield Peters family.
26002 13 in 1880 MB Record
Line 109

N no photo Margaretha Reimer - Franz GUENTHER
Heinrich and Anna's second oldest child. They married in 1891.
399822 12 in 1880 MB Record
Line 109

1 Tobias Schmidt - Justina PETERS
The Translated Tobias Schmidt Diary and Family Book for years 1886-1898 provide a rare glimpse into the day-to-day life of a Brothersfield Pioneer. All the entries for each of the Brothersfield years are available as "Stories" on his page at Of particular value are two entries that identify the exact date four Photos were taken in the Parker, SD Kidder Gallery. The diary dates help date 21 other Kidder Gallery photos of Brothersfield Mennonite Pioneers. photos.
224796 1852
Section 35 SE Qtr
Children of DANIEL UNRUH (1820-1893)

Daniel Unruh was the most influential member of the first Russian Mennonites to enter Dakota Territory. He bought land in Childstown for his "Small party" of immigrants, but some of his close relatives and children later lived in Brothersfield and joined the Mennonite Brethren congregation there. Some of his children became Adventists and moved to New Home, ND and later to Shafter, California. 103793 60 in 1880
His location noted on early railroad map
N Anna Unruh - Heinrich FUNK
She is Daniel Unruh's older sister. Her husband Heinrich Funk died in Brothersfield, 1879. Widow Anna Unruh Funk stayed on the farm with her son David Funk and his family.
60239 63 years old in 1880
Familiar Chair(?)
Daniel D Unruh - Katharine Teichgraef
Second son of Daniel Unruh (above), he is buried in New Home, Lowery Twnp Stutsman Co. North Dakota. Wife Katharine Teichgraef on line 91 of the Brothersfield MB church records. "In 2003 I met this man's great-grandson Delmar Ray Unruh at the New Home Advent church. When I asked if it was his grandfather and great-grandfather under the Daniel Unruh stones in the Cemetery behind the church he replied, 'I don't know, I suppose.' He showed no further interest." - md
402029 6 years old in 1880
New Home Twnp144 Range69
Maria Unruh - Abraham J VOTH
Mrs. Abraham J voth. They came in 1873 with her father's group from Crimea.
104198 1841 MB Record
Line 93

Elisabeth Unruh - Heinrich WALL
Last surviving child of Daniel and Marie Wedel Unruh. She is Wall's second wife. They became Adventists.
103796 1855
TOBIAS B UNRUH (1822-1875)
See his Emigration Letter
Tobias B Unruh - Katharina Sperling
Tobias was responsible for arranging passports, fees and all travel arrangements for the 1873 Daniel Unruh Crimean Emigration group, the first Russian Mennonites in Dakota Territory. He died soon after they all arrived in America. All but one (Maria) of their 10 children came to America with them in 1873. Johann went to MN. Tobias T (Jr.) and Maria went to Canada. Aganetha married Heinrich Peters. They went to Canada in 1900.
103897 58 and 56 in 1880
N no photo Helena Unruh - Dietrich Loewen
Tobias B Unruh's oldest daughter. She married Dietrich Loewen in Bruderfeld Crimea, 22 Aug 1863. His relationship, if any, to Brothersfield's Loewen brothers is not known. His age is incorrectly given as 26 on the Hammonia passenger list in 1873. In the 1880 U. S. Census he is listed in Twp. 100, Turner Co., Dakata Territory. His gravestone says he was born 12 Dec 1840.
265237 35 in 1880
also 21
N Peter Unruh - Eva DIRKS(EN)
Grandparents of Clifford Wall. Copies of his self published book "Remembering Our Heritage" began to appear just as the internet was becoming widely known.
265238 29 and 23 in 1880
Marion SD
Katharina Unruh - Johann ENGBRECHT
265239 1853
N Cornelius T Unruh - Mary LOEWEN 103899 1857
Anna Unruh - Cornelius LOEWEN 265240 20 years old in 1880 MB Record
Line 85

Heinrich Unruh - Katherine Vogt
Heinrich died soon after 19 Dec 1887 when their only child was born. Katherine then married Gerhard Guenther, the younger brother of Cornelius and Franz GUENTHER.
103900 1861 MB Record
Line 86
TOBIAS VOTH (1812) and 2 Sons
Tobias Voth - Susanna Buller
She is apparently not related to the other Brothersfield Bullers. They lived in Crimea and emigrated in 1874. They are listed with son Cornelius on the 1880 and 1885 US census in Brothersfield. It is not known where or when they died.
20334 1812
Andreas Voth - Susanna Dirks
She is not related to other Brotherfield Dirks, Dircksens or Dirksens
28549 1841
no photo
Cornelius Voth - Maria BORN
Younger brother to Andreas Voth.
28550 1842
Came in 1873
Elder Brother Abraham Voth - Maria UNRUH 104197 1828 MB Record
Line 92

no photo
Second Brother Jacob Voth - Aganetha Ewert
GRANDMA Notes: "He was from Waldheim, Molotschna, South Russia. In the 1880 U. S. Census he is listed in Turner Co., Dakota Territory." In 1879 Jacob and three married children followed his brother Abraham J Voth who came with Daniel Unruh's Crimean Group (1873) to Dakota Territory.
399864 1822 MB Record
Line 55

no photo
Abraham Voth - Sarah ADRIAN
Son of Jacob (above).
399866 1822 MB Record
Line 95 and 96

Anna Voth - Jacob BULLER
Oldest child of Jacob and Aganetha Ewert Voth. Her son Peter became a leader in the early Shafter, CA Adventist Church. Was he related to Mary Buller, 2 yrs his junior?
106204 1844 MB Record
Line 60

Aganetha Voth - David FUNK
Fourth, and last, child of Jacob and Aganetha Ewert Voth. She and her fourth child died at birth. She was 25.
399867 1861 MB Record
Line 11 and 58
Jacob Voth - Anna Schmidt
Son of Jacob and Aganetha Ewert Voth. He came first to Dakota in 1874. His parents and siblings followed in 1879. Is Anna Schmidt Related to the Brothersfield Schmidts?
106258 1857 MB Record
Line 57 and 95
Two Orphan WALL Brothers
Heinrich and Son
Heinrich Wall - Anna FUNK then Elisabeth UNRUH
Heinrich, his brother Peter and sister Elisabeth were orphaned soon after her birth in 1846. Infant Elisabeth was sent to live with a Waldheim family while the boys were sent to Alexanderthal where they lived with their uncles Heinrich and Peter FUNK. Heinrich's first son Heinrich Jr (pictured) died tragically in a hand dug well accident. Heinrich's second wife was the last surviving child of Daniel and Maria Wedel Unruh. Three later ones died young. His daughter Anna married Johann Heinrichs.
54466 1843 MB Record
Line 3

Cousins with their twin wives
Peter Wall - Maria Buller
Mary and her twin sister Minnie arrived in America in 1870, 3 years before the Brohtersfield Russian Mennonites arrived. Peter died of pneumonia i 1884, 44 years old leaving 8 children and a widow. They all moved to New Home, North Dakota where they joined the rest of the Brothersfield Adventists.
107973 1840 MB Record
Line 35

With nephew Cliff Wall
Peter Chester Wall - Anna Pauline Dirks(en)
Peter Wall's first son. He and Anna Pauline are listed twice (lines 37 and 101) in the Brothersfield MB records. Were they among the first to go to the Adventists, then return after Shellenberg's revival efforts?
107975 1862 MB Record
Line 37
JOHANN BOESE from Friedensdorf, Molotschna Colony, South Russia
owned land in Brothersfield (section 19 and 30) but lived in Parker Township. GM#8799
Katharina Braun
Did she come to America with Peter Heinrichs, her mother a Schellenberg?
467239 MB Record
Line 63
N no photo Johann Peter Bucholtz - Dorothea Berndt
He was born in Danzig.
141037 1836 MB Record
Line 103
N Who? Wilhelmina Bucholtz
Not in 1880 census or GM. Related to Johann Peter Buckholtz?
Who was she? MB Record
Line 107
N Who? Barbara EWERT ??
#51768 ??
MB Record
Line 108
N Who? Anna FALK ??
1821 MB Record
Line 62
N Volhynia - No Brothersfield Relatives Helena NACHTIGAL
73709 1864 MB Record
Line 53
David J Toews - Maria Kroeker
Their first surviving child Anna married Franz Wall, 2nd son of Peter WALL. No apparent relationship to the Brothersfield Kroeker Siblings.
415081 1844 MB Record
Line 70
Rosefield, Twnp 99 Range 55
N Lived in Childstown Peter Isaac - Anna Unruh
She is Daniel Unruh's second daughter. Her older sister Maria married Abraham VOTH. Peter died while they were still on the Unruh land in Childstown. She then came to Shafter to be near their son Johann. He was born at sea, 3 Aug 1873.
117645 1837 MB Record
Line 49 and 50
Maria Isaac - Jacob Peters
He is a son of Aron PETERS. She is a daughter of Peter Isaac and Anna UNRUH. They probably lived in Childstown before going to Waldheim, Canada about 1901, where their last two, of twelve, childen were born.
408992 19 in 1880 MB Record
Line 51, 88 and 89
N Elizabeth Pankratz
Apparently never married, she is from Bruderfeld Crimea. Her mother is a Heinrichs, related to the Brothersfield Heinrichs?
402047 1846 MB Record
Line 16
N George Konrad Reimche - Johanna Justina Baumbach
"Hutchinson County Baumbachs were from Crimea but not Mennonites." - sl. They are listed in the MB Record but became Adventists, probably about 1880. -md
Daughter #1
Margaretha - Heinrich Schaefer
MB Record
Line 99 and 100
Daughter #2
Maria - George Reiswig
MB Record
Line 48
Daughter #3
Katherine - Heirich Delk
MB Record
Line 47 and 48
Daughter #4
Sophia - Gustav Hager
MB Record
Line 43 and 44
Daughter #5
Charlotta - Ludwig Seibel
MB Record
Line 45 and 46
414389 1826 MB Record
Line 31 and 32
N no photo Franz Richert - Helena Jantz
Franz's parents Andreas and Helena Heinrichs Richert came also to Dakota Territory in 1875. Is there a connection to the Brothefield Heinrichs? They became Adventists, went to New Home, ND then in the early 1900s followed their sons Frank and Jacob to Shafter, California where the sons were influential in the Adventist church.
74002 1859 MB Record
Line 82
Henry P Unruh - Helena Nachtigal then Maria Wedel
Apparently unrelated to oher Unruhs and Wedels in Brothersfield. He is listed twice in the Brothersfield MB record. First at line 52 with Helena Nachtigal and Maria Wedel, then at line 86 with second wife Maria Wedel.
73535 1881 MB Record
MB Record
Lines 52 and 86
N 1882 Brothersfield Adventist congregation organized by Conradi in Wedel's Home Heinrich Wedel - Wilhelmina WEDEL
Not known if they were related other than marriage. They lived near David J Toews in Rosefield , Twnp 99 Range 55. Heinrich's obituary is written by Louis R Conradi who spoke at his funeral and descibes him as the first German-Russian Adventist to die in Dakota. Heinrich's sister Maria Wedel is the wife of Dakota's first Russian Mennonite Daniel Unruh. Wilhelmina's sister Susanna is married to Benjamin DIRKS(EN). Their daughter Anna later married Dietrich LOEWEN
399886 1831 MB Record
MB Record
Line 64 and 65
Reynolds Gallery in Parker SD
Cornelius Wedel - Anna HEINRICHS
He is a son of Heinrich Wedel (above). He was killed in 1885. Anna married Isaac Heinrichs and their second daughter Elisabeth was born (1890) in Richville, ND indicating they had joined the Adventists.
399888 1856 MB Record
Line 68 and 69
N no photo Anna Wedel - Dietrich LOEWEN
She is a daughter of Heinrich Wedel (above). She is Dietrich's second wife. She died soon after the birth of her only child, Tena.
399890 1860 MB Record
Line 66
Heinrich J Wedel - Maria C Unruh
He is not on the MB church record with his siblings. Maria is the first child of Cornelius Unruh, Daniel Unruh's first son. The photo of "The Wedel Place" includes Peter Dirks (the half brother of Brothersfield's Benjamin Dirks(en)???)
409004 1861
Jacob Wedel - Susie Hiebert
399892 1865 MB Record
Line 67
Peter Wedel - Margaret WALL
399892 1865 MB Record
Line 67

First Brothersfield pioneers reported in Stoddard's History of Turner County. Linked names open Brothersfield Family Tree pages at Linked GRANDMA numbers open the same individual's page at California Mennonite Historical Society's GRANDMA ONLINE.
Names with a Brothersfield Mennonite Brethren church record entry can be found on the Translated MB Church Book Pages and the Original Records which are at Tabor College. These links download a pdf file of each - Translated Records - Original Records.
Alphabetical list and study sheet for family groups: Organization of congregation members by family.
First census taken in Brothersfield in 1880. Second in 1885
Internal conflicts and Adventist proselytizers caused great turmoil within the Brothersfield MB congregation during 1878-1882. These are described by MB Elder Heinrich Adrian, Adventist Evangelist L. R. Conradi and Adventist historian Robert Dupuy in Nothing to Fear. History of the Brotherfield and Silver Lake MB Churches from "Tale of Three Cities".
All 1999 to 2012 data is now in the Brothersfield Tree on