In Part I of this series, we explained how to search the German war records called EWZ for Mennonites. Hopefully you have gotten one or more files that interested you. Now we'll dive into the files.
The files generally contain three types of documents. The first one gives the personal details of the applicant. Below we are looking at the file of Katharina (Fast) Warkentin, who was the actual applicant for citizenship in the Jakob Fast file that I mentioned in part I.
Immediately following on the page is the information about her parents:
But it gets better. The next information is her grandparents' names.
index compiled by Tim Janzen.
In the 1873-1874 school records, we find a Klaas Fast in Ladekopp, and he has two daughters Helena (b. ABT 1863) and Eva (b. ABT 1865). This is probably the same family, but our Jacob is likely just a year too young to be attending school. Unfortunately, the family is not listed in any of the other school records, and I can't find Helena or Eva in GM.
I'm going to submit this information to GM as a correction.
The next question is who were Klaas Fast's parents. I have a good candidate, but I haven't found sufficiently strong evidence yet, so that will (hopefully) be the subject of a future post.
I hope these two posts have given you a sense of the value of the EWZ records, how they can be used to research Soviet-era Mennonites, and how they can be combined with earlier records to research imperial-era Mennonites as well.