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archival descriptions
Chortitzer Mennonite Conference fonds
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Bergthaler/Chortitzer church registers

  • CA MHCA Volumes 1417; 2165; 2222; 4223; 4313; 4314; 4931; 5078. Microfilm # 184; Microfiche #10.-Volumes 2222, 4223, 4313, 4314, 4931; Microfilm 184; Microfiche 10.
  • Series
  • 1843-1940
  • Part of Chortitzer Mennonite Conference fonds

This series consists of two groups of ledgers. The oldest group of ledgers is from the Bergthal colony Russia and were brought along with the Mennonites when they first began to settle in Canada in 1874. These ledgers were begun in 1843. The second group of ledgers were produced by the same church in Canada., where the church was named Die Mennonitische Gemeinde zu Chortitz, and hence known as the Chortitzer Church Registers. There are a total of 10 volumes – five pairs of two ledgers begun in 1843, 1874, 1878, 1887 and 1907. Each ledger was identified as a Litter (book or volume) A or B. ( Only in the Russian era was there a Litter "C" which was begun on the bottom half of the pages of Litter "B" and then continued in a separate ledger. This third ledger is not extant.) The books are patterned after those used in older Mennonite churches in Prussia and Russia. One page is devoted to each family. Opposite each parents' name is the page number of his or her parents' family. As each child married a page number was assigned to them and entered opposite their name. This method of cross referencing makes tracing parents and children relatively easy. The information recorded included birth, baptism, marriage and death dates.

Chorititzer Mennonite Conference Annual report books

This series is an incomplete collection of the reports books issued for the annual conventions of the conference. These books contain reports of various programs of the conference and financial statements. They also contain information of births, deaths, marriages and baptisms that occurred that particular year in the conference.

Chortitzer Mennonite Conference fonds

  • CA MHCA Volumes 1417; 2165; 2222; 4223; 4313; 4314; 4931; 5078. Microfilm # 184; Microfiche #10.
  • Fonds
  • 1843-1979, predominant 1843-1931

The earliest records in this fonds date back to 1843 when a church membership register was begun in the Bergthal Colony in South Russia - a book which was brought along with the emigrants in 1874. The membership records in this fonds continue to cover the period in Canada from 1874 onwards. After 1930 the records at the Mennonite Heritage Centre dealing with the Chortitzer Mennonite church are extremely sparse. The collection comprises of some preaching schedules and annual report books.

This fond consists of three series: 1) Bergthaler/Chortitzer church registers 2) Waisenamt documents 3)Chortitzer Mennonite Conference Annual report books.

Chortitzer Mennonite Conference

Waisenamt documents

The Waisenamt was an organization originally set up to provide aid to widows and orphans, and to distribute inheritance money and property equitably. It had its beginnings with Mennonites in Prussia. The first Russian Mennonite Waisenamt came into being on August 31, 1792 in the Russian Mennonite colony of Chortitza. This institution began on October 2, 1842 as the Bergthal Colony Waisenamt with Peter Ens being selected by lots to be the first administrator. The institution was vital to the immigration to Canada. Consequently the Mennonites transported the institution with them in 1874. In its later years it also functioned as a bank, accepting deposits and offering mortgages.

The documents deal with the division of property after the death of a spouse (Teilungs Kontrakt), immigration finances, repayments of immigration debts to Mennonites in Ontario and the Canadian government, constitutions and bylaws, and correspondence. The majority of the 20th century documents deal with the private schools question, emigration to Paraguay, and travel expenses.