About us

Edmonton & District Chapter

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia

Founded 1979, Chartered 1983


To discover, collect, preserve and share the history, cultural heritage and genealogical legacy of settlers of predominantly Germanic heritage, who settled in the Russian Empire from 18th and 19th centuries. We share a broader interest in the history, cultural heritage and genealogical legacy of settlers other Germanic migrations to Prussia and Austria-Hungary.

A Brief History of Edmonton & District 


Treaty 6

In 1876, the Crown and representatives of the Cree, Assiniboine and Ojibwe signed Treaty 6. The treaty boundaries extend across the central part of present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan and include Edmonton and District. These are the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.[1]

 Initial Emigration of Germans from Russia to the Edmonton District

Subsequent completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway across the southern prairies in western Canada in 1885 facilitated the settlement of the then North-West Territories by immigrants from Europe. The settlement of Germans in Alberta proceeded from South to North.[2] In areas around Edmonton, settlement was dependent in part on the development of north-south railway lines.[3]


In the 1890s, German Baptists from Volhynia settled in the Leduc district and in nearby Wiesenthal. Moravian Brethren founded the communities of Bruderheim and New Sarepta, east of Edmonton, and Brüderfeld (now part of the southeast Edmonton community Mill Woods) and also settled in Heimthal, south of Edmonton. German Lutherans from Galicia founded Hoffnungsau and Rosenthal near Stony Plain. German Reformed from Galicia founded Josephsburg near Fort Saskatchewan, and German Lutherans from Russia founded Heimthal and Lutherhort south of Edmonton. Volga Germans settled west of Edmonton in Stony Plain and Glory Hills (they had come from the village of Norka). [4] [5] [6] [9] 


German emigration from the United States began in the 1890s, but was more significant from 1903 to 1910. These Germans from the United States seemed to prefer Alberta, particularly along the Red Deer-Wetaskiwin-Leduc-Edmonton railway line.[7] Many of these Germans and their parents were originally from Russia.

 Subsequent Migrations of Germans to the Edmonton District

Following a hiatus resulting from World War I, relatively large-scale immigration of Germans to Alberta was permitted beginning in 1927. More Mennonites and other German settlers arrived in 1929 and 1930. Another larger migration began after World War II from 1947 to the early 1950s. A more in-depth history of Germans in Alberta after 1918 may be found in Citation [8]. 

 A Map of German Settlements in the Edmonton District


 Alberta's German-Speaking Communities

A comprehensive discussion of German-Speaking Communities and their history is found on the University of Alberta site: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~german/AlbertaHistory/historyframetop.html 

Revised March 17, 2024.


[1] https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/treaty-6, retrieved February 22, 2023.

[2] https://sites.ualberta.ca/~german/AlbertaHistory/Edmonton1914.htm#:~:text=The%20settlement%20of%20Germanspeaking%20immigrants%20in%20Alberta%20proceeded,persons%20of%20German%20origin%20in%20the%20Edmonton%20District, retrieved February 22, 2023.

[3] Lehmann, Heinz: The German Canadians 1750-1937 (first edition); translated and edited by Gerhard P. Bassler, ©1986, Jesperson Press, St. John’s, NL; ISBN: 0-920502-76-8. Chapter IV.1: From the Russian Steppes to the Prairie Frontier; The Opening of the West, pp. 96-98.

[4] Ibid. Chapter IV.3: From the Russian Steppes to the Prairie Frontier; The German Exodus from Russia to Western Canada, 1874 – 1914; ii. Volhynia and Central Poland; p. 116.

[5] https://sites.ualberta.ca/~german/AlbertaHistory/immhistory1.htm, retrieved February 22, 2023.

[6] https://sites.ualberta.ca/~german/AlbertaHistory/Placenames.htm, retrieved February 22, 2023.

[7] Lehmann, Heintz: The German Canadians 1750-1937 (first edition); Chapter IV.3: pp. 130-132.

[8] https://sites.ualberta.ca/~german/AlbertaHistory/immhistory2.htm#_edn2, retrieved February 22, 2023.

[9] https://sites.ualberta.ca/~german/AlbertaHistory/Volgagermans.htm, retrieved March 6, 2023.