Book Two has been published!
Tracing the stories of the Friesen and Rempel ancestors as they migrated from the fertile Vistula Delta plains of Poland to the steppes of South Russia (Ukraine) and on to the wind-blown Canadian prairies, researcher and author Henry A. Friesen has given us two fascinating books: Johann Friesen of Poland and His Descendants and Open Wide Your Heart.
On his paternal side he begins with Johann Friesen who was born in 1724 and who, together with his wife, farmed in Stobbendorf, a small community south and east of Danzig. According to one source, the earliest known couple on the Rempel side of the family, Isbrandt and Katharina Rempel, both born in 1737, also lived in Stobbendorf, Poland.
Now available! Open Wide Your Heart
The political partitioning of Poland by Prussia, Austria and Russia in 1772 resulted in more restrictive landholding policies for the Mennonites and a good deal of pressure for them to give up their pacifist convictions. For these reasons when Catherine II, Tsarina of Russia in the 1780s, offered Mennonites new land and greater freedom in South Russia they eagerly explored this option. Isbrandt and Katharina Friesen as well as Wilhelm and Katharina Rempel were among the 288 courageous Mennonite families who travelled from Poland to South Russia in 1788-89 and helped to establish the first villages of the Chortitza Colony on the banks of the Dnieper River.
Rooted in this history are some intriguing family stories and Henry A. Friesen has done a great job in telling them. Explore them yourselves and find yourself caught up in the rich stories that come from the past.
To purchase these books online click on the McNally Robinson links in the sidebar, or the book title links below.