Catherine the Great and Alexander I
     How did these two Russian leaders change the Raile family?


Catherine the Great issued a manifesto in 1763 inviting foreigners, particularly Germans, to settle in Russia on territory won from the Turks.  This immense territory near the Volga River and the Black Sea was fertile grassland.  The first wave of immigrants settled in the Volga area.

The Raile family was one of many German families that responded to the second manifesto issued by Catherine the Great's grandson, Alexander I in 1804.  All of the rights and privileges of the first manifesto remained, but this time Alexander required that "only capable agriculturists and artisans" would be admitted and each family had to possess cash or goods worth at least 300 guilders.  The German colonists settled near the Black Sea.

In 1817, Barbara Katharina Lutz Raile and six of her children left Plochingen, Germany and boarded an ulmer schachtel on the Danube Rver at Ulm, Germany.  They traveled in the Oetlingen harmony led by her brother Johann Jacob Lutz (1769-1817).

Ulmer schachtel
Large flat bottomed barge normally used to haul freight

Approximately 300 mother colonies were eventually founded throughout Russia during the settlement years and as the population grew, more acreage had to be acquired for the landless. Thus, numerous daughter colonies were founded. Eventually there were more than 3,000 German settlements in Russia.

To learn about the trip down the Danube River, click here.

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