The Raile Orphans

Johann George and Katharina Barbara Lutz Raile had eight children as recorded in Plochingen, Germany, church records.  After Johann George was killed in 1812 in France in during the war, Katharina Barbara decided to move to Russia with her brother's family.  Records indicate that six children traveled with her - Jacob, George, Gottlieb, Rosina Barbara, Katharina Barbara and Jacob Friedrick Raile.

The family traveled down the Danube River leaving Ulm, Germany, on June 2, 1817 (as documented in a letter written by Oetlingen leader, Johann George Bidlingmaier).  The slow voyage in the middle of the hot summer with the lack of sanitary facilities soon caused physical illnesses.  Many people fell ill and even died in the early stages of the voyage.  

When the remaining immigrants arrived at the quarantine camp in Ismail, they found a lack of sufficient food, warm clothing and suitable housing.  A virulent fever broke out.  Katharina Barbara's brother, Johann Jacob, died in the camp (as documented on Homesteaders on the Steppe by Joseph S. Height).

It can be assumed that Katharina Barbara Raile and two of her children died during the trip since a document was discovered in the Odessa State Archives describing "the orphan's sum belonging to the orphans, Jacob Raile, Gottlieb Raile, Catharina Barbara Raile and Rosina Raile, new comers from Württemberg."  It is believed that this document was filed because the children were requesting funds from the Neudorf Orphan fund and the Neudorf colonists wanted to postpone payment to October 1, 1821.  The document was dated August 1, 1821.

Click here to see a high resolution scan of the document.

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