Rombs-Kessler Family

Barbara (Kessler), Johannes Rombs, and their children immigrated to the USA late in 1884. They settled about mid-way between Ipswich, SD, and Faulkton, SD. Barbara survived until 1896, and Johannes died in 1914. Here is a time-line that shows major events in their lives during the approximately thirty years of their time in South Dakota. The events surrounding Barbara's death have resulted in a family story about the transfer of the family from Catholic to Lutheran churches. You can read more about this in the attached document.

Here is a family group description for the family of Barbara and Johannes. Here are Ahnentafel reports for Barbara and Johannes. These reports show the ancestors that I have identified. If you follow this link, you will find a fan chart showing the pedigree for a child of Barbara and Johannes. This effectively shows the pedigrees for both people at a high level. It is much the same information found in the reports, just in graphical form. A more traditional pedigree chart centered on one of their children is here. I have also assembled more detailed information regarding Johannes and Barbara in a fairly lengthy document that includes source descriptions and photos. You can find it here. I hope that you will contact me to comment or add information.

Barbara Kessler and Johannes Rombs were both born in Selz, South Russia, in the middle of the 19th century. They were a part of an ethnic group referred to as German-Russians since their ancestors migrated from Germanic areas near the Rhine River to southern Russia in the first decade of the 19th century. Johannes' grandfather came from the town of Kesseldorf in Alsace/Elsass to help found the colony of Selz. Barbara's grandfather came from Leimersheim in Pfalz, just a little north of Kesseldorf. The old map that follows shows the direction of their travel from southwest and northwest of Karlsruhe to Selz in South Russia.

These families (and thousands like them) were invited / encouraged by the Russian government to help settle agricultural land recently taken from the Turks near the Black Sea. Much has been written about this group, so I won't say more here.

The pink arrow in the image below points to the Selz colony just northwest of Odessa. This is the community that their grandparents helped found in the first decade of the 19th century. This is taken from a mapping project that shows German-Russian colony locations superimposed on a current map. See https://www.germansfromrussiasettlementlocations.org/2016/12/selz-kutschurgan.html .

The starting points for these ancestors are well portrayed in the Meyers Gazetteer. (https://www.meyersgaz.org/) Images of the places of origin for the Rombs and Kessler founders are shown roughly in the images that follow.

Below: Barbara's ancestors came from this area in the late 18th century.

Below: Johannes' ancestors came from this area in the late 18th century.

You can discover much more about Rhombs and Kessler families in Russia in the document entitled 19th Century Russian Relations . Deeper research into origins of the Rombs family along the Rhein has also been very fruitful. You will find summary research information in a section devoted to that topic alone.

The picture that appears below has previously been identified as my great grandfather, Johannes. However, while the man pictured was named Johannes Rombs, he was not my great grandfather. Rather, he was my great grandfather's uncle by the same name. To my knowledge, no picture exists that shows either Johannes Rombs (b.1845) or his wife Barbara Kessler (b.1848). We do, however, now know that we have a photo of Johannes Rombs (b.1826) and two of his grandchildren taken in Russia as follows.

281connections Wiki
281connections Wiki:South Dakota Families