CORNIES genealogy - CORNIES genealogie - CORNIES genealogia - КОРНИС генеалогия

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nachkommen von David Cornies 1856.pdf

Another file has been added to the Genealogy Documents Folder.  This file was provided by Johann Cornies of Germany and details the lineage of David Cornies (b. 1856) and Anna Dyck.  This particular David Cornies is not listed in the master document Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf.

At this time, it is assumed that this particular David Cornies was a son of David Cornies (b. 1794) and his second wife, Susanna Berg.  We are seeking others who may have information that could confirm this assumption.  Perhaps someone knows an individual who has records relating to the Berg lineage that could reference a child from this marriage.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you can provide helpful information.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Philip D. Cornies (1884 - 1962)

According to the information in the file Cornies lineage by JC Toews. pdf  and from information provided by Johann Cornies of Germany, Philip D. Cornies was the son of David Cornies and Anna Dueck.  This particular David Cornies was a son of David Cornies (1794 - 1853) and his second wife, Susanna Berg.  This is somewhat speculative as the documentation does not clearly present the name of his mother.  Children from this second marriage are not listed in the file Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf.  

Philip Cornies was a teacher in Rosenort, Molotschna from 1911 - 1922 and was one of the main Directors of the VMSR (Verband der Mennoniten Süd-Russlands or Union of Mennonites of South Russia).  You can read more about this organization and Philip's role in the book "Lost Fatherland" by John B. Toews.  It is available online as a Google book.

Philip was a brother to Anna Cornies who emigrated to Paraguay and is the subject of the post here.

The following photograph of Philip can be found in the book "Lost Fatherland" by John B. Toews.

Philip died in Doksehetow, Kazakstan.  Please feel free to leave a comment if you have additional information particularly, concerning the name of Philip's paternal grandmother.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

David D. Cornies (1900 - 1979)

The following photograph was provided by Johann Cornies of Germany.  This is a photograph of David D. Cornies who lived in Switzerland and is assumed to be the son of David Cornies (b. 1880).  This particular David Cornies is not listed in the document Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf.  JC Toews identifies David Cornies (b. 1880) as having studied and married in Switzerland (see page 20 in the document Cornies lineage by JC Toews.pdf).  David D. Cornies (1900 - 1979) is assumed to be the son.  Please feel free to add a comment if you can provide additional information.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Move from Ohrloff

One can trace the movement of the original Cornies family from Danzig, to the Chortitza colony in Ukraine and then to the Molotschna colony where the family eventually settled in the village of Ohrloff.  Subsequent generations can be traced to the the village of Ohrloff as their place of birth as well as Juschanlee and Taschenak.  However, the larger Cornies family eventually dispersed from Ohrloff settling in other communities.

The family of Johann Cornies (1852-1906 and no. 45 in Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf) moved north to the new village of Schoenfeld where he served as Mayor of that settlement. The villages of this settlement were mostly destroyed during the Russian Revolution and his children moved back to Molotschna prior to emigrating to Canada.

Can anyone else trace their roots to a town or village in Ukraine outside of Ohrloff, Juschanlee or Taschenak?  Please share your story.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Juschanlee and Taschenak

These were two large farms or estates established by Johann Cornies (1789-1848),  Thanks to Google Earth, we can see an aerial view of the location of these two estates.  Juschanlee is presently called Kirove in Ukraine and in the image, one can see the Juschanlee river running through Kirove.  Farther north, the Molotschna river winds through Orlove which was the village of Ohrloff.

Taschenak was located just south-west of Melitopol.  The image shows that the name has not changed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Danzig Home

The following picture shows the Cornies residence in Danzig (Gdansk), Poland prior to the family emigration to Ukraine.

(Image above provided by Johann Cornies of Germany)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Photographs - Family of Johann Cornies (1789-1848)

Although there is no photograph of Johann Cornies (1789-1848) since he lived before photographic technology was developed, the following image has been used to represent his likeness.  The source of the image is understood to be a charcoal drawing by a Tobias Voth in 1827.  The same image has been used in  David Epp's book "Johann Cornies".

His grandson, Johann Cornies (1843-1912) is shown below (No. 22 in the document Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf) and he lived on the Taschenak Estate.

The above man's son, also named Johann Cornies was born on the same estate and lived from 1868-1936.  (No. 76 in the document Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf)

Johann Cornies (1868-1936) above, also had a son named Johann (or Hans) Cornies who lived from 1898-1919 also on the Taschenak  estate. During the revolution, this young man was brutally murdered by bandits or anarchists as he represented one of the wealthy landowners in revolutionary Russia and a perceived source of oppression by the proletariat.  He was the last male descendant of Johann Cornies (1789-1848).

(All images above provided by Johann Cornies of Germany)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Group Photograph from Orloff

This photograph was taken in front of a school in Orloff in the Molotschna colony.  As you can see from the names, there is a Peter Cornies and a Jakob Cornies (Kornies).  The date of the photograph is unknown.  Does anyone know these two individuals?

(Photograph originally published in the November 13, 1957 edition of Der Bote.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

David Cornies (1884 - 1938)

During the First World War, young Mennonite men in Ukraine were required to serve their country.  In keeping with their non-violent beliefs, many of these men chose to do alternate service in forestry or to serve in the Red Cross.  Here is a picture of David Cornies in his Red Cross uniform.  In the document Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf, David Cornies is number 133.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Heinrich Cornies b. 1908 - 1979

Heinrich's wife Mary recently passed away as one can see from her obituary below.  Although such public announcements are difficult for the immediate family members, these announcements are valuable for those who are researching their genealogical roots.  Referring back to the document Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf, one can see that Heinrich and Mary are listed as Number 185 in that document.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Johann David Cornies b. 1891

Johann David Cornies b. 1891 was the son of David Heinrich Cornies b. 1857 and the great-grandson of David Johann Cornies (1794-1853).  Many members of the extended Cornies family emigrated to North America at the time of the Russian Revolution but Johann David Cornies stayed in Russia and his descendants eventually emigrated to Germany.  A photograph of Johann David Cornies b. 1891 follows:

Thankfully submitted by Johann Cornies, grandson of Johann David Cornies b. 1891,  in Germany.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nachkommen von Martin Cornies.pdf

This is a new document that has been added to the Documents Folder.  This file was forwarded from Germany by Johann Cornies.  Anyone who is interested can download this document and study it.  This document appears to be quite accurate, fairly complete and very current.  One can likely find the current generation of the Cornies extended family on this document.  In fact, if anyone is interested, I am listed as a son of William Cornies (no. 280).  The only question that remains is, who prepared this document?  Perhaps Johann Cornies (no. 542) can  provide us with an answer.

Vielen Dank Johann Cornies!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Johann Martin Cornies (1741-1814)

Johann Cornies moved from the Danzig area with his family to Ukraine and eventually settled in the village of Ohrloff (or Orloff) in the Molotschna colony.  The 1835 Molotschna census shows Johann Martin Cornies (b. 1741) in Orloff along with his four sons.  Since his year of death is recorded as 1814, the reason for including him in the 1835 census is unknown.

One can see from the genealogical records of that time, the tradition was to use the father's given name as the son's middle name.  Given this tradition, one might assume that Johann Martin Cornies father's name would have been Martin Cornies.

Early population lists of the Dutch West Indies shows a Martin Cornies as a resident of St. Maarten in 1715.  Since Johann Martin Cornies sailed from Danzig to ports in different parts of the world, is it possible that there is a link between this Johann Martin Cornies in Danzig and the Martin Cornies in St. Maarten?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Juschanlee was one of the large estates and agricultural research facilities founded by Johann Cornies (1789-1848).  Some photos of this estate can be found at Michael Penner's site here.  The map below shows the layout of the Juschanlee estate.

(Map image courtesy of Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg and William Schroeder's map collection.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Origins of the Cornies Surname

In a previous post, I suggested that the Cornies surname was a derivation of the eastern European name Kornis. The following articles suggest that the name really originated in the area of Friesland in present day Holland or Netherlands.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Johann Cornies (1789-1848) - Part II

This photograph was taken in Ohrloff and shows part of the business premises or estate once belonging to Johann Cornies.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Johann Cornies (1789-1848) - Part I

Much has been written about this one individual and his contributions to the Mennonite settlements in the Ukraine.  His contributions ranged from improving agricultural practices to introduction of silkworm farming to reformation of the educational system.  More can be read about his life story here.
His great, great-grandson Johann Cornies (1898-1919) was killed by bandits during the Russian Revolution.  This was the last male descendant of Johann Cornies (1789-1848) so his remaining descendants to this day do not carry the Cornies surname.
In 2004, bicentennial celebrations were held in Molotschna and the contributions of this Johann Cornies were recognized.  The following newspaper article describes some of the planned celebrations at that time:

Plans were also made to unveil a monument in memory of Johann Cornies.  The monument was planned to look like this:

Perhaps a reader of this post has been on one of the Mennonite Heritage Cruises to the old Molotschna settlement of Ukraine or knows of someone who has visited these sites and has taken photographs.  It would be greatly appreciated if photographs of these sites were forwarded to

Friday, January 8, 2010

Modern Ukraine

It appears that most of the second and third generation children after the original four Cornies brothers (Johann 1789-1848, Peter 1791-1847, David 1794-1853, Heinrich 1806-??) were born in the village of Ohrloff in the Molotschna colony.  This is where the Cornies family settled after arriving from the Chortitza colony.

Today, many of the Germanic names of those villages in Molotschna have been changed to Russian/Ukrainian names.  The map below shows that the village of Halbstadt is now called Molochansk, the village of Ohrloff is now called Orlove and Yuschanlee is called Kirove.  The map still shows the river running through the area as the Molochna.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Heinrich Cornies (dates unknown), grandson of Heinrich Cornies (1806 - ??)

Heinrich Cornies married Sara Nickel in Melitopol, Ukraine.  They emigrated to Canada at some point between 1924 and 1926 and lived in British Columbia.  This couple had five children being Agatha, Heinrich, Georg, Wilhelm and Alexander.  Their son Wilhelm also had a son Wilhelm who is the subject of the post here.   Their son Alexander had a son Elman (1929-1986) who lived in Newton, Kansas.

Thanks to information provided by N. Nickel and P. Stephenson.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Heinrich Cornies (1870-1944) Collected Photographs

Heinrich Cornies, grandson of David Cornies (1794-1853), arrived in Canada with memories of Molotschna in the form of photographs. There are six photographs of men shown below. The photograph in the bottom right corner was marked "Cousin D Cornies" on the back.  We are trying to identify these individuals.  Perhaps there are others who have old photographs passed down from previous generations who can identify these men.

Other photographs in Heinrich's possession were those shown below.  Again, any assistance in identifying these people would be greatly appreciated.

Thankfully submitted by Rose Sirman, granddaughter of Heinrich Cornies.

Jerry Dick adds the following analysis of the image above...

"In the absence of definitive information, I have concluded that the young woman in the middle of the top row in the middle group of above pictures is Helena Cornies (1850-1882) (GRANDMA #352851).  My rationale is as follows:
1. It seems highly likely that a "Cornies" picture collection containing a photograph of Anna (Töws) Hübert (1875-1944) (GRANDMA #473749) and her family would also include a picture of her mother, Helena Cornies (1850-1882).
2. The photographer's Logo at the bottom of the photograph of Anna (Töws) Hübert and her family is the same as that for the young woman I believe to be Helena Cornies (1850-1882).  It seems reasonable that Anna would have chosen a photographer that her family was familiar with and had used before.
3. The photographer for both pictures would have been an "Ohrloff" photographer as his Logo is also found on pictures of other known Ohrloff residents.  As indicated by the birth/death records in the GRANDMA database, Helena's parents and grandparents, Helena's family, and Helena's children's families all lived in Ohrloff too.
4. The young woman that I believe to be Helena Cornies (1850-1882) has an unusually strong chin, and that physical characteristic is clearly visible in her daughter Anna as a teen-ager, and in her granddaughters Anna (GRANDMA #463693) and Margaretha (GRANDMA #465236) as young women, see attached photographs. None of the other women in the Cornies picture collection seem to have this characteristic.
Jerry D."

Russian Revolution and Exodus from Ukraine

The Russian Revolution of 1917 marked the beginning of the end of the Cornies' family roots in the Mennonite settlements of the Ukraine.  Since their arrival in Ukraine in 1804, the Cornies family had become wealthy and prosperous as part of the Mennonite communal estates and were regarded as "Kulaks" (wealthy landowners) by the surrounding Ukrainian peasants.  The anarchy that followed forced the dispersion of the Cornies family from their Ukrainian land to Canada, United States, Paraguay, Germany and Russia.
One anarchist of that time who operated in the area of Schoenfeld and Molotschna was Nestor Makhno.  This name was well known to those who survived the Revolution and emigrated to other countries.  A short clip of the infamous Nestor Makhno can be seen here: