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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Comment regarding Johann Cornies (1789-1848)

Steve Fast wrote...

First, let me say that I enjoyed looking at your blog very much. Second, I don't know if this is the appropriate place to post this, but I have a comment and a question about Johann Cornies. First, my 3-greats grandfather, Gerhard Abraham Fast, and his family lived with (and presumably worked for) Johann Cornies at Orloff #25 from 1817-19 according to the 1835 Molotschna census. What is interesting is that ten single men or families are recorded in the census as living with the Cornies around that time period. My question is of which church Cornies was a member in Molotschna, and if he had any involvement in the Alexanderwohl church? I know that he was fairly progressive in his views of his faith, so I wonder if that was reflected in the church to which he belonged.

First, thanks Steve for that bit of information about Johann Cornies and the information from the 1835 census.  I wonder if the people who lived with him were also employed by him.

About his association with the Alexanderwohl church, I can't say I have any information about this.  Perhaps one of our readers has more information that they can share.

I was paging through David Epp's book on Johann Cornies and in that book, there are a couple of indications of Cornies' relationship with specific church members.  At one point, Epp writes "Cornies' most initimate friend was the church leader Peter Neufeld".  I don't know this Peter Neufeld or his association with a particular church.  It could be that all the churches in the Molotschna colony were essentially one church under many roofs.

Also, Epp's book states, "Following the funeral sermon, delivered by the local bishop Bernard Fast...".  This Bernard Fast gave the sermon at Cornies' funeral in 1848.  Perhaps this person is found somewhere in your family tree.

If anyone else has further information that they can add, please leave a comment below.


  1. When you mentioned that Berhard Fast preached Cornies' funeral sermon, I looked up Berhard Fast in the GAMEO encyclopedia and his Ohrloff congregation In the Ohrloff article, it says that Cornies was a lifelong member of that congregation, so that answers my question. From the article it seems that they were strong supporters of each other. And yes, Berhard Fast was a relative, but so far I haven't figured out how he was related to the Gerhard Abraham Fast I mentioned.

    If you would like more information about the men and families who lived in the Cornies household, I can pull that out of the 1835 census.

  2. Thanks Steve and yes, if you have that information regarding people living at the Cornies household at the time of the 1835 census, we would appreciate that information. It may be helpful to others researching a family tree that intersects with the Cornies surname. We're always looking for new content.

  3. I sent a spreadsheet listing the names found at Ohrloff #25 where Johann Cornies lived to your e-mail address. Please let me know if you have any comments or question. Steve

  4. I should add that I don't know for sure why so many additional people were listed at Johann Cornies farm. I can only assume that they were single men and families who were working for him. I know from the David Epp biography that he was very interested in helping young men get started, find farms, and learn trades. It would be very interesting if someone had additional information about that.