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Family Kaul           Origins


Asperg Citadel Fortress


Markgroningen Town Centre

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Original Homeland   Our branch of  the Kaul family are found in the former German state of Wurttemberg in the early 1500s. During the 300 year period (1500 - 1800) the our Kaul family were living in the LUDWIGSBERG region (city of Ludwigsberg founded 1709). Most of our ancesters were found to be residing in the town of ASPERG. In the later half of the 1700s our Kaul family were found to be living in the near-by town of MARKGRONINGEN, (established in (1504).
The Kauls of Wurtemberg were undoubtedly of Protestant faith. In the later years of the 1700s a number of the males are known to be soldiers, some in Archduke Ferdinand's Hussars and others in Napolian's army. For sure there were craftsmen, shop-keepers and our immediate ancestors were weinegartners.Their traditional skills of wine making would be their strength in their forthcoming adventure.
By the year 1804 they were experiencing an increasing amount of religious tension and the men were under the threat of being press-ganged into Napolian's grand-army. About this time Tzar Alexander, the grandson of Catherine the Great re-issues her manifesto, inviting Wurttembergers to settle New Russia. This caused the Wurtemberg authorities, who were concerned for the welfare of their citizens and had forbidden them to leave the country, to suddenly change their policy and allowed them to take advantage of the Russian invitation to colonise the South Russian Stepps.
Among these adventurous Wurttembergers was our direct ancestor Georg Conrad Kaul. He was a weingartner, born March 7 1769 in Markgroningen. December 14 1791 Georg Conrad married Elisabetha Maisch, she was born December 14 1766 in Gerlingen. With them were their children Johann Georg b: July 21 1791, Christian b: April 5 1793, Rosina Friederiki b: December 22 1879, Jeorge Conrad Jr and Elisabetha b: 1801.



Modern Day Ulmer Schachtel on the Danube

The Stepps of South Russia   This offer to colonise the South Russian Stepps came with some attractive perks. They would be allowed to practice their chosen religion, the men were excused from military duties and there would be government subsidies of cash and equipment to get them started in their new life, that of colonists. The Kauls would be known as the German Colonists of South Russia for the next 84 years.
In the spring of the year 1805 the Georg Conrad  Kaul family embarked on a journey that would last over a year. After converting all their worldly goods to cash, they joined up with four other families of Wurttembergers. The Kaul, Bedig and Unrath families were approved for settlement in PODOLIA South Russia (now The Ukraine), the Zaiser and Gloss families in Kachanow / Erdmannsweiler South Prussia (now Poland). This group made their way to the city of Ulm, a staging point on the Danube river. Here they were issued their teavel documents and were most likley assigned to a larger group and LEADER. They boarded an ULMER SCHACHTEL and continued their journey on the Danube river to Vienna. Here they left the river and continued their journey by coach or wagon, overland on the Austrain-Hungarian Post Road through the Carpathian Mountains to City of Lemberg in Galicia (now L'vov Ukraine). At Lemberg they apparently altered their destination and travelled north to the LODZ area of South Prussia, where the Zaiser and Gloss families settled. It is likley that in the spring of 1806 the three families traveled back to Lemberg where they were issued travel documents, allowing them to complete their journey to South Russia.  Again they embarked down the Dniester river to the city of Gregorapole. Just why our Kaul family did not settle in POSEN, as was originally approved, has never been explained. Gregorapole is one of the cities that Catherine the Great's consort Prince Potemkin had built for the colonisation of South Russia. 
These German immigrants who were to become the founders of the Gluckstal Colonies were  first settled in the city of Gregorapole. The city was also inhabited by an incumbent Armenian population and was situated at the southernmost proximity to the colonist's farm land. In 1809 the Governor of New Russia, His Excellency Duke de Richelieu, had observed that the Colonistis situation in Gregaropole was intolerable and ruled that they should be relocated to the village of Glinoi which was much more central to their land. The village of Glinoi was renamed Gluckstal (which means good luck).That same year the Colonies of Neudorf and Bergdorf  were also established, all three Colonies being located in the valley of the Chornenka river, which empties into the Dnister at Gregorapole. In 1810 the Colony of Kessel was founded. The four villages would be known as The Gluckstal Colonies or The GOOD LUCK COLONIES.

Throughout the next two generations the Good Luck Colonies were destined to see plenty of bad luck. Although the colonists experienced many hardships, by all reports life was good and wholesome for the most part. The Colonists  luck really turned, when in 1873 the Imperial Russian Government issued the second decree instituting compulsary military conscription for all German-Russian male Colonists. This decree impelled thousands of German-Russians to immigrate to North and South America. 



Canadian Pacific Transcontinantial in the 1880s (simular to the 1884 Moscow-Odessa line)

Rail Travel In Russia from 1866
When our German Colonists left the South Russian stepps, making their way to the various German ports to begin their sea- passage to the new world they were faced with a long overland trip. There are reports of some groups being held up in intermediate countries for months and in at least one case a year.
With the completion of  Moscow-Odessa Railroad in 1866, it became possible for our Colonists to leave South Russia and just a few weeks later be embarking on their sea-passage to the new world. Their rail trip may have started at Odessa, and travel via  Kiev or Smelmsk, then onward to Warsaw, Berlin, to their embarkation point of Berman.
The Russian railroad system was of the same standard as that in Britian and America. Russian railroads were successfully financed, constructed, commissioned and were hughly successfull.

1834; Austrian engineer Franz Anton von Gerstner completed the Danube-Moldau horse-drawn railroad.
1838; von Gerstner completed the St Petersburg-Tsarskoe railroad. von Rerstner departs for the USA.
1851; The Moscow-St Petersburg railroad is completed.
1860: The first Russian railroad boom
1866; The Moscow-Odessa line is finished.


New Homeland in The Dakotas   In 1884 my great gandfather Christian Kaul and family along with the Steinwandt and Weisser families, made their way to Bermnen Germany. Here they boarded the good ship Elb and immigrated to the United States, landing in New York, November of that year. They travelled to Yankton SD where they would declare their intent to become U.S citizens. In Yankton I believe my great grandfather negotiated the purchase of land in the Ashley area of McIntosh County North Dakota. This aquisition included land for his father Jacob Sr. and his brothers Jacob Jr. and Christoph.This transaction suggests that they did not initially homestead, but settled on railroad land, which would have been made ready for habitation.

The following year Christian's father and two brothers arrived along with some more Weissers, Steinwandts and Zimmermans. The four Kaul family's properties were about six miles south-east of Ashley, close to one another, in Jewell township and across the road allowance in Wyrtle township. Steinwandt and Weissers places were about three miles south on the state line.

About 11:00 in the morning of Jauuary 12 1888 a great blizzard had came up. Later that afternoon my great-grandfather Christian Kaul and his nephew Jacob Weisser ventured out to see how Christian's father and mother, who lived across the road, were weathering the storm. While they were visiting a great blizzards intensity increased. On their way home they lost their way in the storm. My great-grandfather was frozen to death and Jacob's feet were so badly frozen they is had to be amputated.

This made my great-grandmother Elisabetha (Steinwandt) Kaul a widow. She had five children, the eldest 16, youngest 4 yrs. March 14 1888. Eilsabetha re-married Gotfred Werre of Eureka South Dakota who had recently been widowed. Gotfred and Elisabeth's two  families became one. Born to that union were two daughters, Magdalena and Eva. And thus my Kaul line became South Dakotaites, some of McPherson County and my grandfather Johann Kaul of Campbell County.

My grandfather Johann Kaul married Sophia Jarhaus August 14 1898 at Menno SD. They had land near Harried in Campbell Co where all six of their children were born. My dad Ed Kaul was the third born.

Saskatchewan  Early in 1910 Johann Kaul, his brothers-in-law Fred and Jacob Jarhaus and Henry Kline travelled to Canada and filed homesteads in the Piapot district 19 miles north and east of Maple Creek. That summer in preperation for his familys arrival, John built a four roomed house on their new property. Sophia and their six children, the youngest three weeks old  arrived safely in October that year.

Comming to the Saskatchewan prairies, settling 19 miles from the nearest trading centre was an eitirely new experience for Johnn and Sophia. The horses that were used to till the land were also their means of transportation. There was a little income from the cows and chickens which was traded for staples such as flour, sugar and coffee. Sophia churned butter sold it along with milk cream and eggs to the CPR railway crews. During the summer months trips were made to the Cypress Hills for wild berries which were plentiful. The Cypress Hills also provided wood for fuel and poles for fence posts Often they would harvest cow and buffelo chips for fuel.

There new home was to become a colse community, with Edward Jarhaus acress the road, Fred Jarhaus one mile west and Henry Kline one half mile east. In September 1911 Prarie Star school two miles north was open for business. My Dad always talked about Prarie Star and about all of his boyhood friends. Baseball was their game,  which was to become much more then a pastime. It was truly a competative baseball comunity with it's local heros providing most of the talent.

My Dad also would reminice about the threshing outfit that Grandfather and the neighbers owned. It was a source of growing up and learning for most of the young men in the community who provided the labour. My Dad was to become a skilled mechanic. I am sure that threshing outfit was the seed for his eventual lifes work.

My Grandfather Johann was much in demand in the fall when the neighbors usually did their butchering of cattle and hogs. His much sought after skill was sausage making. The Kaul hopusehold was always a busy place. Grandmother boarded the teachers as well as other folks. In 1928 ill health forced Grandfather to give up farming, he still carried out his neighborly duties taking cream cans to town and running errands for folks. He was an IOOF lodge member and served on the church and school boards. Johann Kaul passed away June 1930 at age 53.



Transport on the Austrain-Hungarian Post Road 1n 1805



Former Gluckstal Church

             von Gerstner
 (railroad engineer & author)
Father; von Gerstner, Franz Joseph, b: 23/2/1756 Chomutov, Czech republic, d: 25/6/1832 Vienna.Director of Prague poly-technic institute.Designer of Danube-Moldau railway. 
Son; von Gerstner, Franz Anton, b: 19/4/1796 Czech republic, d: 12/4/1840 Philadelphia USA. Teacher at Prague poly-technic institute. Europe's leading authority on railroad construction. Completed the first public railway on the European mainland. Advisor and engineer of the St Petersburg- Tzarskoe railroad. 1838 relocated to USA, became the leading authority on US railroad financing and construction. Authered Early American railroad and canal standards, many still in use today.




Atlantic Crossing 1884



Steinwandt Sod House on the North-South Dakota state line (Built 1890)

The Team

Lessons at Prairie Star


The School-House

My Kaul Family History by Keith Kaul