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THE DIEL FAMILY OF FRIEDENBERG, RUSSIA

Friedenberg was a Daughter Colony which was established on the banks of the Jeruslan River in the year 1860. In addition to the information in his "Report", Henry Diel wrote the following:
 
"The Diels came from Swabia in Germany to the colony of Schwab near the Volga River. Schwab was established in the year 1773 with a population of 187. Great Grandfather and wife were born there. My grandfather, Johan Johan Diel, was born there in 1830, and also my grandmother, Susanna Freidenberger. They moved to Friedenberg with others (and probably were among the founders.)

"A few years after the establishment of the new colony the river rose and flooded the village, so they moved the village farther back. The earthen dam shown on the map was on the outskirts of the village. Friedenberg and Wiesenmuller were about eight versts (about six miles) apart.

"Johan Johan Diel must have had a brother in Friedenberg because when we left, Dad sold our place to a Diel cousin. They lived just a few houses from us.

"In the center of the town was a Lafka, a church in which school was also conducted, and the granaries which held the grain required of every farmer to pour one sixth of his yield which was doled out to the needy and also for spring planting. Also in the center of the town was the village bells. We had three. These bells were rung for different purposes. One rang morning, noon, and night.

"I don't know how many streets there were or just where my father's father lived. It was customary for families to stay together in one house as long as possible for economic reasons.

It could be my father was the only one of his brothers to move out and build his own house, although my father and his youngest brother, Jergenrich, worked together, while Henry and Jacob worked together.

"My brother, Fred, was 12 years old when the family left. He has remembered as much as he can. He said that when Dad went to Saratov to get the passport he took Fred along.. They stayed with a Widow Diel in Marienberg near Seelman. They ate the first sugar beets in their lives. They went by boat up the Volga to Saratov to get the passport.

"We lived in the last house on the street. Our neighbor was Maier with whom we shared a dug well. Across the street from us was Albrecht, four houses from us lived my father's cousin Diel.