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Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in the Oregon Chapter of The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR). Our organization is a resource for learning about the history and heritage of this ethnic group. The Oregon Chapter of AHSGR was established on November 21, 1971 and is affiliated with the AHSGR International which is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Oregon Chapter is also an Affiliate Member of the Oregon Historical Society.

Miller Family

Photograph of Henry and Katherine Miller's children about 1925. Photograph courtesy of Chris Kauhi.

We have a rich history and culture. Migrating from the Germanic areas of Western Europe beginning in the 1760's, the German Russians settled in many parts of the Russian Empire where they built stable communities, established farms, churches, schools and businesses in their new homeland.

In the later part of the 19th century, many of these ethnic Germans looked to America to find new opportunities, escape political repression and preserve their way of life. By the early 1880s these pioneers were moving west and many came to call the Northwest their new home.

The Germans from Russia became an integral part of the diverse fabric of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

We hope that you will explore the culture, history and heritage of the Germans from Russia and become active in its preservation.

Read the latest Oregon Chapter Newsletter for more information or follow us on Facebook Facebook


Join Us Today!

A $25 annual membership with the Oregon Chapter provides you with many benefits.

Join us today by completing our membership form and sending a check payable to the AHSGR Oregon Chapter, in care of:

Jim Holstein, AHSGR Oregon Chapter Treasurer
PO Box 55218
Portland, OR 97238-5218

Jim can also be reached at 503-367-1757 if you have any membership questions.

The current membership levels and annual dues for joining the AHSGR International can be found here. We ask that you remit payment for international dues directly to AHSGR in Lincoln, NE.


Meeting Location

George R. White Library at Concordia University in Portland

The George R. White Library and Learning Center at Concordia University is home to The Center for Volga German Studies (CVGS) and the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR). Chapter meetings are generally held in the CVGS located on the third floor of the library.

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Read the latest Oregon Chapter Newsletter here!


Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendar!


Saturday, August 30th, 2014 at Noon

Oregon Chapter Picnic

Please save the date for our summer potluck picnic at the beautiful Camp Emerald Forest. Ride sharing is encouraged. Please see page 14 of our newsletter for more details or contact Bill Wiest at 503-771-4321.

Location: Camp Emerald Forest


Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 2 p.m.

100th Anniversary Celebration for the former Zion Church Congregation

Members of the former Zion Congregational Church are planning a 100th Anniversary Celebration. Contact Kris Zelinka for more information.

Location: The Door of Hope Church on NE 9th and Fremont in Portland


Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at Noon

A Presentation by Tanja Schell

We're very pleased that Tanja Schell will be joining us again. If you missed Tanja's fascinating presentation last year, don't miss out this time!

This meeting begins with a potluck lunch at noon and a program to follow at 1:00 pm.

Location: The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University


Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 2 p.m.

A Presentation by Herb Femling

Herb Femling will present on the origins of colonists migrating first to Denmark and later to the Volga. Newly published information on this topic has helped many people find their origins in Western Europe.

Location: The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University


Saturday, November 15th, 2014 at Noon

A Presentation by Prof. Hans Boas

Prof. Hans Boas from the University of Texas will speak at our program scheduled for Saturday, November 15th. 

Prof. Boas (University of Texas) is studying German dialect islands in the USA, specifically Texas-German. You can read and see a video about the work of Prof. Boas on the BBC website here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/ magazine-22490560

Prof. Boas is also interested in German Russian dialects and he plans to talk with some of our dialect speakers and share his thoughts about their language origins. Don't miss this very interesting program!

This meeting begins with a potluck lunch at noon and a program to follow at 1:00 pm.

Location: The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University


Sunday, December 14th, 2014 at 2 p.m.

A German Russian Christmas Program

Join us for a holiday celebration that will feature German Russian traditions and music. Family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Location: St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 6700 NE 29th Ave, Portland, OR 97211 (Across the street from the Concordia Library)


See our upcoming Calendar of Events and a list of past programs