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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.

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.

Join Us Today!

Annual membership dues for the Oregon Chapter are $25.

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 Oregon Chapter of AHSGR is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization organized under the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). As such, your dues are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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.


The American Historical Society of Germans is an international organization dedicated to the discovery, collection, preservation, and dissemination of information related to the history, cultural heritage and genealogy of Germanic Settlers in the Russian Empire and their descendants.


Oregon Chapter Bylaws - Adopted May 22, 2000

AHSGR Oregon Chapter Banner created by Roy Conrad Derring in 1991

The AHSGR Oregon Chapter Banner created by Roy Conrad Derring, a professional artist whose ancestral village is Norka, Russia. Roy presented the banner to the Oregon Chapter on January 13, 1991.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, April 13th at 2:00 p.m.

A Presentation by Yulia Tsymbal, AHSGR Translations and
Archive Special Projects Coordinator

Yulia Tsymbal serves as the AHSGR Translations and Archive Special Projects Coordinator in Lincoln, Nebraska. Yulia will discuss the research work that AHSGR currently has underway and her experience working with the Russian archives. This will be a very interesting presentation, so don't miss it!

Please invite your friends and family. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Location: The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University

Saturday, May 17th at Noon

A Presentation by Robert Wagner, AHSGR President

Robert (Bob) Wagner has recently been elected as President of AHSGR with responsibilities for the international organization. Bob will share some of the key initiatives and challenges that AHSGR is working on this year. Please plan to attend and show Bob our Oregon Chapter hospitality.

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, September 7th 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.

See our upcoming Calendar of Events

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

Membership Benefits

Membership in the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia provides you with access to vast resources of historical information which will allow you to learn more about your family history.

The Oregon Chapter also enjoys a close partnership with The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University (CVGS) that holds one of the largest collections of materials on this group of German Russians.

Membership in AHSGR provides many benefits:

  • Meet other people who share your interests
  • Find information about your ancestors and learn about the events that shaped their lives
  • Enjoy ethnic foods and music


George R. White Library at Concordia University in Portland

The George R. White Library & Learning Center at Concordia University is home to The Center for Volga German Studies and the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR).