Welcome to the Kirchgessner History Project. The goal and ultimate design behind the Kirchgessner History Project is to fill a historical void . . . that is, to research and extensively document a reliable and accurate historical account of the family name, and to chronicle the significant historical events of the Kirchgessner family from the Odessa region of Russia. Confused by the Kirchgessner name spelling? Some of you might be since your surname is spelled Kirchgesler, Kirchgasler, Kirkgesler or Kirchgesner. In fact the original German spelling is Kirchgessner.

The inspiration for this project was my grandmother Theresa (Kirchgesler) Hatzenbeller who turned 98-years old in January 2007. One of the primary driving forces behind this undertaking was the fear of loosing forever a families history. When I asked my grandmother about her family and their history I was dumbfounded by the response. "Well, in those days we just didn't ask questions like that" she said. My grandmother went on to describe how uncomfortable it had been for her father and mother in the early days of settling in South Dakota when they were mockingly referred to as "ROOSHANS." So for the most part it just wasn't talked about. Because so little information was shared by our former generations and this information is in jeopardy of being lost forever.

The schematic below shows how the Kirchgessner Family from Jöhlingen, Germany migrated to Russia and subsequently to the U.S. and Canada.

Other families have descended from these and other Kirchgessner family lines. One such line is that of Andolena Kirchgasler, the daughter of Paul Kirchgasler who settled in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Andolena married Johann Ochs who was also from the Odessa region of Russia. Their families have resided across much of Kansas for the last 100 years.

The Kirchgessner History Project has been an ongoing endeavor since 2000 when I began conducting extensive and indepth research into the history of the Kirchgessner families who are related to the families in Germany, the United States and Russia. I have also been in contact with archives in Russia where I have been able to obtain important records about the Kirchgessner Family. I continue daily to investigate information gleaned from thousands of archive documents, books, manuscripts, public papers, pedigrees, church records, microfilms, civil registers, historical annals, military papers, lineage extractions, naturalization papers, memoirs and most importantly, Kirchgessner decendants who have sent me information about themselves and their family histories.

The American essayist and poet James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), "Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found." Finding all the pieces is just one part of the equation, putting it into a comprehensive easy to read volume is the tough part. The published chapters of this book will cover a wide variety of historical subjects involving the Kirchgessner family, and include dozens of personalities. The finished book is projected to be approximately 100-150 pages. Aside from adding your genealogy if you are related we are looking for old Kirchgessner family photos to be included in this book.

How can you become involved in the Kirchgessner History Project? If you are a decendant of a Kirchgessner your lineage can be included in the finished book. You are not required to have the surname Kirchgessner at the present, only that you have the Kirchgessner, Kirchgesler, Kirchgasler, Kirchgesner or Kirkgesler surname in your ancestry. This could be your father or mother, your grand parents or great grand parents. Specifically this family was originally descended from Jakob Kirchgessner who was from Jöhlingen, Baden, Germany. After migrating to Russia, Jakob's nine children were all reared near Odessa in a village known as Kleinliebental. Below is a chart showing how the family spread from Germany to Russia and subsequently to the United States and Canada.

Your genealogical information should consist of the following:

1. Date and City of birth for each person recorded in the book.

2. Date and City of each marriage recorded in the book.

3. Date and City of each death recorded in the book.

4. Please include middle names since there are a considerable number of people in the index. This helps to sort them out so that you can locate people easier.

5. Please include maiden names of female spouses. Also if any spouses would like their parents names included in this book, please feel free to include them.

(Note: If someone wasn't born in a city, the county of birth will be fine. This is common in rural areas of the U.S. and Canada.)

4. Divorce information is not recorded in this book. Please do not send it. For the purposes of the Kirchgessner Book I will only need the Date and City of birth and marriage of the spouse.

I have been in touch with a number of Kirchgessner relatives in Canada and the United States. Additionally, I'm continually searching for Kirchgessner cousins in Germany today who may be related going back to Odessa, Russia. Please see some of the links below for additional Kirchgessner family information.

The final book will be published when a reasonable number of the family lines have been collected, assessed and placed into a genealogical format. At this time, I have collected approximately 40% of the family genealogy. I receive letters, emails, and even phone calls weekly with genealogical information on the various Kirchgessner families who are related. If you or your family have not submitted your family genealogy please do so as soon as possible. I wish to leave no related families out of this book, but it is a daunting task to track each and every person down. When you contact me please forward full names of individuals together with their dates and cities of birth, and marriage and death if it applies. For the most frequently asked questions I receive regarding this project please click here. I can also be emailed directly at kirchgessner.genealogy@gmail.com Please put in the subject line KIRCHGESSNER so that I don't miss your email. You may also contact me by mail by writing to:

Jeffrey Hatzenbeller
3640 Dunbar Knoll
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA 55443-1971

Finally, if you don't have access to email or you don't care to write I can take your information by phone. Please call me at: 763-227-7094.
Email Jeffrey Hatzenbeller
Some of the Kirchgessner Family Migrations