Merrill Warkentin's Genealogy

I also love history and I have a strong interest in genealogy -- I've traced my ancestors back to the 1600s in Europe. I have pictures of great-great grandparents and pictures of the ships that brought my Dutch ancestors to America (from the Molotschna colony in southern Russia (Ukraine) where they had moved to flee religious persecution). In the 1870s, tens of thousands of these " Germans from Russia" as they were known (also see the GRHS page) emigrated to the US and Canada when their religious freedoms were again threatened, and they settled in the prairie states and provinces to raise wheat. One of the leading figures in this migration was Bernhard Warkentin (see also here and here), my great-grandfather's first cousin, who was a banker, grain mill owner, and advisor to the US Department of Agriculture. He was even a clue on the TV show "Jeopardy" once -- I got that one right, of course! (He brought the Turkey Red winter wheat to America, which helped transform the Great Plains into the "breadbasket of the world." I have visited his home, "The Warkentin House" in Newton, Kansas, which is a National Historial Landmark. (You can read more about Bernhard Warkentin at Newton History and US 50.)