Classification scheme: 

Title: Abraham P. and Margarethe (Kroeger) Regier family fonds

Dates of creation: 1898-2022

Physical description:  60 cm of textual records; 66 photographs

Biographical sketch: Margarethe Kroeger (1896-1988) was born in Rosenthal, south Russia to David and Margaretha (Krahn) Kroeger. The Kroeger family were renowned clockmakers. She married Abraham Peter Regier (1895-1995) in June 1920. Around this time, the couple lost both sets of parents to the typhus epidemic of 1919-1920.

Abraham Peter ("A.P.") Regier was born in Chortitza, south Russia to Peter A. and Katarina (Koop) Regier. Peter Regier held elected offices, including mayor. Katarina Regier's father was one of the brothers who founded the A.J. Koop implement factory. A.P. Regier graduated from the Halbstadt Kommerzschule (commerce school) in 1916. Through 1917, he was in alternative service with the Red Cross in Romania. During the turbulent years of 1918-1923 he held positions in local government and worked in the former Koop factory as an assistant manager. He was also involved with the Verband der Bürger holländischer Herkunft (Union of Citizens of Dutch Ancestry) and the American Mennonite Relief Committee.

Margarethe and Abraham had ten children (one died in infancy). They immigrated to Canada in 1923 first to Edmonton, and then Lymburn, Alberta. The family moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1943, where they became active members of the Niagara United Mennonite Church. The couple moved to the Vineland United Mennonite Home for the Aged in 1984.

In 1944, A.P. was one of the founders of the Niagara Credit Union. He was familiar with the credit union model from his youth because of the involvement of his father and grandfather in the Chortitza Society of Mutual Credit. A.P. served as secretary-treasurer and was later hired as manager, retiring in 1965.

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives by Henry A. Regier (son of Margarethe and Abraham Regier), 2014-2022

Scope and content: Series 1 consists of family photographs. Series 2 holds the files of A.P. Regier. Series 3 consists of the papers of Margarethe (Kroeger) Regier, predominantly journals, autobiographical writings and postcards, but also a recipe book and other items. Series 4 are items related to personal and family history written and collected by Henry A. Regier. Series 5 includes research by Arthur P. Kroeger, a cousin of Henry Regier, into the Kroeger clock enterprise. Series 6 documents the life of Margarethe Kroeger's niece, Anna, who remained in the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. Abraham and Margarethe's children were able to reconnect with their cousin in the 1990s.

Notes: For photographs related to this family search the Mennonite Archival Information Database.
An encyclopedia entry for Abraham P. Regier may be found in the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.
Original archival description created 2021 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

Series 1: Photographs

See the Mennonite Archival Information Database for descriptions. Cataloguing of these photographs is ongoing.

Series 2: Abraham P. Regier

  1. Russian and immigration documents
    1. Currency (German, Russian and Soviet)
    2. Text for wedding invitation for Abraham Regier and Margarethe Kroeger, 1920
        Note: Due to the shortage of paper, the text is written on the back of an archived government document from A.P. Regier's office.
    3. Waldheim Credit Society documents in Russian, 1913, 1918
    4. Family personal documents, 1912, 1916-1923
       Note: Includes Red Cross service papers, American Mennonite Relief Committee authorization, Union of Citizens of Dutch Origin membership    card, family vital records, factory work records
    5. Immigration documents, predominantly 1923
        Note: Includes passenger lists on the third train from Chortitza, 1923. A.P. had a leadership role on that train.
    6. Notes by Dietrich Regier providing context for some of the documents in this file.
  2. Family account books, 1926-1942, 1944-1945, 1946-1947
  3. Book lending and distribution by A.P. Regier, 1936-2014
  4. Family home in Lymburn, Alberta, 1928-1943, 1969, 2008, 2014
    Note: Includes notes by Henry Regier
  5. Attempted correspondence with Johann A. Regier in the Soviet Union, 1941-1942
    Note: includes regulations for mail delivery to “enemy occupied countries.”
  6. Autobiographical and biographical writings of Abraham Regier, 1968-2014
    Note: Includes transcriptions by Henry Regier of A.P. Regier’s writings, and the transcript of an interview of A.P. Regier by Henry Paetkau in 1976. See Hist.Mss.22.2.39 Russian Mennonite Immigrants oral history project.
  7. “Last historical comments” by A.P. Regier, 1991-1995
  8. Genealogical notes and correspondence
  9. News clippings of current events in Soviet Union, 1972, 1987, 1989, 1990
  10. Misc. news clippings
  11. Key ’73 notes and clippings, 1972
  12. Awards and certificates for A.P. Regier
  13. Birthday congratulations, 1985, 1990, 1994, 1995
  14. Notes on Christian stewardship
  15. Correspondence on Christian stewardship
  16. Devotional and Bible study notes
  17. Devotional poems
  18. Niagara Credit Union, 1945-1988
    See also XV-29.1
  19. General correspondence, [19--], 1923-1995
  20. Correspondence with David G. Rempel, 1974-1975
  21. Mennonite Foundation agreement and correspondence, 1983-1989
  22. Correspondence with Rev. Wilhelm and Maria (Froese) Pauls, 1943-2012
    Note: Includes copy of Gedichte verschiedenen Inhalts in hoch und plattdeutscher Sprache by Wilhelm Pauls, and two photographs
  23. Speech to an Orange Order banquet, Dunnville, 1967
  24. Autobiographical talk at Young Peoples’ dinner for grandparents at Grace Mennonite Church, 1977
  25. Wedding anniversaries, 1945, 1970, 1980, 1985, 1995
  26. Obituary and funeral tributes, 1995
  27. Ephemera
    Note: Includes a copy of the catalogue of the Mennonite Bible school in Leamington: Mennonitischen Bibel- u. Fortbildungsschule zu Leamington, Ontario, 1946-1947
  28. A.P. Regier's ziffern notation Choralbuch

Series 3: Margarethe (Kroeger) Regier

  1. Journals and autobiographical writings
    Note: Includes translations by David and Henry Regier. Translations also available in digital form.
  2. Letter from A.P. Regier during typhus epidemic, 1920
    Note: Includes translation by Henry Regier
  3. Kroeger family reunions, 1959, 1983
  4. Kroeger family entries in Chortitzer Gemeindebuch (photocopies)
  5. Margarethe Regier’s recipe book
    Note: The Archives has made a digital copy of the Margarethe Regier recipe book
  6. Postcards and greeting cards (accompanied by the following handwritten notes):
    1. To Margarethe Kroeger and Abraham Regier from their pre-marriage years in Rosenthal and Chortitza to early years in Alberta after their arrival there in 1923. A number of the cards are from people in Swalwell who welcomed them to Canada and after they all moved to Edmonton in 1924.

    2. Sent by Abraham Peter Regier to Margarethe Kroeger from December 1915 when he was a student in the Halbstadt commerce school to February 1917 when he was serving in the Red Cross medical service with the Czarist Army in Romania. Letters from Romania contained no information about his service, but rather excerpts from literature. The Halbstadt card refers to Margarethe as reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.

    3. A card from Anna Dyck, who married Johan P. Klassen (later of Blufton College), and a card from Sara Andres who died young of tuberculosis.

    4. From male friends of Margarethe Kroeger. These were friends of her mother’s relatives, but without romantic motivations apparently. Some have comments in pencil by David Victor Regier apparently based on what his mother Margarethe Kroeger told him at the time.

    5 Postcards and greeting cards without personal messages and signatures.
  7. Maria (Krahn) Harder obituary, 2008
    Note: Maria Harder (1900-2008) was a cousin to Margarethe Regier
  8. Obituary and funeral tributes for Margarethe Regier, 1988
    See also obituary in Der Bote, 28 Sept 1988
  9. Margarethe Regier's ziffern notation chorale books

Series 4: Henry A. Regier

  1. Notes, writings and correspondence, 1995-2023
  2. Childhood memories of the Regier sibling, 2014, 2016
  3. Historical writings ("'C' documents"), 2007-2014
    "Happenings Related to the 'Peter Regier House' in Chortitza." David, Dietrich and Henry Regier.
    "An Exchange of E-mails Between Henry Regier and James Urry."
    "Heinrich Jakob Dyck (1880-1919) of Rosenthal, Art Teacher (1908-1919), Chortitzer Zentralschule." Henry Regier and siblings.
    "Regier Family Entanglements with Respect to the Construction of the Chortitza Railroad." Henry Regier.
    "In Matters, Old and New from the History of the German Coloniges of South Russia: The Battle of the Catharine Railroad." Dietrich H. Epp.
    "American Mennonite Relief in the Chortitza Colony, USSR: Some Historical Details for 1922." Henry Regier.
  4. Agatha (Sawatsky) Kroeger biographical information
    Note: Agatha Kroeger was the grandmother of Margarethe (Kroeger) Regier
  5. Kroeger clocks correspondence and clippings
    Note: The following were not kept; copies are in the Milton Good Library: numerous Der Bote clippings on the Kroeger clocks; Reinhild Kavenhoven Janzen, “Keeping Faith and Keeping Time,” Mennonite Life, Dec 2000.
  6. 85th Anniversary of the family’s emigration, 2008

Series 5: Arthur Peter Kroeger

Note: Arthur Peter Kroeger (1922-2015) is a first cousin to Henry Regier

  1. Writings
    “Serendipety [sic] Going Back to Rosental,” 1997
    “Biography of Johann Bartsch the Deputy,” 2002
    Note: This manuscript is probably an earlier version of The Story of Johann Bartsch: A Mennonite Land Scout and Delegate, 2015. A copy is located in the Milton Good Library.
    “’Kolonies-garten’ Near Rosental,” 2003
    “Seven Stories,” 2011
  2. Kroeger Clock research papers
    “Die Kroeger Uhr,” Arthur Kroeger, 1977. A second copy in English.
    “Kroeger Clocks,” Arthur Kroeger, 1983
    “Turning Back the Hands of Time,” Mennonite Heritage Village exhibit program, 1995
    “Three Antique Kroeger Clocks,” 2003
  3. “Remembering Tante Agathe,” Arthur Kroeger, 1997
    Note: A tribute to Agathe (Kroeger) Peters
  4. Arthur Peter Kroeger, biographical notes and correspondence

Series 6: Anna Kroeger

Note: Due to information affecting living persons, this file is restricted until 2053.

Anna Kroeger was the daughter of Johann and Anna (Martens) Kroeger. Johann was a brother to Margarethe (Kroeger) Regier, and thus Anna Kroeger was Margarethe's niece. Anna lived her entire life in the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. Further biographical details are located within the file.

  1. General information and notes by Henry Regier
  2. Anna Kroeger’s memoirs, including transcriptions
  3. Correspondence 1993-2003
  4. Visits of David V. Regier to Moscow and Anna Kroeger to Canada


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
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