Classification scheme: 

Title: Lucy Braun fonds

Dates of creation: 1866-[200-]

Physical description: 80 cm of textual records ; ca. 300 photographs

Biographical sketch: Lucy Braun (1928-2019) is the daughter of Peter and Katharina (Braul) Braun. Her given name is Elisabeth, but she was usually known by the German "Lusie" or later in Canada, the English "Lucy." Born in Wernersdorf, Molotschna, South Russia, she was the fifth of nine children.

Both her grandfather Johann Braun and father Peter Braun had been village administrators ("Burgermeister") in Wernersdorf; Johann from 1907-1910 and 1914-1917, and Peter from 1941-1943. Her mother, Katharina Braul, came from several generations of teachers: Jacob Johan Braul (1803-1866),  Johann Jacob Braul (1835-1907), and David Johan Braul (1861-1933).

David Braul's first wife, Eliese (Harder) died in 1916. After immigrating to Canada in 1924, he married Agathe Nickel (or Nikkel) in Arnaud, Manitoba in 1926. David Braul was the secretary for the Mennonite group that purchased land from Lyman Farms in Arnaud in the 1920s.

Peter and Katharina and their children did not emigrate from the Soviet Union in the 1920s. Lucy's four younger siblings did not survive infancy. After the birth of twin siblings in 1930, Lucy was sent to live with her Aunt Louisa (Braul) and Uncle Willie Rempel in Crimea to ease the burden on her parents. In 1937, when her aunt and uncle were deported to Siberia, she returned to her parents. The family joined the Great Trek of Mennonites from the Soviet Union to Germany in 1943, where they found work on an estate farm in Poland.

In 1944, her father and brothers were drafted into the German army. Lucy and her mother tried to travel west but were deported back to the Soviet Union. They were moved to Martuk, Kazakhstan in August 1945. Here they struggled daily for their survival. After 1957, they were able to make contact with her father and three brothers in Ontario, Canada. In 1966, Lucy and her mother were able to immigrate to Canada, settling in New Hamburg, Ontario. In the absence of news about his wife during their years of separation, Peter had married again, but following the discovery that Katharina was still alive, the second wife promised to "step aside." She died of cancer in 1959. In 1969, the family learned the fate of Lucy's brother Ewald, who was separated from the others during the war. He died of tuberculosis in the Soviet Union in 1947.

After her arrival in Canada, Lucy worked at Home Hardware in New Hamburg, where she still lives. Outside of work, she pursued her interest in family history and genealogy. She was particularly inspired by a relative, Henry Goertz, who gave her a copy of his manuscript on the village of Wernersdorf. 

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives by Lucy Braun in 2016

Scope and content: The fonds consists primarily of genealogical charts, correspondence, photographs, and photocopies of journals of family members. Spellings of given names and surnames include many variants.

Series 1 consists of Braul (Braeul) family documents, tracing their origins in West Prussia through settlement in Russia and immigration to Manitoba in the 1920s. Series 2 follows the Braun family from their origins in West Prussia to Russia. The series primarily documents the children of Jacob Johann Braun and Helene (Bargen). This couple had 12 children; 10 survived childhood.

Series 3 consists of research by Lucy Braun over several decades to list the families in her home village of Wernersdorf in 1943. Her research captures the village population as it was just prior to most of the families departing for Poland on the Great Trek of Mennonites leaving the Soviet Union with the German army. The families are listed by farmyard ("hof") and/or house number ("haus"). Details of previous owners of some of the houses are given. Genealogical information about the families and their descendants are given, as well as some details of family and personal histories. Many photographs and letters gathered by Lucy Braun over the course of her research are included. Some families have extensive information in the files, while others have only basic details.

Braun also researched other family genealogies, including her aunt Anna (Voth) Braun. She assisted Tina (Harder) Bergen (adopted daughter of Johann and Katarina (Dyck) Harder) in searching for information about her birth parents. 

In the early 2000s, Lucy assisted a relative, John A. Harder, with the transcription of Harder family letters. The letters were translated and published in From Kleefeld with Love (Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2003).

Notes: For photographs related to Lucy Braun search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
Further materials related to this fonds may be found by searching the Archives.
Original archival description created 2016 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

Series 1: Braeul family history and genealogy

  1. Die Breyels Familie Chronik: Munsterberg, W. Preussen, Jacob Breyel (1747-1803) and Margaretha Breyel (1758-1790) and descendants
  2. Jacob Johann Breil (1803-1866), Johann Jakob Braeul(1835-1907) Scope and content: This file consists of a photocopy of the journal (Tagebuch) of Johann Braeul from 1866, and a photocopied document titled "Mein Grossvater Jacob Joh. Braul" [My grandfather Jacob Joh. Braul] written in 1928, probably by David J. Braeul. All three men were teachers.
  3. David J. Braeul
    1. School report forms completed by David J. Braeul, 1877/78-1881/82.

    2. From the journal of David Braeul, 1882-1889
    Scope and content: A typed transcription of the following writings by David Braeul:  "Die Erste Allgemeine Lehrer konvention des Berdjaner kreises, Sudrussland, 1882"; "Poesie im Parke Memriks," 1886; "Ein Barmherziger Samaritar"; "Ein Alter Imker"; "Die zwei Hunde"; "Meiner Krimreise im Sommer 1887"; "Mein besuch der Chortitzer Kolonie, 1889."

    3. Journal of David Braeul, 1920, 1924, 1929
    Scope and content: A photocopy of the handwritten journal of David Braeul, including the following writings: recollections of traveling in Poland, 1920; "Unsere Reise aus Russland, 1924": "Neues Leben in neuen Vaterlande, 1924"; "Wernersdorf Chronik," 1929.

    4. Journal of David Braeul, 1924
    Scope and content: A typed transcription of Braeul's 1924 journal entries; a photocopy of handwritten minutes entitled "Zur Organisation das Molotshner Mennoniten in Canada, 26 September 1924."

    5. Writings by David Braeul, 1925, 1926
    Scope and content: A photocopy of a handwritten document by David Braeul titled "Protokoll der Mennoniten, des Lyman farm"; and a photocopy and typescript copy of "Erste Bibel besprechung in Arnaud am 8 January 1926 in der Kirche." 

    6. Journal of David Braeul, 1925-1933
    Scope and content: A photocopy of Braeul's handwritten journal

    7. Erinnerungen by David Braeul, 1932
    Scope and content: A handwritten transcription by Peter Braun of David Braeul's memoirs

    8. Writings, notes, drawings and poems by David Braeul (photocopies)
  4. Luisa (Braeul) Rempel correspondence, 1933-1935
    Scope and content: Original and photocopied letters
  5. Correspondence, in Russian, 1967-1979
  6. Eliese (Harder) Braeul genealogy
  7. David and Eliese (Harder) Braeul correspondence, 1901-1907 (photocopies)
  8. Agathe (Nickel) Braeul diary, 1933-1934
    (photocopy of original and typed transcript)

Series 2:  Braun family history and genealogy

  1. Isaak Braun (b. 1736), Jacob Isaak Braun (1770-1831), Johann Jacob Braun (b. 1807)
  2. Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905) and Helene (Bargen) (1842-1915) and their 12 children
    Note: Jacob is the son of Johann Jacob Braun (b. 1807)
  3. Helene (Braun) Kroeker (1860-1923) and Dietrich Kroeker (1857-1923)
    Note: Helene is a daughter of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  4. Johann Jacob Braun (1862-1938) and Sara (Goertz) Braun (1861-1920)
    Note: Johann is a son of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  5. Jacob Jacob Braun (1864-1944) and Helene (Goertz) (d. 1944)
    Note: Jacob is a son of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  6. Anna (Braun) Koop (1867-1922) and Peter Koop (1856-1917)
    Note: Anna is a daughter of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  7. Maria (Braun) Ott (1862-1922) and Kornelius Ott (1861-1914)
    Note: Maria is a daughter of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  8. Isaak Jacob Braun (1871-1941) and Anna (Fransen) Braun (1868-1954)
    Note: Isaak is a son of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  9. Heinrich Jacob Braun (1873-1946) and Maria (Peters) Braun (1877-1902), Helene Peters (1878-1941), Martha (Sievers)(1892-1956)
    Note: Heinrich is a son of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  10. Katherine (Braun) Klassen (1875-1932) and Herman Klassen (1861-1941)
    Note: Katherine is a daughter of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  11. Peter Jacob Braun (1880-1933) and Maria (Friesen) Braun (1883-1968)
    Note: Peter is a son of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  12. Abraham Jacob Braun (1882-1979) and Paula (Sievers) Braun (1887-1942)
    Note: Abraham is a son of Jacob Johann Braun (1835-1905)
  13. Elisabeth (Braun) Potcker (1887-1943) and Johann Potcker (1887-1929)
    Note: Elisabeth is a daughter of Johann Jacob Braun (1862-1938)
  14. Jacob Johann Braun (1888-1972) and Anna (Voth) Braun (1898-1976)
    Note: Jacob is a son of Johann Jacob Braun (1862-1938)
  15. Descendants of Isaak Braun (b. 1736)
    Note: Includes Red Cross correspondence re Ewald Braun (1925-1947)

Series 3: Wernersdorf families

  1. Henry Goertz's Wernersdorf research
    Scope and content: A photocopy of Henry Goertz's handwritten research on Wernersdorf
  2. Peter Goertz (1799-1834) genealogy
    Note: Henry Goertz is a descendant of Peter Goertz
  3. Lists of families of Wernersdorf compiled by Lucy Braun
  4. Wernersdorf family files
    1.  Heinrich Rempel and Justine Rempel (Hof 1/Haus 1)
    2.  Jacob Boldt and Maria Boldt (Hof 2/Haus 2)
    3.  Helene (Boldt) Barg (Haus 2)
    4.  Peter Wiebe and Netha (Nickel) Wiebe (Hof 3/Haus 3)
    5.  Jakob Nickel and Helene (Siemmens) Nickel (Haus 3)
    6.  Gerhard Hildebrandt and Netha (Voth) Hildebrandt (Hof 4/Haus 4)
    7.  Peter Voth and Helen (Derksen) Voth (Hof 4)
    8.  Fedja Lahoda, Kolja Lahoda, Nadja Lahoda (Hof 6/Haus 5)
    9.  Jacob Regier and Anna (Peters) Regier (Hof 7/Haus 6)
    10. Johan Friessen and Sahra (Regier) Friessen (Haus 6)
    11. Gerhard Regier and Nina (Wassili Martschenko) (Haus 6)
    12. Heinrich Sawadskie and Tina (Heidebrecht) Sawadzkie (Hof 8/Haus 7)
    13. Peter Steffen and Elisabeth (Voth) Steffen (Haus 7)
    14. Heinrich Steffen and Helene (Gortz) Steffen (Hof 10/Haus 8)
    15. Peter Wall and Susana (Gortz) Wall (Haus 8)
    16. Johan Wall and Maria (Dyck) Wall (Haus 8)
    17. Peter Heidebrecht and Gretha (Isaak) Heidebrecht (Hof 11/Haus 9)
    18. Gerhard Nickel and [?] (Zehr) Nickel (Haus 9)
    19. Zehr
    20. Gerhard Rogalskie and Marie (Ewert) Rogalskie (Hof 12/Haus 10)
    21. Heinrich Voth and Tina (Rogalskie) Voth (Haus 10)
    22. Gerhard Dick and Justina (Martens) Dyck (Hof 13/Haus 11)
    23. Gerhard Dick and Anna Dyck
    24. Peter Vogt and Anna (Peters) Vogt (Hof 14/Haus 12)
    25. Kornelius Derksen and Maria (Peters) Derksen (Hof 15/Haus 13)
    26. David Voth and Liese (Krocker) (Haus 13)
    27. Jakob Derksen and Marichen (Hooge) Derksen (Haus 13)
    28. Gerhard Born and Tina (Regier) Born (Hof 16/Haus 14)
    29. Abram Steffen and Anna (Born) Steffen (Hof 16/Haus 14)
    30. Franz Born
    31. Tina Heidebrecht (Hof 17/Haus 15)
    32. Heinrich Heidebrecht and Sara (Janzen) Heidebrecht (Hof 18/Haus 16)
    33. David Epp and Sara (Heidebrecht) Epp (Haus 16)
    34. David Heidebrecht and Anna (Isaak) Heidebrecht (Hof 19/Haus 17)
    35. Peter Isaak and Ida (Martens) Isaak (Hof 19/Haus 17)
    36. Peter Isaak and Helene (Rempel) Isaak (Haus 17)
    37. Johann Peters and Gretha (Klassen) Peters (Hof 20/Haus 18)
    38. Peter Peters and Lolja Peters (Haus 18)
    39. Johan Gossen and Gretha (Sieberts) Gossen (Hof 21/Haus 19)
    40. Peter Hooge, Maria (Potcker) Hooge, Elisabeth (Dick) Hooge (Hof 22/Haus 20)
    41. Jacob Heidebrecht and [?] Kliever (Hof 23/Haus 21)
    42. Jacob (Peter Regier) Martens and Maria (Heidebrecht) Martens (Haus 23)
    43. David Hildebrandt and [?] (Gortz) Hildebrandt (Haus 23)
    44. Gerhard Peters and Helene (Schmidt) Peters (Hof 24/Haus 21)
    45. Jacob Derksen and Anna (Steffen) Derksen (Hof 25/Haus 22)
    46. Peter Steffen and Margaretha (Friessen Martens) Steffen (Hof 25/Haus 22)
    47. Aron Gortzen and [?] (Harms) Gortzen (Hof 26/Haus 23)
    48. Jacob Gortz and Alvine (Tomas) Gortz (Hof 27/Haus 24)
    49. Kornelius Neufeld and Maria (Backer) Neufeld (Hof 27/Haus 24)
    50. David Barg and Helene (Boldt) Barg, Tina (Schmidt) Barg (Hof 28/Haus 25)
    51. Peter Schmidt and Ida (Gossen) Schmidt (Hof 29/Haus 26)
    52. Abram Steffen and Helene (Wedel) Steffen (Hof 30/Haus 27)
    53. Peter Thiessen and Helene Thiessen (Hof 32/Haus 29)
    54. Heinrich Thomas and Tina (Neufeld) Thomas (Hof 33/Haus 30)
    55. Peter Backer and Bertha (Thomas) Backer (Hof 33/Haus 30)
    56. Jackob Hubert and Tina (Gortz) Hubert (Hof 34/Haus 31)
    57. Fedja Tjar and Maria (Hubert) Tjar
    58. Johan Wedel and Helene (Peters) Wedel (Hof 35/Haus 32)
    59. Franz Wall and Gretha (Wedel) Wall (Hof 36/Haus 33)
    60. Jacob Neufeld and Maria (Thiessen) Neufeld (Hof 37/Haus 34)
    61. Johan Wedel and Helene (Wilhelms) (Hof 38/Haus 35)
    62. Heinrich Hildebrandt and Sara (Hartens Enns) Hildebrandt (Hof 39/Haus 36)
    63. Peter Braun and Katharina (Braul) Braun (Hof 41/Haus 37)
    64. Ivan Porochnja and Sanja Porochnja
    65. Wilhelm Thomas and wife (Hof 43/Naus 39)
    66. Jacob Thomas and Marie (Thiessen) Thomas (Haus 39)
    67. Johann Gortzen and [?] Warkentin (Hof 45/Haus 40)
    68. Heinrich Freund (Hof 46/Haus 41)
    69. Fritz Freund and Maria (Hubert) Freund (Haus 41)
    70. Wassili Martschenko
    71. Alexander Freund and Tina (Gortz) Freund (Hof 48/Haus 42)
    72. Peter Peters and Susa (Gortz) Peters (Hof 49/Haus 44)
    73. Unused number
    74. Wilhelm Peters and Regina Peters (Haus 45)
    75. Dietrich Peters and Susa Dueck (Haus 45)
    76. David Hildebrandt and Ida (Schmidt) Hildebrandt (Hof 51/Haus 46)
    77. David Voth and Helene Voth (Hof 52/Haus 47)
    78. Johan Janzen and Anna (Enns) Janzen (Hof 54/Haus 48)
    79. Johan Braun and Agatha (Voth) Braun (Hof 56/Haus 49)
    80. Johan Enns and Anna (Neufeld) Enns (Haus 48)
    81. Gerhard Heidebrecht and Helene (Penner) Heidebrecht (Hof 57/Haus 50)
    82. Peter Gortz and Tina (Sawatzkie) Gortz (Haus 50)
    83. Peter Derksen and Maria (Gossen) Derksen (Hof 58/Haus 51)
    84. Wilhelm Sawatzkie and Kathrina (Braun) Sawatzkie (Hof 59/Haus 52)
    85. Abram Kroecker and Anna (Sawatzkie) Kroecker (Haus 52)
    86. Heinrich Bucker and Maria (Wiebe) Bucher (Hof 60/Haus 52)
    87. Peter Wolf and Gretha (Voth) Wolf (Haus 49)
    88. Johan Gortz and Bertha (Fruend) Gortz (Haus 54)
    89. Heinrich Gortz and Marie (Gortzen) Gortz (Haus 54)
    90. Heinrich Tersen and Maria (Gortz) Tersen (Haus 54)
    91. Nikolja Gortz and Elsa (Thomas) Gortz (Haus 54)
    92. Abram Peters and Emma (Thomas) Peters (Hof 62/Haus 55)
    93. Jacob Fast and [?] Fast (Hof 65/Haus 56)
    94. Wolde Thomas and Bertha Thomas (Hof 65/Haus 56)
    95. Gerhard Giesbrecht and Maria (Rogalski) Giesbrecht (Hof 66/Haus 57)
    96. Kornelius (Klassen) Giesbrecht and Maria (Goseen) Giesbrecht (Haus 57)
    97. Abraham Heidebrecht and [?] (Gortz) Heidebrecht, Anna (Steffen) Heidebrecht (Hof 67/Haus 58)
    98. Gerhard Peters and Liese (Kathler) Peters (Hof 68/Haus 59)
    99. Gerhard Martens and [?] (Martens) Martens, Lieske [?] Martens (Hof 69, Haus 60)
    100.  Bernhard Martens and Liese (Kowiz Tersen) Martens (Hof 69/Haus 60)
    101. Theodor Tersen and Manja (Marteschenko) Tersen (Hof 69/Haus 60)
    102. Friedrich Thomas and Sara (Martens) Thomas (Hof 69/Haus 60)
    103. Olisko family (Hof 70/Haus 61)
    104. "Teacher" Penner family (Hof 71/Haus 62)
    105. Peter Peters and Tina (Enns) Peters (Hof 72/Haus 63)
    106. Johan Peters and Dora [?] Peters (Haus 63)
    107. Heinrich Heidebrecht and Marichen (Peters) Heidebrecht (Haus 63)
    108. Daniel Epp and [?] (Penner) Epp, [?] (Siebert) Epp (Hof 73/Haus 64)
    109. Jacob Gossen and Liese (Klassen) Gossen (Hof 74/Haus 65)
    110. Peter Gossen and Helene (Sperling Kowitz) Gossen (Hof 75/Haus  66)
    111. Wolfe family
    112. Gerhard Peters and Lena (Peters) Peters (Hof 77/Haus67)
    113. Heinrich Heidebrecht and Tina (Rempel) Heidebrecht (Hof 79/Haus 68)
    114. Jacob Rempel and his sister Sara Rempel (Hof 79/Haus 68)
    115. Jacob Peters and Tina (Siebert) Peters (Hof 80/Haus 69)
    116. Peter Bergen and Tina (Rogalski) Bergen (Hof 81/Haus 70)
    117. Alexander Schneider and Anna (Rempel) Schneider (Hof 83/Haus 71)
    118. Peter Rogalski and Helene (Dick) Rogalski (Hof 83/Haus 72)
    119. Johan Steffen and Liese (Baerg) Steffen (Hof 84/Haus 73)
    120. Kornelius Voth and Anna (Regier) Voth (Hof 84/Haus 73)
    121. Peter Wiebe and Sara (Thiessen Wiebe) Warkentin (Hof 85/Haus 79)
    122. Gerhard Steffen and Helene (Schellenberg) Steffen (Hof 86/Haus 80)
    123. Abram Steffen and Emma (Ziekle) Steffen
    124. Peter Friesen and Maria (Steffen) Fresen (Hof 87/Haus 82)
    125. Heinrich Peters and Netha (Steffen) Peters (Hof 87/Haus 82)
    126. Gerhard Klassen family (Hof 85/Haus 83)
    127. Nikolaj Klassen and Marie (Sawatzkie) Klassen (Hof89/Haus 84)
    128. Gregor Sebetzkie family

Series 4: Peter Voth family genealogy

  1. Genealogy of Peter Voth (1828-1907) and Elisabeth Rosenfeld (b. 1834) family
    Note: Anna (Voth) Braun (1898-1976) is Lucy Braun's aunt through marriage to Jacob Braun

Series 5: Tina (Harder) Bergen genealogy

  1. Genealogy of Tina (Harder) Bergen (b. 1909)

Series 6: Harder family history

  1. Notes and correspondence, and genealogy

Series 7: Miscellaneous

  1. "History of the Braul family" / Larry Braul, 1980 (student paper)
  2. Notes on Mennonite villages
    Note: Clippings from Der Bote and Mennonitische Rundschau profiling various Russian Mennonite villages were removed from this file. Copies are located in the Milton Good Library.
  3. Archiv Ostdeutscher Familienforscher, Marz 1975
    Note: Includes a listing for "Mennoniten Goertz aus Wernersdorf, Russland."
  4. Autobiographical writings by Lucy Braun
    Note: See also Harder Family Review (2002-2003) for published articles she wrote about her early life to the Great Trek.
  5. Obituary for "Elisaveta 'Lucy' Braun," 2019

Series 8: Photographs

Note: Loose photographs from this fonds are described in the Mennonite Archival Image Database ( The majority of photographs are intrinsic to the files and have been left in place. They have not been separately described.


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238