The Doukhobor Odyssey, 1600-1898
From 17th century Russia to Canada
by Fred J. Chernoff, Manitoba, Canada — Submitted Dec. 2, 2006
To download the Odyssey map (904K PDF), click here. This PDF digital file can be printed and/or enlarged on a color photocopier at many office supply or photo-copying shops.
This map illustrates an unforgettable journey before stepping on Canadian soil in 1899 by the former members of the Russian Orthodox Church who lived in the Russian Empire. Most of the Canadian Russian Doukhobor immigrants were of Russian ancestry. Today, their descendants in Canada number into the thousands.
“THE DOUKHOBOR ODYSSEY” 1600 - 1899
Along with others closely connected Canadians, there is much interest in these ancestors. They have often wondered as to their ancestor's origin and the often turbulent history both in Canada as well in the Russian Empire prior to their ancestor's immigration in 1898. Many young are asking their parents, "Where did we come from? What is our origin? " Their parents are searching for more adequate information.
Much is documented about their history in Canada however; the history in the Russian Empire remains in the distant past. Canadian experience and history had taken preference over interest in their old history. As far as personal family histories and details prior to 1898 are concerned, limited verbal information has been preserved or documented for easy access. Few can identify the origin of their family prior to 1800. Knowledge of the early history of their lives in the Russian Empire is of extreme importance, as it encompasses and sets the stage for their origin and the beginnings for their special Spiritual journey along with their unique culture and beliefs. It is much easier to move forward when people understand or have a good idea of their early personal family history.
To assist in having a broad and general view of this journey prior to 1898, The Doukhobor Odyssey, 1600-1898 illustrates the 4 stages of their "bygone" days in the Russian Empire:
To download the Odyssey map (904K PDF), click here.
This PDF digital file can be printed and/or enlarged on a color photocopier at many office supply or photo-copying shops.
For more maps and history, also see the Doukhobor Genealogy Website by Jonathan Kalmakoff, and
Koozma’s book Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002), various pages for coloured maps
in North America, Russia and the Caucasus, and a section on "Villages, Provinces, and Place Names" (pages 389-399).