We only have official death records for Josefstal from 1907 – 1916…a total of 341 burials. These were reports to the county government, so they include the name, age, parents names, family number and date of death. No cause of death is recorded, those would be found in the Church records as recorded.
Here are the yearly stats:
- 1907: 57
- 1908: 36
- 1909: 18
- 1910: 47
- 1911: 27
- 1912: 21
- 1913: 75
- 1914: 20
- 1915: 16
- 1916: 24
Some families lost up to 4 people in years such as 1913…probably due to illness sweeping the home. But 1913 especially was a very bad year for deaths.
It also makes one wonder how many people were buried in the Josefstal cemetery….if burials started around the founding of the village, 1852, then there are well over a thousand people buried here.
Google Maps actually shows the location of the Josefstal cemetery….and even shows the outline of where the fence once was!Google Earth calculates the size of the cemetery in Josefstal as 81 meters by 107 meters.
When you are standing in the cemetery, you can see the mounds of the graves…naturally more noticeable in the fall when vegetation has died.
There are still iron crosses in the cemetery, most of the names have been ripped off so as to not identify that there were ever any Volga Germans living here. Wooden crosses would have long since been used for firewood.
There is even at least one cross with a name still on it. Thanks to Vladimir Kakorin.
And there are a few Russian Orthodox graves from the 1960’s, just before the village was destroyed.
And finally, there is this video that we took in the summer of 2009…showing how the cemetery in Josefstal looks today.
How about you? Do you have any old photographs from the village that you can share with us?