About Me

My name is Gayla (Ohlhauser) Gray Aspenleiter and I have been researching my German-Russian family history since 2001. I created a database that includes information, pictures, and documents on families who left Germany/Hungary and immigrated to South Russia (Black Sea area). My research focuses on those who settled in the Grossliebental District of Odessa (now Ukraine), specifically Alexanderhilf, Freudental and Neu Freudental. I have also done extensive research on the villages of Huttertal, Neu Huttertal, Hutterdorf, and Johannesruhe located in the Taurian area.

In 2008, I visited the villages of my Ohlhauser ancestors in Germany and my Ohlhauser and Wohl ancestors in Ukraine. Pictures from these trips are located in the Photos section of the site.

My Ohlhauser/Wohl ancestors settled in Emmons County, North Dakota and Campbell County, South Dakota. My Gross/Tschetter ancestors settled in Hutchinson and Beadle Counties, South Dakota. I grew up in Montana but like my ancestors, I have moved around many times looking for the perfect spot.

I wrote Marriage and Weddings: Past and Present, originally published in the December 2008 Germans from Russia Heritage Society Heritage Review, which discusses the marriage customs of our ancestors.

If you are interested in learning more about your ancestors, check out the Research section of this site, then go to the Black Sea German Research website. The Black Sea German Research site allows you to search for your ancestors from over 1.4 million names in a database. And if you need help with your research, contact me at gayla @ blackseagr.org (no spaces)

Genealogy is my passion and my favorite hobby during the cold winter months. Gardening, biking, and fishing are my hobbies during the warm summer months.