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Archangelica - children German settlement

Chronicles of the ancient genus PEC (Paetz), little-known pages of history from the XIV century to the present day

Light memory of Evgeny Petrovich Bozhko, historian-researcher

Dasha Brandt said


Author: Dasha Brandt. April 2006.

RINEK, Martin, the son of Johann RINEK, was born at Hamburg, Germany circa 1770 and was baptised in the Lutheran Church Hamburg, Germany (no details of his birth or baptism have been found to date 2006) and died in Archangel, Russia in 1810.

In 1791 Archangel had 383 foreigners living in a section of the town unofficially called the «German Colony»  (Неметская Слобода), which was located below the bazaar, i.e. today’s Svoboda Street and Loginov Street. One of its blocks located between the banks of the river and Troitsky Prospekt extended towards the centre of the CBD. The foreigners lived in a secluded community, practically without contact with the local population.  They had two churches: the Lutheran (stone) and the Reformist (wooden).  There were six church officials: 2 pastors, 2 organists and 2 teachers for the schools established by the churches.  The selection and appointment of pastors occurred in Germany and Holland and it was from there that the church organists and teachers were brought.

In 1796, Martin RINEK, then aged 24, arrived in Archangel from Hamburg, having been invited by the parishioners of the Lutheran church of St. Catherine to be the church organist for their community.

In 1806 he married the widow of the late staff doctor SCHULTZ, Maria Magdalena nee PAETZ

PAETZ, Maria Magdalena, the daughter of August Augustovich PAETZ (Пэц) and Elena Christophorovna SCHRIEBER, was born at Archangel, Russia on 6 February 1777. She died of Senility at Archangel, Russia on 15 November 1851 at the age of 74 and was buried at Archangel, Russia.

Shortly after the death of Martin RINEK in 1810, the Lutheran community brought a new organist to Archangel, and as a result of the arrival of the new organist, the tied cottage that belonged to the church had to be vacated.  Although his wife Maria received a pension from the church, it was insufficient to keep her and her family, so Maria moved into the home of her father, the town’s famous baker, August PAETZ together with her three small children.  However, August PAETZ died shortly afterwards.  It seems that she inherited her father’s house, as the following extract is from notes of his life story made by Barthold Jacob Benjamin MEYER, held by Heinrich MEYER-ELTZ.

«In 1811 I bought a house from Mrs. Rinek where the old Paetz used to live.  In the same year of 1811 P.N. Dreessen married Mrs. Rinek, I assume the same one.  I do not know who was the first Paetz in Archangel, but I know that they are well represented here — through the marriages they are related to almost all well known families here.”

Left without support yet again, Maria Magdalena married for a third time, this time to a Dutch subject, Peter Nicolaus Petrovich DRIESSEN (Дрисен) at Archangel, Russia on 3rd September 1811.  Peter Nicolaus DRIESSEN, the schoolteacher at the Reformist church school, had arrived in Archangel in 1801 from Holstein.  Perhaps Maria was forced to sell her father’s house to keep herself and her family, or perhaps she sold the house after her marriage to Peter DRIESSEN.

After the death of her husband Peter DRIESSEN (in 1822) Maria Magdalena established a private school for the education of children in different subjects.  Not long after, her youngest daughter Evgenia began to assist her, having successfully sat for examinations for the right to teach arithmetic and the Russian and German languages.  After marrying the merchant KOSTROV, Evgenia took on the administration of the school.

Children of Martin RINEK and Maria Magdalena PAETZ were:

Karolina Martinovna RINEK  (b.1804)

Christian Martinovich RINEK (1805-1853)

Evgenia Martinovna RINEK  (b.1807)

Children of Peter  DRIESSEN and Maria Magdalena PAETZ were

Margarita Petrovna DRIESSEN (b.1812),

Peter (Piotr) Petrovich DRIESSEN (1814-1861)

Herman Petrovich DRIESSEN.


Author: Dasha Brandt April 2006

RINEK, Christian Martinovich, Assessment Consultant, the son of Martin RINEK and Maria Magdalena PAETZ, was born at Archangel, Russia on 16 November 1805 (Given name at his baptism was Christian Wilhelm RINEK, however in Russia he was known by the Russian format of his name, which is forename and patronymic).  He was baptised at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St Catherine, Archangel, Russia on 17 December 1805. He died at Archangel, Russia on 17 January 1853.

In October 1822, at the age of 17, Christian petitioned the Archangel regional government for Russian citizenship in order to join the Civil Service.   A number of documents exist regarding this application and are transcribed below:

“Evidence of the Birth of Christian Wilhelm RINEK in German and translated to Russian GAAO, Folio 4; op 3; d644; L3,4

Christian Wilhelm Rinek, son of Martin Phillip Rinek and Mrs Maria Magdalena Rinek, nee Paetz, was born 16 November 1805 and christened 17 December 1805.

Godparents:  Johann Christian Grell, Johann August Paetz, Madame Gertruda Maria Cropp.

Testimony given 18th day of September 1822 by Pastor Carl Frieich August Brehme.

Translation to Russian by Titular Counsellor Alexander Scheele.”

“Application for Russian Citizenship GAAO, Folio 4; op 3; d644; L1

Petition of Christian Wilhelm Rinek, a foreigner of Hamburg nationality, for Russian citizenship:

«On the grounds that I have found myself from birth in Russia and on the death of my father, Martin Phillip Rinek, formerly the organist in the town of Archangel, I intend to assume a national of the Russian Empire in order to enter into the Civil Service»  October 1822”

Draft permission of the Archangel Provincial Government for the swearing in of Christian Wilhelm RINEK to Russian citizenship was given on 23 October 1822 (L5; 5ob6)

Christian Martinovich RINEK married Elizaveta Alexandrovna SCHEELE in Archangel, Russia    The date of this marriage has not been established.

Between about 1848 until his death in January 1853 he was head of State Realties of the District of Pinezh.

SCHEELE, Elizaveta Alexandrovna the daughter of Alexander SCHEELE and Maria Ivanovna DES FONTAINES, was born circa 1817 (Given name was Eugenie Charlotte SCHEELE).

Children of Christian Martinovich RINEK & Elizaveta Alexandrovna SCHEELE:

Matilda Christianovna,

Alexander Christianovich (1837-1916),

Elizaveta Christina

Constantine Christianovich (1850-1905)


Author: Dasha Brandt 5 July 2004

My great grand father, Alexander Christianovich RINEK, the son of Christian Martinovich RINEK (Христьян Мартинович Ринек) and Elizabeth Alexandrovna SCHEELE (Элизавета Александровна Шиле) was born in Archangel (Архангкльск), Russia on 26 August 1837.

Archangel, or Arkhangelsk (Архангельск) as it is known in Russia, is a northern settlement on the Northern Dvina (Северная Двина), fronting the White Sea, and named after the archangel Michael.  In 1574 Ivan the Terrible decreed that a town be constructed at the remote fishing settlement, 21 years after the arrival there of the first British traders.  In 1693, Peter the Great, intent upon building a Russian navy, built an admiralty and seaport at Archangel, from where he launched the Russian navy’s first ship, the Svyatoy Pavel (St. Paul) in 1694.  When Peter III lifted trade restrictions in 1762, Archangel’s port began to develop as a centre for trade, especially with Western Europe, leading to the establishment of a thriving trading centre.  At this time a number of families arrived, mostly from Germany, Holland, France and England, and established large merchant houses.

The 19th century and the early 20th century established Archangel as a major lumber centre, with a number of the foreign trading families becoming involved in the establishment of large sawmills.  The European families were confined to a small area of the township called the “German Settlement” (Неметская Слобода), were required to register annually with the local authorities for permits to remain in Russia, and tended to remain a tightly knit group, intermarrying with one another and raising huge families – 12 to 15 children was not uncommon.   It is from 3 of these families, Rinek, Dreisen and des Fontaines that I descend.

Alexander’s father Christian was employed as a titular consul  in Archangel and died in 1853 in debt to the Pinezhsky (Пинежский) Regional Council (a government district within the Archangel region), leaving behind his wife Elizabeth Alexandrovna, and 8 children, without any means of support.  After his father’s death, Alexander, at the age of 15, went to live in Voronezh (Воронеж) with his uncle, his mother’s brother, where he graduated from the local academy in 1855.  With his family in dire financial straits, and at the insistence of his uncle, Alexander commenced as a clerk in a public hospital, first in Voronezh, and then in Archangel, where he worked until 1859.

Alexander felt that his calling was surgery, however he had no means of supporting himself during the long years of study.  He approached his grandmother, Maria Magdalena RINEK nee PAETZ (Пэц), who gave him her entire pension for the trip to St Petersburg, and promised to send him as much as she could manage each month.  This enabled him to apply to study in the Medical-Surgical Academy in St Petersburg.  Studying brilliantly, he received a scholarship in 1860 and graduated from the academy with a silver medal in 1864.  After receiving his diploma, they allowed him to remain at the academy while concurrently enrolling in the military department of the Second Military Land Hospital.  In February of 1867 he was awarded a degree of Doctor of Medicine and posted overseas, to Berlin and Vienna, for two years research in the clinic of Professor Paturban (Патурбан).

Visiting Archangel again in 1870, Rinek married his first cousin Dorothea Maria Dreisen (Доротиа Мария Дрейзен), a girl 16 years his junior.  Dorothea, the daughter of Piotr Petrovich DREISEN (Пётр Петрович Дрейзен) and Wilhelmine Andreevna NOORMANN (Вильгемина Андреевна Нурманн), was born in Archangel, Russia in 1853. Her father was a representative of the English firm, Clark & Co, in Archangel.  Dorothea completed her schooling at 16, at the Archangel Marine College.  From the time of her marriage, Dorothea was known as Darya Petrovna RINEK (Дария Петровна Ринек).

On 26 May 1873, the appointment of Professor RINEK as senior lecturer in the faculty of surgery in the Kiev University was confirmed, and on 6 July 1873 his son Boris Alexandrovich (Борис Александрович) was born in Archangel.

As soon as the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-8 broke out, Alexander Christianovich was sent to the front with the Hospital.  The Russo-Turkish Wars were a series of eight wars fought between the Russian Empire and the Turkish-ruled Ottoman Empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  After an anti-Ottoman uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the summer of 1875, the formal pretext for the war came with the atrocities committed against the civilian Slav population during the Bulgarian April uprising of 1876. After the failure of peace negotiations over the winter, the Balkan principalities of Serbia and Montenegro declared war against their nominal Ottoman overlord early in July 1876, with the Tsar of Russia following suit on 24 April 1877.  The ensuing campaign ended in resounding victory for the Russian army.  However, the gains were largely dismantled in the Treaty of Berlin on 13 July 1878.

Alexander Christianovich worked the entire war side by side with Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov (1810-1881), performing many operations in the military hospitals on the front, and in 1877 was commissioned as the Chief Physician for the Russian Red Cross Society.  Pirogov was one of Russia’s greatest surgeons, introducing the teaching of applied topographical anatomy in Russia, devised the plaster cast and was one of the first to use ether in Europe.  His work during the Crimean War of 1853-6 is of such importance that he may be considered the founder of field surgery.

At the end of December 1877 Alexander Christianovich went back to Archangel for a short time, as his wife was awaiting delivery of their daughter Natalia Alexandrovna (Наталиа Александровна), who was born two weeks early.  After the birth, Darya Petrovna fell severely ill with mastitis, and Alexander Christianovich operated on her himself.  As soon as his wife’s health improved, he returned to the Balkans.

After the war, the Rinek family relocated to Kiev, where he was appointed Professor, Head of School of Theoretical Surgery and Hospital Clinical Procedures in 1878, and in 1881 to the Faculty of Surgery, at the Kiev University.  Alexander Christianovich and Darya Petrovna’s third child, Tatiana Alexandrovna (Татьана Александровна) was born c. 1879 in Kiev.

Kiev, or Kyiv as it is now known, is a port on the Dnieper River, the capital of the Ukraine, and a leading industrial, commercial, and cultural centre.  It is one of the oldest towns in Northern Europe — it probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century, and was an early seat of Russian Christianity.  The University dates back to the first half of the 17th century. The Kyiv Mohyla Academy, founded in 1632, provided the foundation upon which Kyiv University was subsequently built.  The first 62 students started their studies at Kyiv University in 1834, in the one-and-only Faculty of Philosophy, which had two Departments: The Department of History and Philology and The Department of Physics and Mathematics. There were new additions to the original department in 1835 and 1847: the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine.  Today, it consists of more faculties and departments than any other school in Ukraine and is a major centre of advanced learning with about 20,000 students.

According to contemporary information, Alexander Christianovich Rinek was a remarkable surgeon.  Seeking to minimise fatalities, he was one of the first in Russia to widely apply primary resection to restore the continuity of the intestines, and devised a radical operative method of healing gangrenous intestines and intestinal tracts.  His name is associated with the application of antiseptics and septics in the clinics of Kiev.

In 1894 he retired from the Kiev University.  In the years that followed, he lived and worked as a physician in Odessa & St Petersburg, and was, from 1896 to 1902, the chief doctor and surgeon in the Government Hospital in Tambov (Тамбов).  Tambov, is a city with a population of about 350,000 today, in south central Russia, about 420 km southeast of Moscow. It is primarily an industrial city, located along the unnavigable upper Tsna River in the Volga River basin.  The city was founded in 1636 as part of a fortress system built to defend the Russian principality of Muscovy, which was centred on present-day Moscow, against attacks from the south and east by Tatars and Kalmyks.

During his last years Alexander Christianovich lived in Tsarskoe Selo, (Царское Село) where he died in 1916.  Tsarskoe Selo (Royal Village), located 25 km south of St. Petersburg, first appeared in the 18th Century as the summer residence of the Russian tsars. Originally known as «Saarskaya Myza» (in Finnish «elevated locality») the lands belonged to Peter I’s wife Catherine I and in 1724 the first palace was built for her and the park laid out. From that time onwards the place became known as «Tsarskoe Selo» (Royal Village).  For the following two centuries many prominent architects created a unique collection of elegant palaces and pavilions, landscaped parks and ponds, 18th Century marble statues and historic obelisks. The last Russian tsar Nicholas II lived in Alexander Palace to the very moment when he and his family were taken away to begin the fatal trip that concluded in Ekaterinburg.  In 1918 the town was renamed into Detskoe Selo (Children’s Village), and in 1937 the name was changed once more to its current name of Pushkin, to commemorate the centenary of the death of the great Russian poet.

Alexander Christianovich’s wife Darya Petrovna, died in 1937, probably in Tsarskoe Selo.

Children of Alexander Christian RINEK & Dorothea Maria (Darya Petrovna) DREISSEN

Boris Eduard Alexandrovich  (1873-1925)

Tatiana Alexandrovna  (dec.)

Natalia Alexandrovna  (1876-1972)


Newspaper:  «Archangelsk» dated 23 April 1996.

Industry Papers: Kiev “Health” 1991, p.94

Memoirs: Natalia Alexandrovna SHEISSTOVA nee RINEK

Archangel City Archives


Author: Dasha Brandt

Boris Alexandrovich RINEK was born on 6 July 1870 in the northern Russian town of Archangel, the eldest son of Alexander Christianovich RINEK & Dorothea Maria (Darya Petrovna) DREISEN.  He was baptized in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Kiev on 7 January 1784.  His father was a surgeon who was well known for his work as a military doctor attached to the Russian Army during the Russo-Turkish War in the 1870’s. Young Boris and his mother accompanied Alexander to the front line.

Boris was quite a talented young man. He graduated from High School and enrolled in the Faculty of Science of the Kiev University where his father was a professor at the time. It is a beautiful building whose walls are painted red and it has been known as “The Red University” from the day of its inception some 200 years ago.   However, Boris was not a good student and, according to family stories, an inveterate gambler. It seems that he either failed the course in Kiev or was expelled from the University.  After leaving the university, he was fortunate in that his father managed to enroll him at the prestigious “Institute of Railway Construction” (Институт Путей Сообщения) in St Petersburg. Boris graduated from that Institute about 1895 and there were no reports of any further gambling problems throughout the rest of his life.

Boris worked on the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway around 1896-1903.  When the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904, Boris RINEK was part of the effort directed towards protecting the newly built railway. He was stationed near the Manchurian town of Mukden (now known as Shenyan) where he was supervising the repair of the railway tracks damaged by the hostilities. Boris RINEK is mentioned in a book by a Russian author Garin MIKHAILOVSKY (Гарин Михайловский) who met him when visiting the battlefields of Manchuria.

After the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the signing of a Peace Treaty in the British city of Portsmouth, Boris  RINEK commenced as an engineer on the Russian section of the CER. (Japan took over the southern part of the railway leaving only the northern half to Russia).  He started work on a railway station in the town called “Manchuria” (the Chinese call it “Manchouli”), some 10 km south of the Russian border with China where he met and married Larissa BADANKINA  (Лариса Полиевктовна Боданкина), who worked as a clerk on the same railway, around 1906.

Boris RINEK went back to Russia with his family in 1917 to take up a position as a construction engineer on the Murmansk Railway, which was being built in Russia’s north. He could hardly have picked a worse year, as 1917 was the beginning of the end for Russia. The country entered a terrifying era of two revolutions (February and October) followed by a Civil War. The trip turned into a nightmare, and the family was literally starving for several years, and traveled extensively in search of work, from Murmansk in the north to Tbilisi in the south, as well as some time spent with Boris’ father in Tambov.

In 1922 Boris and his family got permission to return to Manchuria, and he was able to return to his old job on the CER.  He was made a district engineer of a section of the railway around a station called “Chalantun” (Чжалантунь) in the foothills of the Khingan Mountains (Хинганский Хребет), some four hundred kilometers west of Harbin.

Chalantun was not merely a railway station but also a holiday resort with most of the holiday accommodation belonging to private owners but that the CER owned a restaurant (called “Koorzal” {Курзал} in Russian) near a large artificial lake located in a lovely park it built near the station.   It was the responsibility of the district engineer to look after that property as well as the ordinary railway infrastructure. An ice-cold crystal clear river called Yal flowed past the resort and the holidaymakers had the choice of rowing and swimming on the lake or swimming in the fast flowing river. Picturesque, steep mountains rose above the river valley and most people went for hikes in the hills in the refreshingly cool and pure air.

Boris and his family had two idyllic years (1922-1924) in Chalantun, living in a nice house with a well-kept garden at the resort, belonging to the CER. Unfortunately, Boris became gravely ill around 1923 with leukemia and died in 1924, at the age of 54.

Boris Alexandrovich was an extremely kind and generous man who was adored by his family and well liked by his subordinates and supervisors.  Although a gambler in his youth, he appears to have been a dedicated provider for his family in his mature years. He followed wrestling and loved drawing and sketching with at least two of his children inheriting that ability (Alexander and Olga).

Children of Boris Alexandrovich RINEK & Larissa Polievktovna BADANKINA:

Alexander Borisovich  (1909-1976)

Olga Borisovna  (1909-1976)

Natalia Borisovna  (1912-1989).

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