"Fredrick & Katherine Sayler" Close family story
Our Grandmother and Grandfather, Katarina Weiss and Fredrick Sayler im-migrated to America just a few months apart, in 1905. Their families had lived not far from each other in Russia but they did not know each other. When they arrived in America they both went to work on farms in North Dakota, and that is where they met.
Katarina’s Father, John Frederick Weiss was a carpenter and a Lay Minister. Her Mother, Margaretha Derheim Weiss was a mid-wife who traveled some times for days at a time, doctoring her fellow neighbors.
The Weiss family consisted of twelve children, six sons and six daughters. Only four lived to an old age. All were born in Neudorf, Bergdorf or Odessa, South Russia.
Fredrick’s parents were Gottlieb Sayler and Katherina Schmidt Sayler.
The Sayler family, like the Weiss family, was of German descent. Their families migrated to Russia when Catherine II invited the Germans to settle there with “special rights and privileges.” “All the families would receive a certain amount of land to build houses and the men and boys would not have to serve in the Army or go to War.”
These German Colonists settled mostly along the west side of the Volga River. And our ancestors settled in colonies just above the Black Sea. -- Within a quarter of a century these German Immigrants made South Russia the “Bread Basket of the Czars.”
In 1876, under different rulers, the Russian Government took away all the German-Russian Peoples’ rights and privileges. They had a choice of migrating to Siberia, where they could buy land and farm as they had before, or immigrate to North and South America.
Luckily for us, Grandma and Grandpa came to North America. They settled in North Dakota, and were married in Hebron on Feb. 22, 1906. They lived in Hebron, Glen Ullin, and Elgin before moving to Missoula, Montana, about 1924. They had seven children and lived out the remainder of their lives in Missoula.
Fredrick passed away in 1937. Katherine lived another twenty-six years. She passed away in 1963. Both are buried in the Missoula County Cemetery.
By: Pat Close