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Plainfolk cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-5255-9460-1
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Standard Color interior
    • 402 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-5255-9461-8
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Standard Color interior
    • 402 pages
  • Keywords
    • Plain folk,
    • Planer colonists,
    • German-Russian farmers,
    • Prussian history,
    • German-Russian history,
    • Saskatchewan history,
    • Black Sea Germans

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Stories from the Farm about the Impact German-Russian Farmers and Planer Colonists had on Two Countries and Seven Generations
by Victoria M Jurgens

Plainfolk: Stories from the Fraess Farm and Planer Colonists is a wide-ranging cultural expedition into a unique diaspora of German-Russian farmers, told in the most personal voice. Here is the tale of the Planer Colonists, of which the Fraesses and Kowalskys were prominent members, and the tremendous impact they had on their families and the communities they cultivated, both before and after their move from their Prussian homeland to their adopted home in rural Canada. Plainfolk traces the author’s ancestry back generations to the German-Russian diaspora that arose in the mid-1700s, yet became extinct in the early 1900s. It explores the reasons her ancestors left Prussia in 1818 and 1819, then left South Russia in 1904 and 1906. And it travels with its people to Canada, in pursuit of a different life, where they went on to play a significant role in developing the Canadian Prairies. The author, who traces both sides of her ancestry to this special group of pioneers, enhances this deeply researched collection of family history with such personal touches as family trees, photos, illustrations, and recipes. The result is a comprehensive snapshot of a remarkable group of pioneers who, Jurgens says, may have been “plain folk,” but were always “extraordinary.”

"Victoria M. Jurgens has this great ability to place the soul on the page" —Clennel Anthony, author of The Circle.   "In exploring her family’s history, Victoria M. Jurgens provides a broader glimpse into the many Saskatchewan families whose hard work, strength and resilience helped to shape the province we love." —H.P. Bayne, author of The Sullivan Gray Series "Plainfolk is a true labour of love. Here are stories, poems and anecdotes that join hands between the past and present and bring to life on the page a family's story. What a rare gift this is to all the descendants of the Fraess and Kowalsky families. To have this window into the lives of their ancestors, to know the roots from which they came, the center that is family. More than a family history, this is a historical document of real importance. Imaginative, honest and beautifully written. Plainfolk is a book to treasure." —Lynda Monahan, author of A Slow Dance in the Flames, What my Body Knows, Verge and A Beautiful Stone

Victoria M Jurgens photo

Victoria Jurgens has three post-secondary degrees: a BA in psychology, a BSc in nutrition and dietetics, and an MBA. She is a dietitian registered with the Saskatchewan Dietitians Association and was a Saskatchewan Party Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan from 2011 to 2016. She wrote her first book, People Series Book 1—A Perfect 10—for her mother and siblings, of whom she has nine. Victoria has three children but more than 1,000 relatives who can be traced. She hopes that they, along with the descendants of the Planer Colonists and the larger German-Russian community, are as curious to learn what life was like for their pioneering ancestors as she is.


Victoria M Jurgens

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