Roland Steiner steiner at staff.uni-marburg.de
Wed Sep 15 22:42:01 UTC 2021

Dear Jan,

I have no research of my own to show here, but only reproduce the  
results of Agnes Stache-Weiske's study. According to her exposition,  
foreigners, Germans in particular, were specifically recruited in the  
years of the founding of the city of St. Petersburg, where Germans  
soon formed the largest foreign population group. Among the  
foreigners, the merchants belonged to a separate group. Since the  
German merchants were not considered as a unit, but were named after  
their cities of origin (Hamburg, Lübeck, Rostock, etc.), the English  
merchants formed the largest group in the 18th century, followed by  
the Dutch (op. cit., p. 386).

The first "Böhtlingk" who came to St. Petersburg - possibly in 1713 -  
was Otto's great-grandfather Peter, who was baptized in Lübeck on  
15.6.1689. Together with the Dutch merchant Abraham van Limburg, Peter  
Böhtlingk had a trading house in St. Petersburg since 1720 at the  
latest. Their trading house "van Limburg & Bohtlingk" is mentioned as  
one of the nineteen Dutch merchant houses located there at that time.  
Peter Böhtlingk therefore joined the Dutch merchant community and not  
that of his hometown Lübeck (op. cit., p. 387).

Although Peter Böhtlingk belonged to the Dutch merchant community, he  
was a member of the German Evangelical Lutheran congregation in St.  
Petersburg. The German Protestants had already received the right to  
establish their own church in 1704, even before the Dutch, English or  
French congregations. Peter Böhtlingk held the office of a  
churchwarden and was also the church elder of the St. Petri Church.  
His first wife was the daughter of the churchwarden Johann Sigfried  
Snettler; after her death Peter married Katharina Feldhusen, who came  
from a German merchant family (op. cit., pp. 389 f.).

Roland Steiner

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