The Subbotniki

A report by  William Abram AldacushionJuly 2000


This is a report on the background of the Subbotniki compiled from available research material and personal recollections. My mother's family was Molokan(1). My father's great-grandparents were of Molokan origin and who became Subbotniki while living in the Transcaucasia region of the Russian Empire during the second half of the 19th century. There is not a central source of information on the Subbotniki nor has much been written recently about them. Since the Subbotniki have essentially died out as an organized religion, I feel it is important to document what I have found though searching used-book stores, the Internet and other sources.

This particular report focuses on the Subbotniki of Molokan origin from the Transcaucasia region that migrated with the Molokans to Los Angeles in the first decade of the 20th century. I have also included general background on Judaized Russians from other backgrounds, time periods and regions in order to place my ancestors into a greater historical context.

This project continues to be helpful to me in gaining a better understanding of my ancestral roots. I hope it will also be of interest to other readers. More importantly, I hope this report will stimulate others to share information they may have concerning the Subbotniki so we can continue to expand and complete their story.

Bill Aldacushion

The Molokans are a non-Orthodox Russian Christian religious sect that embraces many Old Testaments tenets and is often compared with the Quakers. There is a great deal of published information on the Molokans including several Internet sites such as

All rights to this report are reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without express permission of the author.

Chapter 3 Map: "Russia In Europe", c. 1898
Map: "Origins of Subbotniki"
Photo: "The Village of Semenovka", 1895
Photo: "At Jelenovka", 1895
Chapter 5 Photo: "Arrival of Steerage Passengers at Bremerhaven."
Photo: "Lloyd Waiting Rooms, Bremerhaven."
Photo: "Embarkment of Steerage Passengers."
Photo: "S.S. Frankfurt"
Chapter 6 Photo: "Los Angeles Subbotnik trustees present UMCA Board of Directors with
             treasury fund remaining after dissolving congregation in 1971." 9 people.
Photo: "Funeral of Esai Davitevitch URKOV"
Photo: "Funeral of Esai Davitevitch URKOV" (close-up)
Photo: "Photo of original Subbotniki burial area in the Home of Peace cemetery."
Photo: "Tombstones of Esther Vasilievna (Pivovaroff) and her husband Joseph
            Yegorovich Aldacushion with that of Stephan Ivanovich Moiseiev in the background".

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