Associated Colonies
Place of origin
Reichenbach, Lautertal (Odenwald), Hessen, Germany

Johannes Bretzer, son of Johann Philipp Bretzer, was born about 1729. He married Anna Katharina Leonhard, daughter of Johann Jakob Leonhard and Katharina Margaretha Massallin, on 29 May 1759 in the Reichenbach Evangelical Church. Today Reichenbach is part of the merged municipality of Lautertal, 17 kilometers south of Darmstadt. Anna Katharina had been born 2 March 1736 and baptized on 3 March 1736 in the Neunkirchen, Starkenburg, Evangelical Church. They had a daughter, Maria Katharina Bretzer, who was born 10 January 1760 in Lautern, and baptized on 13 January 1760 in Reichenbach; this girl died before Apr 1760.

Johannes Bretzer, his wife and his mother immigrated to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein) as part of a group of colonists that included 106 families. They departed from Altona, Duchy of Holstein, in April 1760 under the leadership of Jorgen Martin Beydeck, Johann Stautz, Anton Paul, and Valentin Jeckel. They arrived in Fridericia, Jutland, on 1 May 1760. While living in Denmark, Johannes & Anna Katharina had three boys: Johann Philipp in 1761; Johann Peter in 1762; and Johann Konrad in 1764. The family lived in Denmark until 12 January 1765, when they immigrated to Russia.

The Johannes Bretzer family settled in the Volga German colony of Beideck , and are recorded there on the 1775 Census in Household No. 8. By this time, Johannes has a new wife, Anna Margaretha (age 23).
Son Johann Konrad Bretzer is recorded in Beideck on the 1798 census in Household No. Bd40. In 1796, his stepmother, Anna Margaretha Michel, widow of Johannes Bretzer, moved to Laub and remarried to Andreas Leikam. She took her Bretzer children with her: Heinrich, Johannes, Peter, Anna Margaretha, Eva, Katharina & Maria Elisabetha. They are recorded in Laub on the 1798 census in Household No. Lb45.


- Eichhorn, Alexander; Eichhorn Jacob & Mary. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen: Steinmeier, 2012): 234, 551, & 662.
- Parish records of Reichenbach, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt (LDS Film Nº 1195076).
- Parish records of Neunkirchen, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt (LDS Film Nº 1269703).
- Rye, Richard (trans.). 1775 Census of Beideck.

Corina Hirt