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Associated Colonies
Place of origin
Kestrich (Gross-Felda), Vogelsbergkreis, Hessen, Germany

Johann Jacob Felsing (son of Heinrich Felsing) was born in Kestrich and baptized on 4 November 1719 in Gross-Felda. Johann Jacob Felsing and Anna Elisabeth Scharman (daughter of Johann Georg Scharman) married in Kestrich on 25 Nov 1751. The baptisms of four children, all born in Kestrich, were recorded in the Gross-Felda parish records: Johann Heinrich, born 19 June 1753 and baptized 22 June 1753; Anna Margaretha, baptized 16 April 1756; Johann Conrad, baptized 11 Feb 1760; and Johann Caspar, baptized 11 April 1766. 

The Stumpp book reports that Johann Jacob Völsing from Kestrich near Alsfeld and his wife Anna Elisabeth Scharman settled in Paulskaya.  

The family is reported on the lists of the recruiter Johann Facius as Jacob Felsing, age 47, from "Kÿsterich Ambt Ulrichstein", with his wife and two sons, ages 13 and 6 years old, and one daughter, 10 years old. The recruitment list is dated February 1766, before their fourth child was born. Facius was a recruiter for the Russian Crown, and generally the families he recruited settled in Crown colonies. Paulskaya was a colony established by a private recruiter, Baron Caneau de Beauregard.
The Johann Jacob Felsing family arrived in Russia on 9 June 1766 on the ship George under the command of Adam Bairnsfair. The passengers on this ship are listed as Beauregard recruits and many families on this ship settled in Paulskaya. The family of Jacob Felsing, his wife Anna Elisabeth, and their children Johann Heinrich, Johann Casper, Johann Conrad, and Anna Margaretha are reported on both translations of the Transport Lists.   

The Büdingen parish records report a marriage between Ludwig Jacob Fälsing from Giesen (sic) and Elisabeth Herdt from Offenbach on 4 April 1766. This couple arrived in Russia on a different ship, the Love and Unity under the command of Thomas Fairfax, also on 9 June 1766, with no children. This marriage occurred 7 days before the baptism of the youngest child of Johann Jacob Felsing in Kestrich. It would be easy to dismiss this record as an unrelated couple, except for the fact that the published translation of the Paulskaya First Settler's List (Household #44) states that Johann Jacob Felsing was from Gießen and that his wife was Elisabeth Herdt from Offenbach. The entry for Household #44 is unusual because it is the only entry on the Paulskaya First Settler's List (the 1767 Paulskaya Census) that states a maiden name and origin location for the wife.

The names and ages of the children listed in Household #44 of the Paulskaya First Settlers List match the baptisms of Johann Jacob Felsing's children in the Gross-Felda parish records, and match the names and ages reported for Johann Jacob Felsing's children on the Facius List, the Kulberg List, and the Transport List. 

The 1798 Census of Paulskaya reports Johann Heinrich Felsing, age 47, in Household #55. That household also includes a nephew who is described as the son of Johann Heinrich's deceased brother Johann Kaspar. 


- Lists of the recruiter Johann Facius
- Parish records of Gross-Felda on Archion.de.
- Mai, Brent Alan and Dona Reeves-Marquardt. German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767) (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): p. 60
- Stumpp, Karl. The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the years 1763 to 1862. (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1982): p. 161
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010) p. 102 and 121 (ship arrival incorrectly dated as 4 July 1766)
- Idt, Andreas and Georg Rauschenbach. Auswanderung Deutscher Kolonisten nach Russland im Jahre 1766 (Moscow: Nestor-Historia, 2015): p. 212, 222, and 265
- Mai, Brent Alan, trans. & ed. Transport of the Volga Germans from Oranienbaum to the Colonies on the Volga: 1766-1767 (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1998): p. A-100
- Rauschenbach, Georg. Deutsche Kolonisten Auf Dem Weg Von St. Petersburg Nach Saratow (Moscow: 2017): p. 59
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Nordost-Institute, 2005): p. 342
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Volume 2, p. 819 

Maggie Hein
Tim Weeder