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Hüttengesäß, Ronneburg, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hessen, Germany

Johann Jost Gerdt was baptized in Hüttengesäss on 28 August 1710, the son of Philip Gerdt. He married Catharina Bender in Hüttengesäss 4 January 1736. She was baptized 2 January 1711 in Hüttengesäss, the daughter of Johann Bender. Four children were born to Johann Jost and Catharina: Anna Barbara, baptized 7 November 1740; Christina, baptized 3 April 1744 (died 6 December 1744); Anna Maria born about 1750 (baptism not found); and Philipp born about 1753 (baptism not found). Presumably, all were born in Hüttengesäss.

The Lists of the recruiter Johann Facius describe a family of 5 persons: Jost Gerth, age 56, from Hüttengesäß, with his wife, age 55, one son, age 12, and two daughters, ages 20 and 16, a good farmer of the Reformed religion. 

The family arrived in Oranienbaum 19 July 1766 on the ship Kronschlot (Кроншлот) under the command of Ivan Kunakovsky (Иван Кунаковский). Their surname is spelled "Ert" in the published translation. Daughter Anna Barbara is not listed with the family at this point. 

On 1 July 1767 they arrived in Balzer. Just "Ert" is listed as a widower in Household #90 on the 1767 Census (First Settlers List), along with his son Philipp. Apparently Catharina died on the way or shortly after arriving in Balzer. Daughter Anna Maria married Johannes Heimbuch shortly before 1767, and this couple is reported in Household #85. (Johannes Heimbuch was also from Hüttengesas.)

Before 1775 Johann Jost had remarried to Katharina (last name unknown). Their son Phillip, age 22 in 1775, is residing in their household, and they also have a daughter Eva, age 7. Johann Jost died sometime after 1775.

Son Philipp remained in Balzer. He is listed on the 1798 Census in Household #52 with his second wife Sophia Wentz from Schilling. Daughter Anna Maria is listed with her husband Johannes Heimbuch in Household #16. The surname is spelled "Herdt" in the published census translations.

Phillip died in Balzer 25 December 1819 at the reported age of 67 years. His surname is spelled "Gerd" in the death records. Anna Maria died sometime after 1798.


- Parish records of Hüttengesäss on
- Lists of the recruiter Johann Facius
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010) p. 203
- Idt, Andreas and Georg Rauschenbach. Auswanderung deutscher Kolonisten nach Russland im Jahre 1766 (Moscow: Nestor-Historia, 2015): p. 32
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 1 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 1999): pp. 97, 99
- Rye, Richard, translator. 1775 Census of Balzer (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1995)
- 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 1, pp. 257, 262
- Balzer Death Records: F174-1-1a page 81

Wayne H. Bonner