Associated Colonies
Place of origin
Steinberg, Wetteraukreis, Hessen, Germany

According to the Hirzenhain parish records, Johann Sebastian Lerch, son of Johannes Lerch, and Maria Dorothea Schleuning, daughter of Johann Heinrich Schleuning, married on 28 Aug 1739.  This couple had five children: Johann Balthazar, born 2 September, baptized 5 September 1740; Johannes, baptized 31 August 1743; Johann Heinrich, born 23 November, baptized 25 November 1745; Johann Philipp, baptized 23 December 1748; and Maria Catharina born 8 May, baptized 9 May 1751 (died 28 February 1765).  

Maria Dorothea died on 4 April 1752. Johann Sebastian then married Anna Catharina Landmann, daughter of Johann Jacob Landmann.  This couple had six children: Anna Maria, born 6 July, baptized 8 July 1753; Johann Caspar, born 22 June, baptized 24 June 1756; Johann Heinrich, born 22 July, baptized 25 July 1760; Johannes, born 31 May, baptized 2 June 1762; and twins Johann Christoph and Johann Adam, born 3 November, baptized 5 November 1765. Many of the records state that the family lived in Steinberg, which is near Hirzenhain.   

Johann Heinrich Lerch married Gertraud Bach from Michelau on 3 April 1766 in Büdingen. The Wolferborn parish records report that Gertraud, daughter of Nicolaus and Elisabeth Bach, was baptized on 4 February 1748. 

Both families arrived in Russia on 4 July 1766. Johann Heinrich and his wife Gertrude are reported in the Schulz First Settler's List in Family #25.  Johannes, his wife Julianna, and their daughter Gertrude are reported on the Schulz First Settler's List in Family #24.  According to Brent Mai's web site, Sebastian Lerch's widow married Jacob Henkel, and this couple, along with the younger Lerch children, are reported on the 1775 Census in Schilling.  It is not clear where this family initially settled in 1767.


- Parish records of Hirzenhain on Archion.de
- Parish records of Wolferborn 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. 59
- 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. 143
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010) p. 124-125
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Nordost-Institute, 2008): p. 125-126
- Brent Mai.  https://volga.domains.unf.edu/surnames/lerch-schulz

Maggie Hein (© Margreatha Hein, 2020)
Brent Mai