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Place of origin
Bruchköbel, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hessen, Germany

Johann George Pfeifer, the son of Melchior Pfeifer of Bruchköbel, and Catharina Fries, the daughter of Caspar Fries of Niederrodenbach, were married on 6 May 1751 in Bruchköbel. The marriage entry in the Bruchköbel books states that “because of the period of mourning following the death of His Majesty the King of Sweden, the Serene Duke has allowed for previously proclaimed couples to be married only in complete quiet, without the least bit of splendor or celebration.” This refers to the death of King Frederick I of Sweden, who was also the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel, and who died on 25 March 1751. Usually a marriage would have taken place a week after the third proclamation. It appears from this record that it was delayed possibly due to the mourning period prescribed after the king’s death.

Johann George and Catharina had three children, all baptized in Bruchköbel: Anna Maria born on 24 Feb 1753; Johannes born on 4 Oct 1755; and Jacob born on 5 Apr 1758.   

All five family members arrived in Russia on 18 Jun 1766. By the time the initial settler group arrived in Kolb on 13 May 1767, both parents and the younger brother had died. The surviving two children were placed in separate families: Anna Maria is reported on the 1767 Census in the household of Andreas Kolb, and her borther Johannes in the household of Konrad Theil. 

Anna Maria Pfeifer married Georg Meier. The Meier/Pfiefer couple are reported on the 1798 Census of Kolb in Household #1.


- Parish records of Bruchköbel on, translations by Ute Brandenburg
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010) p. 87
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): pp. 385-386 
- 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, p. 605

Maggie Hein
Ute Brandenburg