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Place of origin
Horbach (Freigericht), Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hessen, Germany

Johannes Rack (son of Nicolaus Rack) and Margaretha Kessler (daughter of Johannes Kessler) married in Horbach on 14 February 1751. The civil registration of their marriage had been recorded in Somborn on 19 January 1751. Johannes and Margaretha had five children in Horbach: Christoph, baptized 31 March 1752 (died 18 April 1752); Maria Catharina, baptized 19 February 1753; Maria Margaretha, baptized 11 October 1755 (died 4 September 1758); Anna Elisabeth, baptized 19 March 1758; and Anna Margaretha, baptized 9 July 1760. Johannes Rack's wife Margaretha died on 3 April 1761. The widowed Johannes married Catharina Müller on 28 June 1761. Johannes and Catharina had two children: Mathias, baptized 20 September 1762 (died 6 October 1762); and Mathias, born about 1765 (baptism not found).  

Johannes Rack from Horbach appears on a list of colonists recruited from the Hanau region. A 2020 Heimatbuch article identifies him as a settler in Leichtling.

The family arrived in Russia on 27 May 1766. Johannes Rack is described as Catholic and a farmer from Hanau. Johannes is accompanied by his wife Catharina and his children Catharina, Elisabeth, and Mathias.

Elisabeth and Mathias appear to have died during the journey to the villages. The remaining family members are reported on the Leichtling 1767 Census (First Settlers List) in Household #19. 

The 1798 Census of Leichtling (Household #20) includes Peter Rock and Margaretha Rock who are described as children of the deceased Johannes Rock.


- Parish records of Somborn St. Anna, including Altenmittlau, Bernbach, Horbach, and Neuses, accesssed on Matricula Online.
- Zivilstandsregister, 1749-1769, Somborn (Hessen-Nassau). Bürgermeisterei; Staatsarchiv (Marburg), images on Family Search
- Government Report on the activities of Russian Imperial Emissary Facius, images obtained from Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg 
- 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. 151
- Horst, Irma. "Kommissarius Johann Facius und seine Kolonisten", Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Russland 2020, (Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland e. V., Stuttgart, 2020), pp. 259-265
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010) p. 61
- Idt, Andreas and Georg Rauschenbach. Auswanderung deutscher Kolonisten nach Russland im Jahre 1766 (Moscow: Andreas Idt, Georg Rauschenbach, 2019): p. 29 
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Nordost-Institute, 2005): p. 55
- 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. 675

Maggie Hein