Schäfer (Anna Apollonia)

Spelling Variations
Associated Colonies
Place of origin
Pferdsbach, Büdingen, Hessen, Germany

Anna Apollonia Schäfer was born in Pferdsbach and baptized at the parish church in Wolf on 14 January 1722. Her parents are Johann Adam Schäfer and Maria Margaretha Lapp from Pferdsbach. Maria Margaretha is the daughter of Caspar Lapp. Johann Adam and Maria Margaretha were married on 13 October 1712 in Wolf. Anna Apollonia’s godmother was Anna Apollonia Stoll.

Anna Apollonia gave birth to an illegitimate son, Johann Christian, about 1750. His baptism record was not found in the Wolf parish.
Anna Apollonia had an illegitimate daughter, Anna Catharina. She was born in Pferdsbach and baptized in Wolf on 15 February 1754.

Both of Anna Apollonia's children took their mother’s family name of Schäfer. The father’s surname is not documented in the parish records.

Pferdsbach was located near Büdingen, a recruiting center and gathering point for colonists migrating to Russia. The village of Pferdsbach was abandoned in 1847 and no longer exists.

In 1766, Anna Apollonia decided to accept the offer described in Catherine's Manifesto and migrate to Russia. Several other interrelated families from Pferdsbach, Wolf and Büdingen also became Russian colonists.

The Schäfer's sailed with other colonists from the north German port of Lübeck aboard the Russian ship “Vologda” and arrived in Oranienbaum, Russia (now Lomonosov) on 28 July 1766. Anna Apollonia was recorded as a widowed farmer of the Reformed faith from Isenburg. At the time, Pferdsbach was a part of the County of Isenburg.

Over a year later, Anna Apollonia, Johann Christian, and Anna Catharina were among the founders who arrived in the colony of Norka on 15 August 1767. They were recorded on the 1767 Census of Norka as Household No. 37. The Schäfer's were living adjacent to other households from Pferdsbach and Wolf. 

Anna Catharina married Johann Heinrich Walter about 1773.

Anna Apollonia and Johann Christian are listed as Household 188 in the 1775 Census of Norka. 

Johann Christian married Elisabeth Haas about 1780.

Anna Apollonia died sometime after the 1775 Census and before the 1798 Census.


Parish records of Wolf (including Pferdsbach) accessed on

Idt, Andreas and Rauschenbach, Georg. Auswanderung deutsche Kolonisten nach Russland im Jahre 1766 (Second edition). Moscow: 2019: p. 33.

Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): p. 309.

Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Nordost-Institute, 2005): p. 238.

Steve Schreiber