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Heddersdorf, Hersfeld-Rotenburg, Hessen, Germany

Johann Jacob Schmer was born on April 9, 1728 in Heddersdorf, Hersfeld-Rotenburg, Hessen, Germany and baptized on April 11, 1728 at the parish church in nearby Frielingen. He is the son of Johannes Georg Schmer and Otillia Seebold who married in Frielingen in February 1727.

Anna Eva Glebe was born in nearby in Biedebach, Hersfeld-Rotenburg, Hessen, Germany and baptized in the parish church in Obergeis on March 28, 1724. She is the daughter of David Glebe and Margaretha Will. Anna Eva was confirmed in at the parish church in 1737. Her confirmation record notes the date April 4, 1923, which is probably her birth date. 

Johann Jacob and Anna Eva were married on Saturday, October 1, 1748 in Frielingen after their marriage proclamation had been read aloud the three previous Saturdays. Three children were born in Heddersdorf and baptized at the parish church in Frielingen:

  • Johann Georg - born October 25, 1749 and baptized on the 26th
  • Anna Gertrude - born September 25, 1752 and baptized on the 30th
  • Anna Catharina - born December 16, 1757 and baptized on the 20th

In the spring of 1766, Johann Jacob and Anna Eva Schmer decided to accept the offer to settle in Russia that was described in Catherine's Manifesto.

The couple sailed with other colonists from the Baltic seaport of Lübeck aboard the barque “Fortitudo" commanded by John Scott and arrived in Oranienbaum, Russia on July 19, 1766. 

Over a year later, Jacob, Anna Eva, and their three children were among the founders who arrived in Norka on August 15, 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 Census of Norka as Household No. 143.

Johann George married Anna Maria Hertner about 1773 and they had eight known children.

According to the 1775 census of Norka, Jacob was serving as a Beisitzer for the colony of Norka.

Anna Eva died before 1798. Jacob died in Norka in 1800.

Later census lists show that descendants of the Schmer family from Norka moved to the colonies of Neu-Beideck, Oberdorf and Unterdorf. 


Parish records of Frielingen, Heddersdorf and Obergeis available online at

Idt, Andreas and Rauschenbach, Georg. Auswanderung deutsche Kolonisten nach Russland im Jahre 1766 (Second edition). Moscow: 2019. Page 32.

Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture (Volume 1). Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999. Page 788, Household 191.

Pleve, I. R. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg. Saratov, Russia: Saratov State Technical U, 2010. Print. Page 237.

Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in Das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767, Band 3: Kolonien Laub- Preuss. Gottingen: Nordost-Institut, 2005. Print. Page 267.

Stumpp, Karl. The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862. 1997. Page 155.

The 1775 and 1798 Censuses of the German Colony on the Volga, Norka: Also Known as Weigand. American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1995. Household 4.

1858 Oberdorf, Saratov (Volga) Russia Census. American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, NE: 2016. Household 73. Page 12.

Alexander Schmer
Steve Schreiber