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Place of origin
Graben, Graben-Neudorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Johann Peter Wenz, son of Christoph Wenz & Anna Katharina Kleen, was born on 14 November 1716 and baptized on 16 November 1716 in the Graben Lutheran Church.

Johann Peter married to Margaretha Kärger, and they had five children, each born in Graben: (1) Georg Heinrich (born 1745); (2) Margaretha Dorothea (born 1752); (3) Johann Heinrich (born & baptized 23 March 1756; died 11 April 1758); (4) Peter (born 13 February 1759; baptized 15 February 1759; died 23 March 1759); and (5) Philipp Heinrich (born 1 March 1760; baptized 2 March 1760).

Johann Peter and his family immigrated to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein), departing from Altona, Duchy of Holstein, on 29 June 1761 under the leadership of Thomas Gabler. They arrived in the city of Schleswig, Duchy of Schleswig, on 4 July 1761. Johann Peter's wife died there In 1762. The family immigrated to Russia in 1764.

At some point before 1765, Johann Peter remarried to Christina (surname unknown) who had been born in 1729. During the journey to the Volga German colonies, his son Philipp Heinrich died and his eldest son, Georg Heinrich, married. The family group arrived in the Volga German colony of Dobrinka on 15 April 1765. Johann Peter is recorded there on 1767 census in Household No. 05, living with his wife Christina, his son Johannes (born 1755), who is not previously registered as coming from Denmark, and his daughter Dorothea. His son Georg Heinrich (Georg) is recorded on the same census, in Household No. 35.

Johann Peter Wenz died at some point before 1798. His son Georg Heinrich and his family are recorded on Dobrinka 1798 census in Household No. Db32.


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).

Parish records of Graben (LDS Films No. 1238306 & 1238310).

Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 1 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 1999): 314 & 323.

Eichhorn, Alexander; Eichhorn Jacob & Mary. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen: Steinmeier, 2012): 269, 642/43, & 665.

Corina Hirt