Spelling Variations
Associated Colonies
Place of origin
Graben, Graben-Neudorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Christoph Wentz (son of Jost Wentz) and Anna Catharina Klee (daughter of Hans Michael Klee) married in Graben on 5 February 1715.  Among their children baptized in Graben were Johann Peter Wentz, born on 14 November 1716 and baptized on 16 November 1716; and Maria Elisabetha Wentz, baptized on 9 July 1729. Maria Elisabeth Wentz married Johann Georg Zeigler

Johann Peter and his wife Margaretha Kärger (noted as Roman Catholic in the Graben parish records) arrived in the Danish colonies with three children. Additionally, they had two children who died prior to the family's departure for Denmark. Baptism records have not been found for son Georg Heinrich (born approximately 1745) and daughter Margaretha (born approximately 1752). Their three younger children were baptized in Graben: Johann Heinrich (baptized 23 March 1756, died 11 April 1758); Peter (born 13 February 1759, baptized 15 February 1759; died 23 March 1759); and 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. The death of Johann Peter's wife is reorded in Hohn Parish, Rendsburg, on 23 August 1762. The family immigrated to Russia in 1764.

At some point prior to arrival in the Volga German colonies, Johann Peter married to Christina (surname unknown); and his eldest son Georg Heinrich married. The family arrived in the Volga German colony of Dobrinka on 15 April 1765. Johann Peter is recorded there on 1767 census in Household #5, living with his wife Christina and two additional children: Johannes (age 10), and Dorothea (age 13). It is possible that these two children are Christina's children from a previous marriage, though that is not possible to determine based on currently available records. Georg Heinrich (Georg) is recorded on the same census along with his wife Christina in Household #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 #32.


Parish records of Graben (FHL Films No. 1238306 & 1238310) and Family Search indexes of same.

Parish records of Waldachtal on Archion.de

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.

Danish parish record extractions by Wayne Bonner and Mike Meisinger

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

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): Vol. 1, p. 365.

Corina Hirt
editing and additional research by Maggie Hein