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Johann Jakob Major (abt. 1864)

Johann Jakob (Jakob) Major
Born about in Grimm, Saratov, Russiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half], [half], [half], [half] and [half]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [date unknown] in Illinois, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 18 Jul 2017
This page has been accessed 117 times.


Volga German
Jakob Major is a Volga German.
Jakob Major has German Roots .

Family #847 in the 1897 Grimm census.

Johann Jakob Major was born before 1864 to Anna Elisabeth (Schmidt) Kaiser and her unnamed first husband Unknown Major. His father died by 1866 and his mother remarried Christian Jakob Kaiser by that year. His first half brother, Peter Kaiser, was born in 1867.

Jakob, as he was known to his siblings, was not listed in his mother's family in 1897. Since he would have been 33 years old that year, that suggests that he may have been listed in a family of his own, such as family #847 or #849. There are no single Jakob Majors between the ages of 30 and 40 in this census. Of these options, family #849 reveals that he had a younger brother named Johann Heinrich Major. We know that he did not have any younger brothers with the Major surname, so this rules out family #849. The same is true in family #847, where he mentions a younger sister Christina. Although she could have very well been his half sister, it is curious why she wouldn't have been listed with her bio parents in family #37, or given the correct surname when listed in her step brother's household. [1]

Johann Jakob Major was one of the first people to show a strong interest in immigrating to the United States. He became a scout for the village of Grimm, Russia, and went ahead of other potential immigrants to find a location suitable for his friends and family to live and work. It is unlikely, however, that he began scouting before 1897.

When his younger brother arrived in the Port of Philadelphia in 1911, he named his half brother, Johann Jakob Major, in Chicago, Illinois, as the person with whom he and his family would be staying.

When pronouncing the surname Major as a Volga German would have, it sounded like the surname was Meier, Mayer, or Meyer. It's unknown whether immigration officials spelled the name incorrectly or if Johann Jakob Major simply changed the spelling of the surname to one of the more phonetically appealing alternatives. This makes tracking him down in the United States more difficult, as the surnames Mayer, Meier, and Meyer were very common, as were the names John and Jacob.


  1. 1897 Grimm (Lesnoi Karamysh), Russia Census List, Translated by Richard Rye, Compiled and Edited by John Groh, Contributor Henry Schmick; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Published 2017; pages 126, 165, and 166.

See also:

  • "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 6 June 2014), Georg Jacob Kaiser, 1911; citing Immigration, NARA microfilm publication T840 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,402,596.
  • Personal family records in the files of descendant Julie Miller Mangano, Round Rock, Texas.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Jakob by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Jakob:

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Categories: Grimm | German Roots