A22-28 inThe Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766,
B-1413 inThe Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766,
Rus14-36The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766,
Family #58 in the 1775 Grimm census.
Family #24 in the 1798 Grimm census.
Johann Caspar Schäfer was one of five children who immigrated to Denmark with his mother, Eva Elisabeth Schäfer. By that time, his father had already passed away; there is no indication in Danish or Russian records of the name of his name. The family traveled under the names of his older brother Jacob Schaefer, born 1739, and his mother Eva Elisabeth, born 1716. I presume the eldest son was treated as the head of the family because there may have been a problem with a widow immigrating with her five children.
The economic conditions in the Hessen-Darmstadt area in the mid-1700s were poor, due to war, famine, high taxes and burdensome tithing expected by the local Church. Starting in 1759, the Danish government offered these disadvantaged Germans a chance for a new life in Denmark helping to turn marshy land into something arable. Those who chose to immigrate would be given an opportunity for a brighter future via homesteaded land or through a land lottery.
The Schäfers arrived on May 18, 1761. Eldest son Jacob brought with him his fiancee, Anna Catharina Bärechin. Elisabeth's other children included:
They arrived in the Danish town of Schleswig on 30 May 1761, and the adults took their oath of allegiance to Denmark on 24 July 1761. By August, brother Jacob and his fiancee had married and were given a separate house from the rest of the family. Eva Elisabeth and her four other children lived at Number 4 Lille Dannemark in Colony G14 Julianenebene, in the region of Gottorf.
The marshlands were very inhospitable to farmers. Although the Germans were good farmers with typical farm land, it was far more difficult to convert these former wetlands and grow crops. Most of the German immigrants barely reaped enough to feed their families, let alone to provide food for others in Denmark. When Catherine the Great invited Germans to immigrate to Russia, brothers Jacob, Johann Georg and Johann Caspar decided it offered them a better opportunity than what was there for them in Denmark.
By 18 February 1765 the family had left Denmark to immigrate for Russia. Three of the sons, Jacob, Conrad and Georg, are verified as having immigrated to Grimm, Russia. It is likely the entire family immigrated together. Mother Eva Elisabeth probably remarried, and at least one of her daughters was nearing an age acceptable for marriage. I don't have a copy of the first Grimm census from Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767, so it's not possible to tell at this if they all lived together or near each other after they arrived in Grimm.
By 1775, Kaspar (now spelled with a K) was married to Ludowika Margaretha Walter and the couple had three children:
By 1798, Kaspar's oldest child Johann Jakob had married Margaretha Wolf and they had a daughter, Katharina, age 2. Eldest daughters Elisabeth and Katharina were no longer living in the house and were probably married, living in other families. Kaspar and Ludowika had three more daughters:
Kaspar does not specifically appear in the 1834, nor does his wife, but his son Johann Jakob does with his sons and their families. Most likely Kaspar and Ludowika passed away some time prior to the 1834 census.
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.