A22-28 inThe Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766
B-1414 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 #42 in the 1775 Grimm census.
Family #20 in the 1798 Grimm census.
Jakob Schäfer was born in Rohrbach, Hessen-Darmstadt in 1739. The name of his father is not known, but his mother was Eva Elisabeth Schäfer, born in 1716.
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.
Presumably at some point shortly before the family immigrated to Denmark, his father passed away. The family continued with their plans for immigration. Because Jakob was already an adult in 1761, he was listed as the head of the household along with his mother. 
Also traveling with him were his fiance, Anna Catharina Bärechin, and his four younger siblings:
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, Jacob and his fiancee had married and were given a separate house from the rest of the family. They lived at Number 13 Scholten Hof in Colony G14 Julianenebene, near Gottorf.  One year later their first child was born, Johann Kaspar, named after his brother.
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, Jacob and his brothers 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.  These three brothers are verified as having immigrated to Grimm, Russia. It is likely the entire family immigrated together. Mother Eva Elisabeth was young enough to remarry, and at least one of her daughters was nearing an age acceptable for marriage. The family is not listed in the 1767 Grimm census,  so they were likely temporarily housed in another village until Grimm was ready for settlers. By 1775, the family was documented as living in Grimm.
There is a gap of 7 years between the birth of Johann Kaspar and his next child, Georg Jakob. This suggests to me that perhaps his wife passed away between 1762 and 1767. In that year daughter Elisabeth Magdalena was born. From that point on there is a steady 2-3 year gap between the birth of each of his subsequent children that are listed in the 1775 census. Clearly these younger children belong to second wife Anna Barbara.
1775 Grimm Census 
By the time of the 1798 census, Jakob had passed away and his widow was the head of the family. But his widow was not Anna Barbara, her name was Maria. Son Georg Jakob is listed as her son, but that can't be true unless Anna Barbara was really Anna Barbara Maria. Maria's age does not match Anna Barbara's, these appear to be two different people. The only son that could be hers is Johann Heinrich, born in 1785. There is a 9-year gap between Johann Heinrich and the next oldest child, so the death of his wife could explain that gap before he remarried.
1798 Grimm Census 
Jakob Schäfer passed away between 1785 and 1798.
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