Family B-1477 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Family Rus14-39 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Family #36 in the 1775 census.
Michael Schmidt was born in 1723 in Baden-Durlach. I have not yet found a birth record for him, so I am going by ages found in the 1775 Grimm census and The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Possible marriage record:
I'm including the above information for future reference; not using any information about his wife's maiden name or father. More research needs to be done on this family. It's a difficult name to research because Schmidt is a common surname, and we don't know if Michael was his first or middle name, and if it was his middle name, we don't know his first name.
In 1759, Danish King Frederick V invited Germans from Hessen and the Palantinate to help settle the area of Schleswig-Holstein, at that time under the control of the Danes. The king was interested in converting the marsh lands to arable farm land. Germans were known for their good farming skills and for being hard workers, so it seemed like a win-win situation both both Danes and Germans. Michael, eager to provide a better life for his family, decided the opportunity to immigrate to Denmark was too attractive to pass up.
Michael and his wife Dorothea arrived in Denmark in August of 1761. He was 37; she was 34. They were an Evangelical Lutheran family; he was most likely a farmer or laborer. They brought with them three children:
They arrived in the City of Schleswig on 04 July 1761. They took their oath of allegiance to Denmark about three weeks later. Michael was considered a reserve colonist living in the area of Rendsburg. In May of 1763 the family lived at 10 in the Colony G2 Konigsbach, in the district 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, Michael decided it offered him a better opportunity to provide for his family.
The family left Denmark on 01 May 1765 and are included on a list of German Danes bound for Grimm, Russia. The couple appears in the 1775 Grimm census as family #36. By that time, only sons Johann Georg and Johannes were still living with them. Older sister Margaretha Barbara was probably already married and living in another household.
His name does not appear in the 1798 census, so it's likely that he passed away at some point before that year.
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