Family B-1574 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Family Rus14-43 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Family #33 in the 1775 Grimm census.
Family #63 in the 1798 Grimm census.
Johann Michael Sekinger/Sickinger/Seninger was born in 1739 in Sulz, Neckar, Wuerttemberg. That area in the southern tier of Germany had been ravaged by war and famine. Michael was concerned about being able to provide for his family.
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 decided the opportunity to immigrate to Denmark was too attractive to pass up.
At the time of his immigration to Denmark, Michael was 33 years old. Danish records do not mention the name or age of his wife. The 1775 Grimm census, however, tells us her name was Anna Elizabeta, and that she was 10 years younger than her husband, making her birth year 1729. No children are mentioned.
He and his family arrived in Fridericia, Denmark on 25 November 1760. In December of 1761 they llived in Colony J6 Julianaheede, in the district of Silkeborg. They were last recorded as living in Denmark on 26 April 1763.
The marshlands were very inhospitable to farmers like Michael. 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 them a better opportunity than what was there for them in Julianaheede.
It's not clear when the couple left Denmark, but they are included in a list of German Danes who left Denmark for Russia. The family is included in the 1775 Grimm census. By that year the couple had a son, Johann Philip, and a daughter Maria Elizabeta, both six years old. It's not known if these siblings were twins or just born within 12 months of each other.
Michael is not listed in the 1798 census, but there is a Philip Christian listed, 29 years of age, who lived with his mother Eva Maria. The age of Philip Christian is a match with Michael's son Johann Philip in the 1775 census, and it's possible he actually had two middle names. His sister is missing from the 1798 census record, but she could have been married and living in another household. The biggest problem is that the name of his mother in the 1798 census is not a match with the 1775 census records. His birth mother Anna Elizabeta may have passed away and Eva Maria was his step-mother, but there is no indication of that in the census records.
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