Family B-1706 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Family Rus14-47 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.
Family #19 in the 1775 Grimm census.
Family #6 in the 1798 Grimm census. Name is spelled Lorenz instead of Moretz.
Family #74 in the 1834 Grimm census. Name is spelled Moritz instead of Moretz.
Philip Moretz Trott was born in 1742 in Niederramstadt, Lichtenberg, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. His middle name appears to be a surname that was common in Germany and Denmark. Most likely it was the surname of his mother or another female relative, and helped distinguish him from other Philip Trotts. It is also possible that he had Johann as a first name and Philip Moretz as his two middle names.
The economic climate in the Hessen-Darmstadt area was not good, as it still suffered from frequent wars and famines. The prospects for Philip to make a successful living as a farmer or day worker were slim. So in 1759, when 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, it was a very attractive option for many Germans, including Philip.
Philip was 17, probably still living at home with his family in 1759, which expains why he didn't respond immediately to the offer from the Danish king. After he met and married Maria Elisabeth Gestras, nearly 20 years his senior, providing for his family became his priority. Philip, still in his early 20s, was a day laborer. Much like today, this job category was considered the very low on the employment scale. He was paid his meager wages daily, and he didn't necessarily work every day. This meant his family lived a hand-to-mouth existence, unless his wife had money tucked away from a previous marriage or from her family.
Acknowledged as the poorest of the poor, the Trotts and others like them were looking for an opportunity that would give them a more stable future. Now the invitation from the Danish King seemed more attractive than ever. Philip and his new bride became reserve colonists. They did not immigrate to Denmark until August 1763. By that time, the couple had a six-month-old son, Georg Heinrich Trott. By September 30, 1763, the young family was living in Colony G18, Neuboerm, in the district of Gottorf in Denmark.
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, Philip and his wife decided it offered them a better opportunity than what was there for them in Schleswig-Holstein.
The couple's daughter Katharina Barbara was born in 1764, but it is unclear if she was born in Denmark or Russia. The departure documents from the Danish government only list the head of the household, Philip. He may or may not have had another child in his family by the time he left Denmark. According to The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766, the family deserted Denmark on June 23, 1764. The 1775 Grimm census, taken 10 or 11 years later, showed that daughter Katharina Barbara was 10.75 years of age, indicating she was born in 1764.
According to the 1834 census, one of his daughters had an illegitimate son, his grandson. According to all the records, however, he only had one daughter with his wife Maria Elisabeth Gestras. She was 18 years older than he was and they only had two children together. This means that the mother of the illegitimate child was daughter Katharina Barbara Trott.
One other observation: When Katharina Barbara married her husband, she left Grimm and moved to Warensburg which was across the river and a bit of a hike. The child wouldn't have been born until 1809, making her a 45-year-old mother at the time of her child's birth. Perhaps she became pregnant in Warensburg, her husband was dead or she knew the child wasn't her husbands, so she returned to Grimm with the child and her family raised him.
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.