After the death of his father, he decided to immigrate to Russia to try to make a better life for his family. According to the Kulberg Reports, he immigrated to Russia with his mother and his wife, Maria.
The family is listed in the first census of Grimm, although his wife's name is different from the one named in the Kulberg Reports. This suggests that his first wife did not survive the journey to the Volga River, perhaps not even the harsh winter in Oranienbaum. By the time the first census was taken in 1767, he had remarried to Eva Martha. However in the 1775 census, his wife's name was Eva Maria, a combination of names from both censuses. Martha was not a common Volga German first name for females, in fact, it's the only one in Grimm. It seems more likely that his wife's full name was Eva Maria, and in the 1767 Grimm census, her middle name was recorded incorrectly.
Pleve, Igor. List of Colonists to Russia in 1766, "Reports by Ivan Kulberg," Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation, Saratov State Technical University; Published in Saratov, Russia 2010; page 320, Conrad Weissbender, Lutheran farmer from Isenburg, document number 5028.
Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767, Band 2, Herausgegeben von Alfred Eisfeld under Mitarbeit von Sabine Eichwald, Published by the Nordost-Instsitut - 38085 Göttingen, 2005; page 81, family #59.
↑The 1775 and 1798 Census of the German Colony on the Volga, Lesnoy Karamysh, also known as Grimm; Published by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Published date: 1995; family #135 in the 1775 census.
↑The 1775 and 1798 Census of the German Colony on the Volga, Lesnoy Karamysh, also known as Grimm; Published by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Published date: 1995; 1798 census Appendix D-21.