Aegedius Fortner, a locksmith (Schlosser), and his wife Anna Dorothea settled in the Volga German colony of Merkel on 28 August 1766. They are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 46.
In 1790, Aegedius Fortner who was Catholic and his family moved to Leichtling, a Catholic colony.
The 1767 census records that Aegidius Fortner came from Vienna, Austria.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Mv1693.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 129.