Johann Gottfried Franz, a farmer, and his wife Katharina are recorded on an appendix to the 1767 census of Beauregard in Household No. 18. Because they are recorded on the 1767 census amongst others who settled in the Volga German colony of Zürich, Johann Gottfried Franz is believed to be the father of Mattias Franz who is recorded on the 1798 census of Zürich in Household No. Zr50.
The 1767 census records that Johann Gottfried Franz came from the German village of Hildburghausen.
- 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): Zr50.