Wilhelm Geist, a farmer, and his wife Anna Katharina immigrated to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein) in 1761. They joined the migration to Russia and settled in the Volga German colony of Balzer on 26 April 1766. They are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 17.
The 1767 census records that Wilhelm Geist came from the German region of Kurpfalz.
- Eichhorn, Alexander, Jacob & Mary Eichhorn. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen, Germany: Drukerei und Verlag Steinmeier GmbH & Co. Kg, 2012): B-596.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 76.