Johann Michael Gross, son of Johann Michael & Anna Eva Gross, was born on 29 January 1717 in Steinbach am Donnersberg in the Pfalz. He married on 10 February 1739 in nearby Göllheim to Rebecca Wilhelmina Gross, daughter of Johann Jacob Gross & Maria Barbara Maul, who had been born in 1723 in nearby Jakobsweiler.
Among their children are: Georg Friedrich (baptized 18 December 1742 in Kirchenheimbolanden), Johann Philipp (baptized 8 August 1747 in Bad Dürkheim), Johann Georg (baptized on 26 August 1753 in Bad Dürkheim), and Sybilla Catharina (baptized on 24 August 1756 in Bad Dürkheim).
Johann Michael Gross, a saddle maker (Sattler), and his family immigrated to Russia, settling in the Volga German colony of Kratzke on 7 August 1766. The father (Johann Michael) evidently died shortly after arrival as Rebecca Wilhelmina is recorded on the 1767 Census in Kratzke (Household No. 33) as his widow. Son Johann Philipp is recorded on this same census in Household No. 36, and eldest son Georg Friedrich in Household No. 20.
By the time of the 1798 Census of the Volga colonies, descendants of this family had moved to Merkel.
- 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).
- Parish records of Bad Dürkheim - LDS Film No. 488272.
- Parish records of Göllheim - LDS Film No. 193864.
- Parish records of Jakobsweiler - LDS Film No. 488271.
- Parish records of Kirchenheimbolanden - LDS Film No. 247621.
- Parish records of Steinbach am Donnersberg - LDS Film No. 193180.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): 453, 456-457.