Two Hessler families settled in the Volga German colony of Norka on 15 August 1767. They are believed to be related, but the exact relationship between them has yet to be determined.
(1) Johann Jacob Hessler, son of Johann Jacob Hessler of Niedergründau, was baptized on 15 December 1718. Anna Maria Meininger, daughter of Johannes Meininger of Mittelgründau, was baptized on 2 December 1725. Johann Jacob and Anna Maria were married in Rothenbergen on 26 August 1745.
The Gründau parish register records the baptisms of the following children of Johann Jacob & Anna Maria Hessler, each born in Rothenbergen: (1) Johann Conrad, born 5 February 1747, baptized 12 February 1747, died 30 April 1754); (2 & 3) twins Anna Margaretha (who died 16 May 1754) & Christina, born 28 May 1751, baptized 29 May 1751; (4) Anna Margaretha, born 22 May 1755, baptized 25 May 1755; (5) Elisabetha, born 24 January 1760, baptized 26 January 1760, died 27 January 1760; and (6 & 7) twins Valentin (who died 5 March 1764) & Friedrich, born 5 February 1762, baptized 7 February 1762.
Johann Jacob Hessler died 8 November 1762, and his widow remarried on 5 January 1764 to Hartmann Ifland. They had a daughter Catharina, born 2 January 1765 and baptized 8 January 1765.
The Ifland family, along with 3 of the Hessler children, arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 9 August 1766 aboard the pink Slon under the command of Lieutenant Sergey Panov.
Johann Jacob Hessler's three children (Christina Elisabeth, age 18; Anna Margaretha, age 13; Georg Wilhelm [Friedrich?], age 5) are recorded on the 1767 census of Norka in Household No. 67 under their stepfather's surname of Ifland.
(2) The Gründau parish register records that Johann Heinrich Hessler, son of Johannes Hessler, was born on 21 February 1738 and baptized on 25 February 1738. Johann Heinrich Hessler, son of Johannes Hessler, & Katharina Reiswig were married on 4 June 1766 in the Reformed Church in Lübeck.
[Johann] Heinrich Hessler and his wife Katharina arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 9 August 1766 aboard the pink Slon under the command of Lieutenant Sergey Panov.
Johann Heinrich Hessler and his wife are recorded on the 1767 census in Household No. 72.
Johann Heinrich Hessler, his wife Katharina, and children (Johannes, age 6; Elisabeth, age 3½) are recorded on the 1775 census of Norka in Household No. 10.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records Heinrich Hessler as a farmer while the 1767 census records him as a craftsman (Handwerker).
Both the Oranienbaum passenger list and the 1767 census record that these Hessler families came from the German region of Isenburg.
- 1775 Norka Census (Household No. 10).
- List of those recruited by Johann Facius from 13 November 1765 to 18 February 1766.
- 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): Nr010, Nr155.
- Mai, Brent Alan and Dona Reeves-Marquardt. German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767) (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): #1191.
- Parish register of Gründau (Archion.de).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 248.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #4042, #4044.