Johann Heinrich Kraus, son of Stoffel Kraus, was born 27 June 1734 in Spielberg. Johann Heinrich married there to Maria Barbara Bartholomeus, daughter of Johannes Bartholomeus, on 6 March 1755. Maria Barbara was born on 12 October 1732, also in Spielberg. Their son Georg Friedrich was also born in Spielberg on 24 August 1755.
The family immigrated to Russia, arriving from Lübeck on 4 July 1766 at the port in Oranienbaum aboard the English frigate Love and Unity with skipper Thomas Fairfax at the helm. They arrived in the Volga German colony of Messer on 18 June 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 76.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Ms07, Ms44.
- Parish records of Spielberg (Archion.de).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 149.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): 130.