Spelling Variations: 
Settled in the Following Colonies: 
Discussion & Documentation: 

[The spelling of this surname has been recorded incorrectly in a variety of document translations.]

Jean Legai [sic], son of Joseph Legai from Lille in Flanders and his wife Eve Elise, was born 12 June 1766 and baptized 14 June 1766 in Büdingen.

Joseph Lechai, his wife Eva Elisabeth, and sons (Johann Peter, age 11; Johann Fazius, age ½) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 13 September 1766 aboard the hooker Die Jungfer Dietrika under the command of Skipper Christian Korsholm.

Joseph Laquey [sic], his wife Elisabeth, and sons (Johann Peter, age 12; Johann Facius, age 1) are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.

They settled in the Volga German colony of Norka on 26 August 1767. They are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 169.

The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Joseph Lechai was a farmer while the 1767 census records that he was a craftsman (Handwerker). Both documents record that Joseph Lechai came from Flanders (a region of northern Belgium).

In 1790, Johannes Lechai moved from Norka to Huck. In 1793, Oswald Lechai moved from Norka to Huck.

This family is recorded on the 1811 census of Huck in Households No. 35 & 69.

Wilhelm Lechai is recorded on the 1857 census of Schilling in Household No. 174 along with a note that he relocated to the daughter colony of Alexandertal in 1854.

Wilhelm Lechai from Schilling is recorded on the 1857 census of Alexandertal in Household No. 19.


- 1811 Huck Census (Households No. 35, 69).
- 1834 Huck Census (Households No. 26, 141, 153, 158, 208).
- 1857 Alexandertal Census (Household No. 19).
- 1857 Schilling Census (Household No. 174.
- 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): Hk35, Hk69, Mv1945, Mv1984.
- Mai, Brent Alan and Dona Reeves-Marquardt. German Migration to the Russian Volga (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): #1210a.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 274.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #5753.
- Rauschenbach, Georg. Deutsche Kolonisten auf dem Weg von St. Petersburg nach Saratow: Transportlisten von 1766-1767 (Moscow: G.V. Rauschenbach, 2017): #2622-2625.

Contributor(s) to this page: 

Brent Mai

Pre-Volga Origin

Volga Colonies

Immigration Locations