Sebastian Lerch, a farmer, his wife Katharina, and their children (Johann, age 24; Anna, age 14; Kaspar, age 12; Heinrich, age 6; Johannes, age 4; Christoph, age 3; Adam, age 3) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum 4 July 1766 aboard the English frigate Love & Unity under the command of Skipper Thomas Fairfax.
His oldest son Johann Heinrich Lerch from Hirtzenhaÿn [sic] and Gerdraut Bach, daughter of the deceased Nikolaus Bach from the region of Michelau, were married 3 April 1766 in Büdingen. They arrived in Oranienbaum on the same ship.
At some point, Sebastian Lerch died and his widow remarried to Jakob Henkel who had also been on the same ship arriving in Oranienbaum with the Lerch family. The surving younger Lerch children are recorded on the 1775 census of the Volga German colony of Schilling along with their stepfather, Jakob Henkel: (Kaspar, age 18½; Heinrich, age 14½; Johannes, age 13½). Johannes is recorded on the 1798 Schillling census in Household No. Sg092.
Johann Heinrich and his wife Gertraut settled in the Volga German colony of Schulz on 15 June 1767 along with his brother Johannes Lerch and his family. They are recorded in Schulz on the 1767 census in Households No. 24 & 25. In 1787, Heinrich Lerch moved from Schulz to Moor.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Sebastian Lerch and his oldest son Heinrich came from the German region of Stolberg. The 1767 census records that both Johann Heinrich & Johannes came from the German village of Litolberg in the region of Stolberg.
- 1775 Census of Schilling (No. 77).
- 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): Sg092, Sz18, Sz19, Sz27, Mv2664.
- 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): #471.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 125.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #1682, #1700.