According to the parish register in Hirzenhain, Johann Sebastian Lerch, son of Johannes Lerch, and Maria Dorothea Schleuning, daughter of Johann Heinrich Schleuning, married on 28 August 1739. The baptisms of five of their children are recorded in the Hirzenhain parish register: (1) Johann Balthasar, born 2 September 1740, baptized 5 September 1740; (2) Johannes, baptized 31 August 1743; (3) Johann Heinrich, born 23 November 1745, baptized 25 November 1745; (4) Johann Philipp, baptized 23 December 1748; and (5) Maria Catharina, born 8 May 1751, baptized 9 May 1751, died 28 February 1765.
The mother Maria Dorothea died on 4 April 1752. Johann Sebastian remarried to Anna Catharina Landmann, daughter of Johann Jacob Landmann. The baptism of six of their children are recorded in the parish register of Hirzenhain: (1) Anna Maria, born 6 July 1753, baptized 8 July 1753; (2) Johann Caspar, born 22 June 1756, baptized 24 June 1756; (3) Johann Heinrich, born 22 July 1760, baptized 25 July 1760; (4) Johannes, born 31 May 1762, baptized 2 June 1762; and twins (5 & 6) Johann Christoph & Johann Adam, born 3 November 1765, baptized 5 November 1765.
Son Johann Heinrich Lerch (born 1745, above) married Gertraud Bach from Michelau on 3 April 1766 in Büdingen. The Wolferborn parish register records that Gertraud, daughter of Nicolaus & Elisabeth Bach, was baptized on 4 February 1748.
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 son Johann Heinrich Lerch and his wife Gertraud 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. Several of the entries in the parish register of Hirzenhain record that the family actually lived in Steinberg, which is a few kilometers north/northeast of Hirzenhain.
- 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.
- Parish register of Büdingen.
- Parish register of Hirzenhain.
- Parish register of Wolferborn.
- 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.
- Stumpp, Karl. The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the years 1763 to 1862 (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1982): 143.