Mai / Maÿ (Holstein)

Spelling Variations: 
Mai (Holstein)
Maÿ (Holstein)
Май (Holstein)
Settled in the Following Colonies: 
Discussion & Documentation: 

Heinrich Michael Maÿ was born in Spachbrücken Dieburg (Hessen-Darmstadt Germany) 6 August 1723. He married in Spachbrücken on 8 June 1745 to Maria Eva Wetzlaus. Heinrich Michael was killed when he fell off the back of a hay wagon on 1 October 1760 in Spachbrücken. His widow and children immigrated to Russia.

Along the way, two sons were married in the parish church in Büdingen where immigrant families were gathering before departing for Russia. The parish register records the marriages:

(1) Johann Peter Maÿ from Spachbrücken & Maria Walther from Spachbrücken married on 25 April 1766.

(2) Johann Georg Meÿ [sic] from Spachbrücken & Anna Christina Held from Georgenhausen in the area of Löwenstein-Werthheim married on 25 April 1766.

Eva, her children, and their new spouses arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 31 July 1766 aboard a Russian ship under the command of Lieutenant Samuel Gibbs.

They settled in the Volga German colony of Holstein on 7 July 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Households No. 40, 41, & 42. Descendants of this family resettled to the colony of Kratzke and then on to the daughter colonies of Ährenfeld and Eckheim.

A cousin of Heinrich Michael's father, Johann Georg Maÿ (born 17 July 1711 in Spachbrücken) also immigrated to Holstein with the other Maÿ families from Spachbrücken along with his second wife Maria Katharina Berg (born 5 January 1732) and his son by the first wife: Johann Adam (born 16 November 1753). They also settled in the Volga German colony of Holstein on 7 July 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 37.

A nephew of this Johann Georg Maÿ (by his sister Maria Dorothea) also immigrated with them and settled in Holstein: Johannes Buxbaum.       

Surname was spelled "Maÿ" in the German documents and appears to have been spelled that way in early Russian documents as well. At some point during the 1840s, the spelling changed to "Mai" for both those families that had immigrated to Russia and those that remained in Spachbrücken.

Johann Jakob Mai from Kratzke and his family are recorded on the 1857 census of Ährenfeld.


- 1857 Ährenfeld Census.
- Kohl, Gunnar and Helmut Ramge. Familienbuch Spachbrücken (Darmstadt: Deutsche Ortssippenbücher, 2001): 284.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Ho10, Ho12, Ho14, Ho30, Ho41.
- Mai, Brent Alan & Dona Reeves-Marquardt. German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767): Origins and Destinations (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): #584, #586.
- Parish records of Spachbrücken (LDS Intl Film #1190550).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): 135-136.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #2850, #2852, #2854, #2855, #2856.

Contributor(s) to this page: 

Brent Mai

Pre-Volga Origin

Volga Colonies

Immigration Locations