Johannes Schäfer was born 31 August 1740 in Höchst. In 1766, he left for Russia. In Büdingen, one of the immigrant gathering places, he married on 28 April 1766 to Elisabeth Höck of Rimhorn, the daughter of master baker Johann Nikolaus Höck.
They arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 13 September 1766 aboard the Citadel under the command of Midshipman Grigory Bukharin. They arrived in the colony of Frank in 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 Census in Household No. 97. They are recorded there also on the 1798 Census in Household No. Fk018.
- Gieg, Ella. "Neue Erkenntnisse zur Auswanderung nach Russland 1766."
- 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).
- Mai, Brent Alan, trans. & ed. Transport of the Volga Germans from Oranienbaum to the Colonies on the Volga: 1766-1767 (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1998): Entries 7212 and 7213.
- 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): 79.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 1 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 1999): 435.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): 331.