Widower Michael Schäfer and his son Nikolaus (age 18) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 25 July 1766 aboard the snow-brig Maria Sophia under the command of Skipper Johann Bauer.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Urbach on 3 July 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 45 along with Michael's new wife Magdalena.
In 1789, Nikolaus Schäfer and his family moved from Pobochnaya to Urbach. By 1798, they were living in Engels.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Michael Schäfer was a farmer while the 1767 census records that he was a craftsman (Handwerker).
The 1767 census records that Michael Schäfer came from the German village of Zwingenberg in the Darmstadt region.
- 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): Ur04, Ur16, Mv2325.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 280.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #2535.