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.
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.
- 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.