Johann Heinrich Stössel was born in 1730 in Undenheim, a village in the Mainz-Bingen district about 12 kilometers northwest of Worms, in what today is part of Rhineland-Palatinate. He married Maria Katharina Steinmetz, daughter of Johann Adam & Christina Steinmetz, on 3 May 1758 in the Catholic Church in Westhofen, a village between Undenheim and Worms. Today, Westhofen is part of the collective municipality called Wonnegau. She had been baptized on 28 December 1732 in Deidesheim, southwest of Worms.
They had five girls, each baptized in Westhofen: (1) Apollonia, baptized on 3 January 1759; (2) Maria Elisabetha, baptized on 2 November 1760; (3) Johanna Maria, baptized on 9 April 1762; (4) Eva Magdalena, baptized on 25 February 1765; and (5) Maria Walburga, baptized on 20 February 1766. At some point before 1766 daughter Eva Magdalena died.
Heinrich Stössel, a farmer,his wife Maria, and daughters (Apollonia, age 9; Maria, age 7; Anna, age 5; Walpurgia, age ½) arrived at the port in Oranienbaum from Lübeck on 8 August 1766 aboard a ship under the command of the skipper Wiebe Heinrichson.
Heinrich Stössel, his wife Maria Catarina, and daughters (Apollonia, age 11; Maria Elisabeth, age 9; Johanna Maria, age 7; Walburg [sic], age 2) are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.
The Stössels arrived in the colony of Dehler on 19 August 1767. A month later, on 24 September 1767, Johann Heinrich's wife died. The family is recorded later that year on the 1767 Census in Household No. 35.
Johann Heinrich remarried and had two additional children: Elisabetha Margaretha, born in 1769, and Moritz, born in 1777. Moritz is recorded in Dehler on the 1798 Census in Household No. Dl44.
- 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): Dl44.
- Parish records of Deidesheim (LDS Film No. 488276).
- Parish records of Westhofen (LDS Film No. 948721).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 1 (Göttingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 1999): 274.
- Pleve, Igor. List of Colonists to Russia in 1766 "Reports by Ivan Kulberg" (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #3520.
- Rauschenbach, Georg. Deutsche Kolonisten auf dem Weg von St. Petersburg nach Saratow: Transportlisten von 1766-1767 (Moscow: G.V. Rauschenbach, 2017): #2510-2515.