Wilhelm Thomas, a farmer, settled in the Volga German colony of Philippsfeld on 3 August 1767. He is recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 7 along with his new bride and 1-month-old son, Johann Michael.
In 1786, Wilhelm Thomas and his family moved from Philippsfeld to Fischer.
The 1767 census records that Wilhelm Thomas came from the German village of Iba. This Iba is believed to be the one along the Iba River in Hersfeld-Rotenburg Kreis because several other families that settled in Philippsfeld came from villages in Hersfeld-Rotenburg Kreis.
- 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): Fs14, Mv2303.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 404.