First, it should be noted that there are three Weitzel families that settled in Norka, and while they appear to have come from the same place in Germany, research-to-date has not definitively revealed exactly how they are related to each other. There is also a 4th Weitzel who travelled with them.
(1) Christoph Weitzel from Bönstadt, just west of Calbach, married in Büdingen on 24 May 1766 to Gerdrauth Kessel who was from Leÿdecken.
Christoph & Gertrude arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 29 August 1766 aboard the ship Apollo under the command of Skipper Detlov Merberg.
Christoph Weitzel and his wife Gerdruta are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767 traveling with Jacob & Anna Maria Weitzel. A note on the transport list records that Christoph died en route.
Widow Gertraude remarried to Lorenz Kuhn and is recorded with him on the 1767 census of Norka in Household No. 178.
They are also recorded there on the 1775 Census in Household No. 194, and on the 1798 Census in Household No. Nr204. There do not appear to be any Weitzel descendants of this Christoph & Gertrude.
(2) Johann Jakob Weitzel, son of Johann Adam Weitzel & Anna Catharina Stuber, was born in Bönstadt on 17 October 1737. He married there on 27 December 1764 to Anna Maria Feuerstein, daughter of Johann Conrad Feuerstein & Anna Margaretha Hartmann.
Johann Jakob & Anna Maria also arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 29 August 1766 along with Christoph & Gertrude.
Jacob Weitzel and his wife Anna Maira are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767 along with Christoph and Gertraude. Johann Jakob & Anna Maria had three children born in Germany before they left for Russia, but none of them are traveling with the parents by the time they leave St. Petersburg in 1767.
Johann Jakob & Anna Maria are recorded on the 1767 Census in Norka in Household No. 167, and on the 1775 Census in Household No. 37.
On the 1798 Census, Jakob is still living (Household No. Nr038), but has remarried to Magdalena Alt.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records Jakob Weitzel as a tailor while the 1767 census records him as a craftsman (Handwerker).
(3) Christian Weitzel (born about 1746) is also traveling with the same group, arriving in Oranienbaum on the Apollo and travelling with them to Saratov. However, he is recorded as being of the Reformed faith, while the others are recorded as being Lutheran.
He is recorded in Norka on the 1767 Census in Household No. 172, on the 1775 Census in Household No. 40, and on the 1798 Census in Household No. Nr041.
(4) Also travelling with these other Weitzels is a Johann Heinrich Weitzel (also from Bönstadt) and his wife Maria Catharina Luft (from Oberlais). They had been married in Büdingen on 11 June 1766.
They travelled from Lübeck to Oranienbaum on the Apollo with the others, but they are not recorded on the Transport List from Oranienbaum to Saratov, and they have not been located in any of the Volga German colonies.
- 1775 Norka Census (Households No. 37, 40, 194).
- 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): Nr038, Nr041, Nr201, Nr204.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 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 15-18 & 635.
- Mai, Brent Alan and Dona Reeves-Marquardt. German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767) : Origins and Destinations (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): #662, #689.
- Parish records for Bönstadt (LDS Film No. 1195346).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 274, 275, & 277.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #5153, 5164, 5168, 5169.
- Rauschenbach, Georg. Deutsche Kolonisten auf dem Weg von St. Petersburg nach Saratow: Transportlisten von 1766-1767 (Moscow: G.V. Rauschenbach, 2017): #1886-1889, 2506.