Bretzer / Pretzer

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Johannes Bretzer, son of Johann Philipp Bretzer, was born 18 October 1729 in Crumstadt. He married Anna Katharina Leonhard, daughter of Johann Jakob Leonhard & Katharina Margaretha Massallin, on 29 May 1759 in the Reichenbach Evangelical Church. Anna Katharina had been born 2 March 1736 and baptized on 3 March 1736 in the Neunkirchen, Starkenburg, Evangelical Church. They had a daughter, Maria Katharina Bretzer, who was born 10 January 1760 in Lautern, and baptized on 13 January 1760 in Reichenbach; this girl died before April 1760.

Johannes Bretzer, his wife and his mother immigrated to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein) as part of a group of colonists that included 106 families. They departed from Altona, Duchy of Holstein, in April 1760 under the leadership of Jorgen Martin Beydeck, Johann Stautz, Anton Paul, and Valentin Jeckel. They arrived in Fridericia, Jutland, on 1 May 1760. While living in Denmark, Johannes & Anna Katharina had three boys: Johann Philipp in 1761; Johann Peter in 1762; and Johann Konrad in 1764. The family lived in Denmark until 12 January 1765, when they immigrated to Russia.

Johann Bretzer, a farmer, his wife Anna, and sons (Johann, age 5¼; Peter, age 4; Konrad, age ½) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 20 May 1766 aboard the Russian galliot Katharina Eleonora under the command of Skipper Peter Röder.

The Johannes Bretzer family settled in the Volga German colony of Beideck, and are recorded there on the 1775 Census in Household No. 8. By this time, Johannes has a new wife, Anna Margaretha (age 23).

Son Johann Konrad Bretzer is recorded in Beideck on the 1798 census in Household No. Bd40.

In 1796, the stepmother of Johann Konrad Bretzer, Anna Margaretha Michel, widow of Johannes Bretzer, moved to Laub and remarried to Andreas Leikam. She took her Bretzer children with her: Heinrich, Johannes, Peter, Anna Margaretha, Eva, Katharina & Maria Elisabetha. They are recorded in Laub on the 1798 census in Household No. Lb45.

Johann Peter Bretzer, stepson of Andreas Leikam, is recorded on the 1811 census of Laub in Household No. 46 along with a note that he relocated to the colony of Bangert in 1809.

Johann Peter Bretzer is recorded on the 1811 census of Bangert in Household No. 22 along with a note that he had arrived in Bangert from Dinkel [sic] in 1809.


- 1775 Beideck Census (Household No. 8).
- 1811 Bangert Census (Household No. 22).
- 1811 Laub Census (Household No. 46).
- Eichhorn, Alexander; Eichhorn Jacob & Mary. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen: Steinmeier, 2012): 234, 551, & 662.
- 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): Bd40, Bg07, Lb45, Mv0228.
- Parish records of Neunkirchen (LDS Film No. 1269703).
- Parish records of Reichenbach (LDS Film No. 1195076).
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #232.

Contributor(s) to this page: 

Corina Hirt

Brent Mai

Entry recording the birth of Johannes Bretzer on 18 October 1729 in Crumstadt.

Entry from the Oranienbaum passenger list recording the arrival in Russia of Johann Bretzer and his family (#232).
Source: Brent Mai.

Pre-Volga Origin

Volga Colonies

Immigration Locations