Johannes Leister and his family lived in the village of Herbstein, between Giessen and Fulda. He was born about 1737. He married Barbara Catharina Werz who was born about 1733. They have two known daughters: Maria Catharina (born about 1759) and Maria Barbara (born about 1764).
The family immigrated to Russia, arriving from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 13 September 1766 aboard the hooker Die Jungfer Dietrika under the command of skipper Christian Korsholm. They arrived in Köhler on 21 August 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 Census in Household No. 32.
Johannes is recorded on the 1798 Census in Köhler in Household No. Kl40. Daughter Maria Catharina is recorded in Household No. Kl25 married to Georg Anton Schäfer.
- 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): Kl40.
- Mai, Brent Alan, trans. & ed. 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): 122-123, 707-723, 728-729, 736.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): 367.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): 365.