Johann Valentin Melchert, son of Johannes Melchert & Catharina Elisabeth Gilbert, was born in Wehrda on 28 February 1728. Anna Margaretha Hämelmann, daughter of Johann Daniel Hämelmann & Anna Elisabeth Grun, was born in Wehrda on 26 June 1732. Johann Valentin Melchert & Anna Margaretha Hämelmann married in Wehrda in 1754. They had three children in Wehrda: (1) Johann Valentin, born 21 August 1756, died 1 December 1760; (2) Anna Elisabetha, born 14 July 1758; and (3) Johann Daniel, born 4 June 1761, died 1 November 1763.
Johann Valentin Melchert, a farmer, and his family immigrated to Russia, arriving from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 14 September 1766 aboard a ship under the command of Skipper Reders.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Walter on 25 August 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 22.
The 1767 census records that Valentin Melcher came from the German village of Wehrda.
The surname is generally spelled Melcher in later records.
- 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): Wt055, Wt111.
- Parish records of Wehrda.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 300.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #6412.
Wehrda Familienbuch recording the Johann Valentin Melchert family.
Source: Maggie Hein.