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Johann Bernhardt Riffel, son of Johann Bernhardt & Margaretha Riffel, was born about 1683 in Alt-Dettenheim. He married Anna Catharina, and three children born to Johann Bernhardt & Anna Catharina Riffel are recorded in the parish register of Dettenheim: (1) Anna Catharina, born 25 January 1716; (2) Johann Peter, born 20 March 1719; and (3) Eva Catharina, born 14 July 1723.

Anna Catharina Riffel [the mother] died 26 November 1729 in Hochstetten.

Johann Bernhardt Riffel remarried in Hochstetten on 16 March 1730 to Anna Barbara Hauser.

Five children born to Johann Bernhardt Riffel & Anna Barbara Hauser are recorded in the parish register of Dettenheim: (1) Anna Barbara, born 29 January 1731, died 7 February 1731; (2 &3) twins Johann Georg & Johann Michael, born 25 April 1732, [both] died 1 July 1732; (4) Georg Adam, born 29 March 1734; and (5) Johannes, born 29 August 1737.

Both parents died when the children were young. Johann Bernhardt Riffel died 29 May 1741; Anna Barbara Riffel née Hauser died 6 January 1742. Georg Adam appears to have then lived with his older half-sister Eva Catharina who had married Philipp Troßmann/Droßmann in Linkenheim. When they went to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein), Georg Adam went with them.

[Dettenheim was a Catholic village; Linkenheim was a Lutheran village. It appears that the Riffel family was originally Catholic, and that Eva Catharina had married into the Lutheran Troßmann/Droßmann family in Linkenheim. This may explain why Georg Adam Riffel is recorded arriving in Denmark without religious affiliation, and then appears in Russia recorded as being Lutheran.]

Georg Adam Riffel arrived in Flensburg [then in Denmark] on 17 July 1761 as the servant of his brother-in-law Philipp Troßmann/Droßmann. His sister Barbara also went to Denmark where she is recorded as the wife of Conrad Droßmann, presumed to be a relative [brother?] of Philipp Droßmann.

While in Denmark, Georg Adam Riffel married Barbara Elisabeth (surname not known). They left the Danish colonies on 24 April 1765 and joined the migration to Russia.

Georg Adam Riffel and his family settled in the Volga German colony of Shcherbakovka on 15 June 1765. They are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 38.

In 1793, Christian Riffel moved from Shcherbakovka to Galka.

The 1767 census records that Georg Adam Riffel came from the German village of Linken[heim]. The Eichhorns record that Georg Adam Riffel came from the German region of Baden-Durlach.


- Breitinger, Erwin. Ortsfamilienbuch Hochstetten [Online].
- Eichhorn, Alexander, Jacob & Mary Eichhorn. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen, Germany: Drukerei und Verlag Steinmeier GmbH & Co. Kg, 2012): A26-17, A26-19, A26-20, B-294, B-296, B-1347.
- Joss, Kurt & Manfred Becker. Ortsfamilienbuch Linkenheim, 1591-1925. (2015).
- 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): Gk07, Sv61, Mv2781.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 254.

Contributor(s) to this page: 

Brent Mai

Pre-Volga Origin

Volga Colonies

Immigration Locations