Johann[es] Schell, a farmer, and his wife Elisabeth arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 31 July 1766 aboard a Russian packet-boat under the command of Lieutenant Korsakov.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Sewald on 20 August 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 15 along with orphan Susanna Hiltenberger (age 8), the surviving daughter of Daniel Hiltenberger. The 1767 census does not record a relationship between the Schell and Hiltenberger families.
In 1792, Johannes Schell moved from Sewald to Dehler. Following their release from the "Special Settlements" in 1956, several Schell families returned to the Volga German Region and settled in the former colony of Franzosen.
The 1767 census records that Johannes Schell came from the German village of Gerfet [?] in the Würzburg region.
- 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): Sd02, Sd16, Mv2757.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 170.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #2772.