There are two Zeller families that settled in the Volga German colony of Messer. Their relationship to each other, if any, needs further research.
(1) Widow Anna Maria Zeller and her son Johannes (age 16) are recorded on the 1798 census of Messer along with her son-in-law Friedrich Meininger. They had settled there on 18 June 1767. The 1767 census does not record from where Anna Maria Zeller came.
In 1790, Johannes Zeller moved from Messer to Dietel.
Johannes Zeller from Messer and his family are recorded on the 1798 census of Dietel in Household No. Dt23.
(2) Jakob Zeller, a farmer, his wife Barbara, and children (Julianna Dorothea, age 9; Peter, age 6) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 4 July 1766 aboard the Russian boat Neton-Men under the command of Midshipman Emelyan Lozhnikov.
Jakob Zeller, a farmer, and his wife Barbara are recorded on the 1767 census of Messer in Household No. 86. They had settled there on 14 September 1767.
Jakob Zeller and his family are recorded on the 1798 census of Messer in Household No. Ms18 along with a note that his daughter Margaretha (age 14) is working in Dietel.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Jakob Zeller came from the German region of Darmstadt. The 1767 census records that Jakob Zeller came from the German region of Isenburg.
- 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): Dt23, Ms18, Mv1716.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 141, 151.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #2253.