Nikolaus Zerfas, a farmer, his wife Elisabeth, and children (Stephan, age 10; Maria, age 5; Johann, age ¼) arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 4 July 1766 aboad the ship Der Jager under the command of Skipper Gabriel Wild.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Preuss on 15 July 1767. His wife Elisabeth died 21 September 1767. The remaining family members are recorded on the 1767 census of Preuss in Household No. 59. By the 1798 census, they were living in the colony of Dehler.
Philipp Zerfas and his family are recorded on the 1834 census of Mariental in Household No. 71.
The 1767 census records that Nikolaus Zerfus came from the German village of Stadthausen in the Kurtrier.
- 1834 Mariental Census (Household No. 71).
- 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): Dl29.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 422.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #2183.