Johann Jakob Zittel was born in 1707 in Durlach, today a borough of the city of Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg. He married Christina Stauffer who was born in 1717.
They had eight children, each born and baptized in the Durlach Lutheran Church: (1) Christoph Gabriel, baptized 7 March 1744; (2) Johann Jakob, baptized 20 January 1746; (3) Karl Daniel Ludwig, born 28 November 1747; (4) Johann Jakob, born 15 November 1749; (5) Georg Friedrich, born 1 November 1751; (6) Johann Heinrich, born 1 October 1753; (7) Georg Sigmund, born 3 November 1755; and (8) Katharina Salome, born 20 August 1757.
Johann Jakob Zittel, a craftsman (Handwerker), his wife, four of their children and his sister-in-law Anna Maria Stauffer (recorded as Staub) immigrated to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein). They departed from Altona, Duchy of Holstein, on 29 June 1761 under the leadership of Johann Thomas Gabler. They arrived in the city of Schleswig, Duchy of Schleswig, on 4 July 1761.
While living in Denmark, son Karl Daniel Ludwig married Sophia Friederike who had been born in 1746. The extended family (including sister-in-law Anna Maria) arrived in the Volga German colony of Reinwald on 14 July 1766, where they are recorded on the 1767 Census in Households No. 5 & 16.
Johann Jakob Sr. died before 1798. His sons Karl Daniel Ludwig, Georg Sigmund & Johann Jakob Zittel are registered on 1798 Reinwald census in Households No. Rw03, Rw19, & Rw32.
- Eichhorn, Alexander; Eichhorn Jacob & Mary. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen: Steinmeier, 2012): 271, 653-654, & 680.
- 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): Rw03, Rw19, Rw32.
- Parish records for Durlach (LDS Film No. 1238229).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 30 & 33.