Hanß Michel Erhard was born on 26 September 1678 in Scheppach, now part of Bretzfeld in the Württemberg wine region, to Hanß Erhard and Anna Margaretha Hüteler. On 18 May 1702, he married Anna Veronica Burckart, daughter of Christoph Burckart. Their youngest son, Johann Christoph Erhard, was born on 4 April 1716 in Scheppach and was baptized in the Evangelical church in Waldbach parish the following day. Like his older brothers, Hanß Balthasar and Hanß Jerg, Johann Christoph was a vintner (Weingärtner), and owned a small vineyard in Scheppach where he produced wine.
Johann Christoph was married on 8 August 1741 to Elisabetha Margaretha Dietrich, daughter of Johann Peter Dietrich & Anna Maria Knorr. Elisabetha Margaretha had been born and baptized in Scheppach on 18 August 1719. Johann Christoph and Elisabetha Margaretha had at least six children who were baptized in Scheppach between 1742 and 1754, including their fifth child, Hans Michel, born on 18 January 1752. Elisabetha Margaretha died there on 16 March 1758 at the age of 38, leaving Johann Christoph a widower with three surviving children.
Johann Christoph sold his farm and vineyards and immigrated to Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein), arriving in Altona, Duchy of Holstein, on 17 June 1762 with his son Hans Michel and two other children. They departed from Altona on 21 June 1762 under the leadership of Georg Michel Zurn, arriving in the city of Flensburg, Duchy of Schleswig, on 26 June 1762 and were sworn in there on 19 July 1762. [The Erhard family had departed from the Principality of Hohenlohe to Frankfurt am Main and arrived in Altona and then in Flensberg with two other families who also settled in Shcherbakovka; the families of Jacob Weiss and Johann Adam Kaufmann. The Johannes Michael Stricker family arrived in Altona one day later, and was on the same transport to Flensberg and also eventually settled in Shcherbakovka.]
The Erhard family left Denmark for Russia and arrived in the Volga German colony of Shcherbakovka on 15 June 1765. Christoph Erhard and his family are recorded there on the 1767 Census in Household No. 11.
Hans Michael and his family are recorded in the 1798 Census of Shcherbakovka in Household No. 16. Several of Hans Michel's children moved to the nearby colony of Holstein, including his son, Konrad (who married Eva Regina Jauck) and his daughters, Elisabetha Dorothea (who married Johann Georg Mai) and Katharina Margaretha (who married Johann Jakob Borger). Hans Michel's widow, Anna Regina, also moved to Holstein and passed away there on 7 March 1818.
Descendants of this family also use spellings of Ehrhardt and Erhardt.
- Eichhorn, Alexander. The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766 (Deiningen, Germany: Steinmeier, 2012): 309-312, 394, & 683-684.
- Hoak, Ed. Holstein/Werchnaja Kulalinka Church Records from the Volvograd Archives, 1799-1852.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture Volume 2 (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): 948.
- Parish records of Waldbach and Scheppach (LDS Film No. 1346108).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2008): 248.