Florian Zentner was born about 1720 in Hamm am Rhein, a village that today is in the Alzey-Worms district of the German state of Rheinland-Palatinate. He married Maria Katharina (surname unknown), and they had two boys, each baptized in the Catholic Church in Eich, about 15 kilometers northeast of Worms: (1) Johann Adam, baptized on 3 October 1751; and (2) Matthias, baptized in 1753.
Florian and his family immigrated to Russia as colonists of the recruiters De Beuve and Precourt. They departed from the port of Lübeck on a Russian vessel under the command of Lieutenant Trusov, arriving in Oranienbaum on 22 July 1766.
During the transport to the Volga German colonies, Florian's wife died, and he remarried a woman named Christina. All of them arrived in the colony of Sewald on 20 August 1767. They are recorded there in Household No. 24 on the 1767 Census.
On the 1798 Census, son Matthias and his family are still living in Sewald, recorded in Household No. Sd17.
- 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).
- Parish records of Eich (LDS Film No. 949097).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 4 (Göttingen: Nordost-Institut, 2008): 172.
- Pleve, Igor. List of Colonists to Russia in 1766 "Reports by Ivan Kulberg" (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): 171.