Joseph Apfel and his wife Christina arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 4 July 1766 aboard the English frigate Love & Unity under the command of Skipper Thomas Fairfax.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Göbel on 20 June 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 1 along with a note identifying Joseph Apfel as the colony's mayor (Vorsteher).
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Joseph Apfel was a farmer from the Braunfels region. The 1767 census records that Joseph Apfel was a craftsman (Handwerker) from the German region of Strassburg.
- 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): Gb68.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): 37.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #1828.