Johannes Helfenbein was born about 1735 in Landenhausen, southeast of Lauterbach. He immigrated to Russia, marrying along the way on 12 April 1766 in Büdingen to Susanna Lufft.
They arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 13 September 1766 aboard the Russian galliot Citadel under the command of midshipman Grigory Bukharin. They arrived in the Volga German colony of Stephan on 24 August 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 Census in Household No. 25.
Gertrude Helfenbein also immigrated from Landenhausen, but it is unknown what her relationship is to Johannes. She married in Büdingen to Johannes Felde from Kleinmoor, northeast of Schlitz. They arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 29 August 1766 aboard the ship Apollo under the command of skipper Detlov Merberg. She is recorded on the 1798 Census in Kraft at Household No. Kf44 married to Johannes Schneider.
On the 1798 census, Johann Jakob Helfenbein is recorded working in Dobrinka.
- Die Geschichte der Wolgadeutschen vom Vogelsberg zur Wolga (Alsfeld, Wiesbaden: Die Albert-Schweitzer-Schule, 1990).
- 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): Sp13.
- Mai, Brent Alan and Dona Reeves-Marquardt, German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767) (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2003): 67 & 77.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767 Band 4 (Goettingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis; 2008): 226.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): Document No. 5189 & 5250.