Johann Wilhelm Machleit (spelled Macheleuth in the Amt Zwingenberg Mannschaftsregister) was born about 1727 in Zwingenberg, south of Darmstadt, the second son of Johann Valentin Macheleuth. It was noted in records there that he left secretly, and without permission departed for Russia in 1766, taking one son and one daughter, and leaving two daughters behind.
The family arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oraninenbaum on 12 September 1766 aboard the Love & Unity under the command of Thomas Fairfax. The Kuhlberg list identifies him as a widower, which is possible. On the Transport List that records travel the following summer from Oranienbaum to Saratov, it is recorded that he is traveling with a wife Catharina, and son named Johann Adam (age 12), so he must have married during the stay in Oranienbaum.
The Machleit family arrived in the Volga German colony of Paulskaya on 3 August 1767 along with a three-month-old daughter named Sophia Elisabeth. They wintered there before settling in the colony of Kind where son Johann Adam is recorded on the 1798 Census in Household No. Kd13. A daughter, Elisabeth Barbara, is recorded there in Household No. Kd06.
- Kirschnick, Ulrich. Amt Zwingenberg/Bergstrasse Mannschaftsregister von 1771 (Darmstadt, 1992).
- 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).
- Mai, Brent Alan, trans. & ed. Transport of the Volga Germans from Oranienbaum to the Colonies on the Volga: 1766-1767 (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1998): entries 1047-1049.
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 353.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): 343.