The Meininger family initially settled in the Volga German colony of Messer. Johannes Meininger was baptized 26 December 1722 in Mittel-Gründau. His wife, Anna Katharina Daut was baptized 25 June 1727 in Mittel-Gründau. They married 10 February 1746 in Gründau. They travelled to Russia with five of their children – Anna Christina, Johannes, Anna Maria, Johann Peter, and Just.
They 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 Messer on 18 June 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Households No. 40 & 41 along with Anna Katharina’s brother, Wilhelm Daut.
In 1790, Johannes Meininger and his family moved from Messer to Franzosen. In 1797, Johann Just Meininger moved from Messer to Kolb.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Fz25, Ko48, Ms06, Ms25, Mv1729, Mv1755.
- Parish records of Gründau, Gelnhausen - Archive of the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck in Kassel (Archion.de)
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #1728, #1729.