Johann Philipp Merz, a single farmer, arrived from Lübeck at the port of Oranienbaum on 9 August 1766 aboard the Russian galliot Strelna under the command of Lieutenant Sornev.
He settled in the Volga German colony of Grimm and is recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 48 along with the [Johann] Heinrich Heppel family. No relationship is recorded between the Heppel and Merz families.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Johann Philipp Merz came from the German region of Darmstadt.