Heinrich Michael Maÿ was born in Spachbrücken Dieburg (Hessen-Darmstadt Germany) 6 August 1723. He married in Spachbrücken on 8 June 1745 to Maria Eva Wetzlaus. Heinrich Michael was killed when he fell off the back of a hay wagon on 1 October 1760 in Spachbrücken. His widow and children immigrated to Russia, arriving on 7 July 1767 in Holstein . Descendants of this family resettled to the colony of Kratzke and then on to the daughter colonies of Ährenfeld and Eckheim.
A cousin of Heinrich Michael's father, Johann Georg Maÿ (born 17 July 1711 in Spachbrücken) also immigrated to Holstein with the other Maÿ families from Spachbrücken along with his second wife Maria Katharina Berg (born 5 January 1732) and his son by the first wife: Johann Adam (born 16 November 1753). A nephew of this Johann Georg Maÿ (by his sister Maria Dorothea) also immigrated with them and settled in Holstein: Johannes Buxbaum.
Surname was spelled "Maÿ" in the German documents and appears to have been spelled that way in early Russian documents as well. At some point during the 1840s, the spelling changed to "Mai" for both those families that had immigrated to Russia and those that remained in Spachbrücken.
Kohl, Gunnar and Helmut Ramge. Familienbuch Spachbrücken (Darmstadt: Deutsche Ortssippenbücher, 2001): 284.
Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): 135.
Spachbrücken Parish records (LDS Intl Film #1190550)