Johann Jacob Rettig, son of Johann Dieterich Rettig & Catharina Elisabetha Metzger, was born on 19 September 1731, and baptized on 21 September 1731 in the Evangelical Church of Gronau (Odenwald), a little village located about 22 kilometers south of Darmstadt.
On 27 March 1766 he married Anna Elisabetha Rettig, daughter of Johann Georg Rettig & Anna Elisabetha Schmidt. She had been born on 12 May 1745 in Rimbach, about 19 kilometers southeast of Gronau.
Johann Jacob Rettig & his wife emigrated to Russia. They departed from Lübeck by the English frigate Love and Unity with skipper Thomas Fairfax at the helm, and arrived at the Russian port of Oranienbaum on 12 September 1766.
The family arrived in Paulskaya on 17 August 1767 where they spent their first winter in Russia. They are recorded there on the 1767 Census in Household No. 8. The following year they settled in the colony of Kind .
In 1780, the Rettig family moved to Schaffhausen where they are recorded on the 1798 Census in Household No. Sh09.
- 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).
- Parish records of Gronau (LDS Films No. 1195091 & 1195092).
- Parish records of Rimbach (LDS Film No. 1340355).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Der Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 353.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical Universiy, 2010): 351.