Johann Martin Scharf was born in Biskirchen, west of Giessen, on 15 October 1741, the eldest child of Christian Scharf (born 18 March 1708 in Biskirchen) and Anna Sophia Keyser (born 1717 in Biskirchen). Johann Martin married the widow Catharina Haardt on 15 December 1765. She had a four-year-old daughter named Katharina by the previous marriage to the Haardt.
They left for Russia in 1766, arriving from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 8 August 1766 aboard the galliott Anna Catharina. On the journey from Oranienbaum to Saratov the next spring, three-month-old son Johann Heinrich died.
The family arrived in Nieder-Monjou on 3 August 1767, and are recorded there on the 1767 Census later that year in Household No.73 along with a one-week-old son named Just.
Martin is recorded on the 1798 Census still living in Nieder-Monjou in Household No. Nm25.
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 5200-5203.
Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 3 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2005): 201.
Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): 256.