be fathers of families with children and owners of property valued at least 300 guilders.  Unmarried adults were not accepted, nor was any whose conduct was dubious.  A person who wanted to immigrate had to present certificates of diligence and respectable behavior from authorities in his place of legal residence to the Russian consul.  Only after authorization by the Russian officials could he be admitted for immigration.

          Unfortunately, after Alexander became czar, his attentions were diverted all too soon, when he was obliged to fight in the Napoleonic wars.  In the years 1805-1814 Alexander and his armies were occupied fighting Napoleon, who had risen to power in the French Revolution of 1789-1799, in Europe Alexander was defeated and humiliated repeatedly.  In 1807 he signed an uneasy peace treaty with Napoleon at Tilsit in Eastern Prussia.  This Napoleon-imposed treaty deprived Prussia and Austria of some of their Polish acquisitions and set up the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.  Some  German settlers now found themselves under an unfriendly government.  In June 1812, the year before the Grenz brothers went to Russia, Napoleon, wanting more land and power marched the largest army ever assembled, 575,000 men, across Europe into Russia.  Russia's army was barely  one-third of that.  The battles were very bloody, and at one point, each army lost about 50,000 people in one day.  In Sept 1812, Napoleon marched into a mostly deserted Moscow.  He soon realized he did not have the resources either to winter in Moscow or attack St. Petersburg, so in October, he withdrew back to French soil. But the harsh Russian winter had set in by then, and only 29,000 of Napoleon's original 575,000 returned to France.  This was a stunning Russian victory and the first time Europe thought Napoleon could be defeated.  Alexander pursued Napoleon and in the spring of 1814, Alexander led his men triumphantly into Paris.  Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba.

          We can only imagine the hardships that the brothers Samuel and Gottlieb Grenz and Gottlieb's wife encountered on the long trip to Russia in 1813.  They were farmers so perhaps they were looking for a chance to spread out and settle on good land.  They were probably also influenced by the political upheavals and bad economic conditions with its high cost of living brought on by the Seven Years War and the Napoleonic wars.  They settled in the village of Rohrbach in Southern Russia and are found there in the 1816 census.  By then, Gottlieb and wife located 66 miles from Odessa on the Black Sea.  Twenty-five German families settled there in the fall of 1809 and in 1810, 68 more families joined them.  Rohrbach was located in a  valley without a river, which was a bit unusual, but there were wells that provided plenty of excellent drinking water, even in the dry years.  At first, there was nothing there, only ":healthful air, a carpet of dry grass of many years standing, all kinds of weeds with flowers and a new blanket of grass."

          In a few years, after much hard labor, there were stone enclosed vineyards along the rear of the village.  Viewed from the heights, the colony had beautiful vegetable gardens and orchards of apple, pear, prune, plum, cherry and apricot trees together with beautiful poplar, aspen, willow, and acacia trees, in all about 4 -5,000.  The valley had good soil with one to two feet of fertile soil mixed with some sand.  The subsoil, was however generally red clay, and hard to work, and had to be frequently fertilized.  In 1813, 22 more families arrived in Rohrbach.  Among the eighteen families originating in Prussian Poland were or Grenz Ancestors. The

 

                                                                         
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