The following is a letter
from Dr. Pleve to Robert Grenz on the Family
of Michael Grenz in the Holsten Colony
Dear Mr. Robert Grenz,
Warm greetings from Saratov from Igor and Ljudmila Pleve.
We have prepared for you the genealogical study on the
family of your ancestors from the Franzosen colony.
the family of Michael Grenz, b. in 1744, firstly settled
in Holsten but not in the Franzosen colony. That
family could not settle in the Franzosen colony at once
because that colony was founded by the settlers-catholics
from France. At the end of the 18th - the
beginning of the 19th century frenchmen began to move
from that colony to others because there was soil
difficult to till in the Franzosen colony.
But at the same time some families (predominantly those
who were short of land) began to move from nearby
Lutheran colonies and settle down at those lands of the
Franzosen colony which were vacant now.
The household of Michael Grenz was not poor, it was
rather prosperous: in 1798 there were 6 horses, 25
cows and bulls, 21 sheeps, 9 pigs, 10 geese, 15 ducks
and 10 hens. However, he has also moved from the
Holsten colony to the Franzosen one between 1798 and
1816 but he took with him only his youngest children.
That is why the Grenz family had its development in the
Franzosen colony only in lines of two sons - Matheas, bo.
in 1804 and Georg Adam, b. in 1782.
Unfortunately documents on the Franzosen colony are
preserved only to 1835 and we can only guess who namely
from two men by the name Johann Jacob Grenz was your
direct ancestor because there were boys with such name
in both of two family branches in 1834. We can not
also be sure that you are not mistaken in the date of
birth of your ancestor (you give us the date of 1835).
It is not impossible that only of two boys with the name
Johann Jacob Grenz has died in 1835 (after the revision
tale has been already recorded) and another sone
was born in the same year and he was named by the same
name. May be you are mistaken in the date of birth
of your ancestor and it was 1828 or 1830 but not 1835.
It is clear only that your direct ancestor belonged to
one of two families: Mathias Grenz or Georg Adam
As to the double occupation of Michael Grenz so it is
not a mistake in one of the documents buti it is a
confirmation of the fact that he was a carpenter in
Germany (according to the J. Kulberg records for 1766)
and that in the Holstein colony he has to a mill and
became a miller.
You have already paid for our work it is enough for
We shall be glad to answer your questions if you
With best wishes,