[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] One particular Grenz Lineage in Volhynia from prior to 1843 and thereafter until 1944.

Günther Böhm GHBoehm at ish.de
Thu Mar 5 02:57:52 PST 2009

Will Genz schrieb:
> My siblings and I are descendents fro Friedrich and Wilhelmina Grenz who with many other Germans immigrated from East Prussia (Kreutzburg) near Koenigsberg into the Ukraine in the 1840-50's to establish a new homelandlater called Volhynia. They were Lutherans while their offspring became Baptists..  My sister Lilly and I (Willy) were born in Zhitomyr before the German Wehrmacht rescued us and took us back to Germany.  Our parents, Arthur and Ida Grenz lived last in Zhitomyr in the 1940's where they wereactive members of the largest Baptist congregation there. My Father, Arthur was born on 15 July 1903 in Ivanovitch an died in Long Beach California on 10-13-1982.  My Mother Ida was born on March 13, 1907 in Annopol. She died on March 9, 2000  in Long Beach California.  My family took on the name of "Narchinski" (Intermarriage with Polish family) in early 1900 to WWI and during the horrific Stalinist years. My Father served a total of 9 years in Russian Gulags because he was
 active in spreading the word of God among the population in the Ukraine.  Among other horrific experiences was his forceful labor to build the Moscow-Volga Canal. I have a  list of all the villages and other communities that my forefathers lived in and visited during those years prior to 1940 that I can share with anyoneinterested. These places are shown on a rough Map with approximate locations. I have engaged in a search to determine  the family lineage any prior to 1843 and have so far had any luck.  Several dubious sources claim that our Grenz clan came from the German province of Rheinpfaltz where there is now a town called "Grenzdorf" at the confluence of the Lahn and theRhine rivers. I am writing a book based on a diary that was passed on inin secret through the generations form Wilhelmina in 1843  to Arthur andthen on to me.
> I am keenly interested in finding any information on input on this Grenz lineage prior to 1843 and any other information that other families might have relative to my quest.  Best Regards,  Willy Grenz wg7 at theunion.net

Dear Mr. Grenz,
there were several possible places of origin in Germany:

   1. Grenz, Dorf (village), Preußen, Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder
      (West Prussia), Kreis und Amtsgericht (district and district
      court) Kulm, Postamt (post office) Podwitz, 464 inhabitants (1894).
   2. Grenzdorf A and B (two villages), Preußen, Regierungsbezirk Danzig
      (West Prussia), Landkreis Elbing, Amtsgericht Tiegenhof, Post
      Stutthof, 203 resp. 341 inhabitants (1894).

Others are resp. were Grenzach, Grenzau, Grenzebach, Grenzhammer, 2x
Grenzhausen, Grenzhäuser, Grenzheide, 13 x Grenzhof (7 of them in
Pomerania, 3 in West Prussia) and Grenzkolonie. Grenzhausen, now part
of  Höhr, Westerwaldkreis, is in Hessen and not far (15 km nne.) from
the Lahn outlet into the Rhine at Lahnstein.

According to the IGI, the earliest evidence of your surname in present
Germany (1671) is in Kirch-Brombach, Brombachtal, Odenwaldkreis, Hessen.
The name is still present in the community:

    GRENZ Doris (hairdresser)
    Schulstr. 2
    D-64753 Brombachtal-Kirchbrombach
    Tel. +490 6063 579253
    URL www.odenwaldmosaik.de/schnittstelle.html

    GRENZ Sven (master carpenter)
    Hauptstraße 57
    D-64753 Brombachtal-Kirchbrombach
    Tel. +49 6063 9517372
    E-mail svengrenz at alice-dsl.net

In the neighboring villages (Michelstadt, Bad König, Beerfelden, Erbach,
Höchst, Lützelbach) there are twenty other entries in the telephone

But since there were several GRENZ families in West and East Prussia and
many Volhynian Germans originated from there, I would suggest to prefer
a West Prussian origin of your name. Moreover: since the surname GRENZ
most probably derived from a farm name "Grenzhof" = border farm (Grenze
= border), it might be that there is no relation at all to any of the
listed locations.

The German word 'Grenze' = 'border' is not of Germanic but of Polish
origin (Grenze = graniza). It came to Germany in the middle ages,
probably through the Teutonic Order which occupied the Kulmerland (later
West Prussia) in 13th century, built castles and a consistent
administration and called German settlers. But at that time consistent
surnames didn't yet exist and changed from time to time. People were
called after their personal characteristics, professions or places of
origin. But when they moved again, this name-giving place of origin
changed and possibly it became a locality in the Kulmerland.

In contemporary Poland www.herby.com.pl finds:

    86 GRENC, 63 of them in the Gdansk (Danzig) area, 16 in the adjacent
    Elbląg (Elbing) area,
    13 GRENCKOWSKI, Gdansk area,
    83 GRENZ, 61 of them in the Gdansk area, 10 in the Bydgoszcz
    (Bromberg) area, 8 in the Elbląg area,
    7 GRENTZ, Gdansk area,
    3 GRENZLIK, 2 Elbląg, 1 Torun (Thorn) area,
    2 GRENZOW, Bydgoszcz area.

If you enter these names into www.moikrewni.pl/mapa (geographical
distribution of surnames in Poland), the result will be astonishing:
most of them are still living in the former Kulmerland.
So eventually I would prefer a West Prussian origin.

Kind regards,
Günther Böhm

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