Coordinated with GRHS Village Research Clearing House
Coordinated with AHSGR/GRHS Translation Committee Chairman
Original translation: Theodore C Wenzlaff
Publication: GRHS Heritage Review 18-
Scanned: Dale Lee Wahl Permission granted for posting on Odessa: 1996
The following is taken from the book, "Homesteaders on the Steppe" by Joseph S. Height.
The Beresan district
The colony of Rohrbach. Est. 1809
The village of Rohrbach was located in the Zerigul valley, 40 versts west of the Bug river, and 100 versts northeast of Odessa. It was only 20 versts from Landau, which was the administrative center of the newly established Beresan Colony.
The Crownland apportioned to the colony of Rohrbach amounted to 8,333 desss. (or 22,500 acres), a tract of land large enough to provide a living for 150 families. The first settlers, consisting of 26 families, were conducted to the Zerigul valley in the fall of 1809 by Chief Mayor Brittner of Grossliebental. The following spring, Commissioner von Rosenkampf conducted another 69 families, with their leader Michael Kuhn, from their winter quarters in the colonies in the environs of Odessa, to the place of settlement. Of the 95 families, 56 had emigrated fro Alsace and the Palatinate, 33 were from Baden, 4 from Würtemberg, and 2 from Prussian Poland; in all about 450 souls.
Since a large number of the earliest settlers were from the Palatinate, the settlement was named after the town of Rohrbach, in the district of Bergzabern. It seems that the first homesteaders were put up in stone dwellings. Each family also received the necessary livestock, farm equipment, and seed grain, for which the families were granted an advance loan of 100,490 rubles. The cash assets of the immigrants amounted to some 40,000 rubles.
In 1813 another 27 families arrived from Prussian Poland, and 4 more families from Württemberg. In 1816, according to the earliest available census, the village of Rohrbach had 130 families, with a population of 602 souls (312 men and 287 women). From 1817 -