Really. I was noodling around on newfamilysearch.org last night, adding some of Beloved’s people into my tree (connecting the dots as it were), when on a whim I clicked on one of my own names. And went back. And back. And back, through English names and anglifications of Germanic names, into Austria before I stopped paying attention to where and started paying attention to when.
A few years ago I found the connection between the earliest paternal-name ancestor whose name we had, and his father, and I was pretty excited to find myself back in the 1700’s. But holy cow! Twenty generations, and I’m a lot more German than I thought, with one ancestor who was born in Holland, although his father was born in Austria to German parents, and his son was born in Bavaria. Wonder what took my family to Holland in the mid 1500’s?
The one I cannot seem to find is a great-grandfather who was born in 1810. [You read that right. I am the caboose of a caboose of a caboose.] His wife was born in 1820. Family lore says in Bavaria. Family lore also says that her family was so poor that they couldn’t afford soap, so they beat their clothing clean in the waters of the Rhine. One problem with that: I can’t find any place where the Rhine flows through Bavaria, unless either the river or the principality(?) was a whole lot larger at some point.
I did find a man with his given name and no surname, married to a woman with her given name and no surname, in Germany, but no dates, no parents, no children. It was entered into Family Search through name extraction, and I will have to go to the stake family history center to make heads or tails of that information. I am pretty sure, from the spelling of that line, that it was anglicized when they came to America, because I know just enough German to be dangerous, and to recognize that surname as not-German.
This evening I went back on another line to 1278, but I don’t feel like changing the title of this post. I come from a long line of long-lived, exceedingly fertile people. That great-grandmother had her first child at 35 and her last, my grandmother, at 43. I wonder what her love story was with my great-grandfather. He died fighting a prairie fire at the age of 58. My great-grandmother lived until Dad was a little over a year old. I wonder if she ever got to hold him?
I found a couple of ministers tonight. And a doctor. And an earl, unless that ancestor’s parents thought it would be a really cool given name. The children’s father’s father’s middle name was Lord; when we sent out the wedding announcements for the marriage-that-was, a social climbing partner at the accounting firm where I worked thought I was marrying into the British peerage.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!