I've been addicted to genealogy for several years now. Thank heavens I always had an ear to the door when I was growing up! I've been able to trace one branch of my maternal grandmother's mother-in-law's side of the family (that would be my great-grandmother, maternal) back to the 1500's in the Alsace Region of France.
The history of that region is incredible. It's clear that some of our relatives in that branch survived the Black Death. Amazing stuff.
My daughter and I are history nuts, so we've done extensive research into the daily lives of people along the timeline. We know what was occurring in their towns, what their daily routines were like, the wars that were beginning, the exodus and nomadic behavior of the people, the revolutions, the normal dress, customs and foods of the times as well. Some of our records are detailed enough about our ancestors that their actual birthdays are listed.
I keep many birthdays forefront in my mind. My parents, my Nanny (maternal grandmother), brother, aunts, uncles, etc.
But we thought it would be really significant to transcribe all of the dates of birth of all of the ancestors we could locate and fill in a Master Family Calendar.
It would be pretty remarkable to know on any given day, which one of our ancestors arrived in this world, in say, 1502.
We've been able to locate the Passenger Lists from many of the ships that brought our ancestors to this country from various parts of Europe. We have ties to Ireland, Switzerland, France, Germany and that middle ground of Alsace that changed sovereign hands many times in the short window of 75 years. Sometimes it was Germany, sometimes it was France.
Today, the accepted language is French, but there are still those who speak the ancestral Alsatian dialects.
We've studied some of our familial migration patterns throughout Europe. Amazing.
We know which relatives were alive and survived the French Revolution.
We know which ancestors held positions of power and the days some of them married.
I promised my daughter I'd have the calendar completed for her by Friday. I've never been one to turn down a challenge :)
We do know now that our ancestors, after leaving Europe, arrived in Fair Play, MD, Philadelphia and other ports. One branch of our tree turns out is one of the oldest families here in Delaware, based near Pearson's Corner in Kent County. Some headed to New Castle and Wilmington. Others settled in Philadelphia and others went west.
The branch from Philadelphia ventured into Chester County, PA which at one point belonged to Maryland. Chester County, PA later became part of southern Lancaster County.
We have been based in Providence Township, Martick Township (that is not a misspelling), Smithville and Conestoga.
On my paternal side, we originated in Switzerland. Here in this country, we were based in Lexington, PA, Brunnerville, Warwick Twp, Akron, Ephrata and Rothsville, to name but just a few.
I could research the family trees all day long. If I ever win the lottery, you'll know where to find me lol
And today, my daughter and I decided we now have at least one more travel spot to add to our list.
We really feel compelled to travel to Alsace.
Our ties are so strong and so far reaching there.
We have the potential to view the headstones of relatives born in the early 1500's. That just takes my breath away. But the stones aren't going to be around forever and if we're going to see them personally, that is a trip that we can't postpone much longer.
I have no idea how many hours we'd be on the plane...... that wasn't on my list, not even close. Until today.
I'd better start saving up. I would imagine a flight across the 'big lake' isn't all that inexpensive.
I have enough trouble finding the time to cover two or three states! lol
Once the calendar is finished this week, I may post it. I think it's just fascinating stuff!