I wanted to do a trip diary day by day but I should know by now that this is not possible, days too busy and long to blog. So this is a recap of our recent group trip to the Northwest area of Germany. I am in a beautiful hotel in OstFriesland (scouting for a future trip) and my group of 16 are on their way home, but we will go back to our first couple days.
First day upon arrival, after taking a couple hours to rest we had a very interesting lecture by an author who lived nearby Dusseldorf who has written a children’s book called “In der Neue Welt”, a story of an immigrant family who leaves Germany in the 19th century and through the years establishes a life and home in Nebraska. As the farm prospers throughout the years and generations pass, the Nebraska family wonders about where they came from and they make they journey home just as their ancestors did many years ago. It was so appropriate for our group as it was exactly the journey we were on, looking for our ancestors home. The book will be out in English next spring and would be a great gift for grandchildren perhaps to show them how your family may have come to America.
Another highlight of the first couple days was our visit to the Landes Archiv in Detmold. We were given a lecture of how the Archive system in Germany works, what type of things are available in various archives and then because of my German partner’s help, (he had called ahead with the town and family names of our group’s ancestors to see if there was anything available in the Archive for them) we were successful. There was information for a few people and needless to say they were ecstatic. Death records and farm records and Land records for much searched and new found ancestors brought some to tears. Even for the rest of us it was a little overwhelming to watch the excitement as they looked at centuries old documents. Only another genealogist can appreciate how much this means, which is why it is fun to go on a trip with fellow researchers.
Then we packed up all our new found goodies and went to the Detmold Freilichtmuseum to see how our ancestors would have lived. A great tour guide showed us farmhouses and told us of how they lived and used the house and land and made life in the 1700 and 1800’s come alive again.
So the first few days were very informative and set the stage for what was ahead, visiting ancestral hometowns.