17 May 2006


I’m home from a fantastic 12-day trip to France and Germany. My cousin and I went there to do some genealogical research. We stayed with brand-new friends in the small (population 1700) village of Lembach, Alsace, France—just a few km from the Germany border—where our great-great-great grandparents lived in the mid-19th century. It’s also the home of the grandparents of US astronaut Russell Schweickart and one of his ancestors was a witness at their wedding! We stayed in a home that was built in the early 1800s. The village is just beautiful, with lace curtains in every window and flowers everywhere.

I drove all over northern Alsace and southern Germany (the Pfaltz region) in a rented Mercedes A150 (a really neat car—they ought to sell them here) looking a records and talking to archivists and visiting tiny villages, including the one where my GGGgrandmother was born, Heiligemoshel. We also visited Strasbourg and its cathedral started in the 1100s and the German town of Erlangen (to visit a former French professor of my cousin, whom she hadn’t seen in 30 years). Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Since my cousin spoke fluent French and our hosts spoke both French and German, we had no trouble getting around. (I am also bilingual, but my other language—Spanish—wasn’t much help here.)

But now I’m back, almost caught up, and blogging again. So, stay tuned….


CW said...

I did! :)

What were the archives like? Were you successful in locating information?

Ms. OPL said...

We found some information, not as much as we'd hoped. We've taken the Siess line back as far as we probably can. We're back in the 1700s, before the Jews in Germany/France were citizens and before they had last names. The farthest back ancestor is named Abraham, which is as common as Smith.
Thanks for asking.

CW said...

I've been pondering starting research into both sides of my family, but am a bit daunted as I'll have to learn classical Chinese for one side, and Dutch on the other... On the plus side, trips to distant shores are always fun and interesting!