Sunday, October 18, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Seems like I just got home from my last trip but I am already deep in the planning stages for the next ones. May 2010 is going to be Northwest Germany and 2010 September we are thinking of moving east to Ansbach, Bavaria, which is a little west of Nuremberg.
But before we talk about that, I wanted to give a little information on some of the Archives we visited in Germany. First one for today is the ZentralArchiv for Evangelishen Kirche in der Pfalz. (Protestant church records for the Pfalz area). This archive is located close to the Dom (Cathedral) at one end of Maximillanstrasse.
Here is basic information about this Repository:
Basic information on genealogical research in the Central Archives of the Protestant Church of the Palatine:
The church registers from parishes of the Protestant Church of the Palatine (Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz) are available on microfilm and microfiche.
From 1 January 1876 on forward, the civil registry offices [Standesamt] are responsible for personal/marital status cases. For legal reasons, microfilms and microfiches can only be provided up to 1875.
Microfiche and microfilm readers and work stations for archive users are limited, therefore appointments are required:
Phone: 0049 6232-667-181 / e-mail: please see their site:
For the use of our archives, the following fees are charged according to the scale of charges and fees:
Up to ½ day: 5.00 Euro
Up to 1 day: 8.00 Euro
Copies of microfiches and microfilms made by our staff members upon customer request are 1.50 Euro each.
Copies of microfiches made by the customer himself/herself are 0.50 Euro each.
Orders for copies of microfiches and microfilms will be accepted only until 2 p. m. Up to 3 copies will be made immediately, orders of 4 or more copies will be sent to you by mail (fees plus postage).
At the present time, there is a waiting period for written requests. If at all possible, we therefore suggest that you do your own research.
The archive charges the following fees for written inquiries:
15.00 Euro for each half hour of research, up to a maximum of 120.00 Euro (4 working hours)
The bank charges a fee of 7.50 Euro for checks from outside of Europe
Certification of transcripts, excerpts or copies is 5.00 Euro per page
If you are interested, an archive library is available with literature in reference to local history and geography and general history (genealogical tables, citizen books, town chronicles)
Principal repository for the administrative and judicial records of the protestant church authority in the palatinate. The archives contain the files of various protestant organizations and clubs, private collections of prominent church leaders, twenty Dekanatsarchive, more than 300 parish archives, and ca. 3,500 parish registers and church books dating back to the sixteenth century. In addition the archives collect audiovisual materials, press files, and graphic materials that document the history of the protestant church of the palatinate. A substantial library of more than 11,000 volumes specializes in local and church history.
Here are some pictures, as you can see it is not very big but the lady we talked with was very friendly, spoke English and we are going to use her to give us a tour of this Archive the next time we are in Speyer. As always, my suggestion is to check if your German town’s records have been filmed by the LDS and try researching these at home. Only use the Archives for things you can’t get at home. Of course the Church records are a little easier to use/read than some other records, if you have had a little experience looking at them before. Plus you get to be in Speyer, Germany! Too fun.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Everyone arrived on Sunday and we settled down in our hotel in
I love the small town feel of this city on the
Onn Monday we headed out to a close by town called Neustadt an der Weinstrasse to catch the bus up to the
Then off to the Wurst Fest in Bad
Dürkheim. This was a festival on the
Tuesday was the day everyone went out to visit their ancestral hometowns, armed with their train times and contact names, off they went. There was a couple of us left behind and we had decided to visit a town north of Speyer called Alzey to see an exhibit at their Heimat museum on 300 years of Pfalz Emigration. We had been in contact with a history Professor from the
Wednesday – Today was our lecture with Roland Paul at the Palatine Folk life Institute in
Afterwards we took Herr Paul to lunch at a local restaurant in one of the oldest buildings in
Then train back to
Thursday – was another day of learning about researching in
They do a good job of working with our group to explain how
the different Archives in
After our lecture we had a choice to visit another facility in
Friday was our day to transfer from
Saturday – was another free day and some folks headed out to their hometowns again. The rest of the group had a chance to explore Würzburg. With the charming town square, the Marienberg Fortress high on the hill above the city, or the
us to his home. His wife had kaffee und kuchen waiting and she made me eat 2 pieces! Really she did. Now remember we are strangers to these people, but they were very, very sweet. His home was filled with books, books, and more books. He had a set of over 20 books kind of like an Encyclopedia Britannica of Germany from the 1700’s. Then he showed us room after room of more research books, town histories and the greatest thing of all was in his basement he actually had the kind of rolling shelves that Archives have, filled with books. 550 of them were town Ortssippenbuch’s (family heritage books from different towns). Matthias and I were in heaven. But like I said he uses these things for his own research and he is currently writing a history (or Ortsippenbuch) for a couple of his hometowns which coincindently happened to be one of our tour member’s hometowns. So he looked in his database and lo and behold he is related to her way back and had a big piece of the puzzle for her, as her ancestor had been born illegitimate and all she had was the father’s name. He filled in a few generations back for her. So it was great day. He does not want to be inundated with emails about his database but I sure hope that he realizes what a treasure this would be for so many people. We are going to try to stay in his good graces and perhaps get to use some of his resources. Returned to Würzburg and gave our tour member the good news about her found ancestor and as she was already on cloud 9 from her day out to more ancestral towns, she couldn’t hardly stand all the excitement.
Sunday - Today the group headed out to the
Monday – Last full day for sightseeing and we were taking a bus down to the extremely charming town of
and we learned a lot. Fun day. We headed back home to our Farewell dinner, where we traded stories, enjoyed some local wine and said our good-byes. It was a great group and I think the hometown visits were a success and we all got to experience the culture and embrace this homeland of our ancestors.
Tuesday – Most folks headed home, some people extended their trips and went off to
Until later, Auf Wiedersehen!!
If interested in upcoming tours or would like help planning your own ancestral trip,please contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be posting more pictures, so check back for link.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
We have plans to visit the Hambach Castle, where the seeds of German democracy were first planted. A visit to the Stuttgart Archives and a few lectures by historians and researchers, who will tell us what life was like for our ancestors. We also will tour an outside living history museum where we will see how they lived, farm houses and trade shops. But best of all, folks get a chance to visit their ancestral hometown. We have found a little something for everyone, some even getting to meet “cousins”, or walk through their centuries old family homes and several have had brick walls broken by local researchers. I´ll keep you updated on our adventures, so check back in a couple days.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Ok, this is not a full blown group Heritage tour but my personal visit to Ireland but I did check out places for my next group tour!!
We arrived in
Window shopped and ended up in the
Sunday, we decided to do a day tour out to Glendaloughand the Wicklow area. This is a stop all the regular tours make but since my friends had never been to
is about an hour drive south of
Glendalough (Gleann Dá Loch, “Valley of the
The most visible monument at Glendalough is thefine round tower, rising about 30 meters high.
ection for the people and treasures inside.
The tower originally had six wooden floors, connected by ladders. The four stories above the entrance are lit by a small window, while the top story has four windows facing the fourpoints of the compass. The conical roof was rebuilt in 1876 using the original stones.
We had an absolutely gorgeous day to visit here, surprisingly no rain, sun was shining and it was in the mid 60’s. We also hiked to see
the two lakes, which were gorgeous, and it was a beautiful walk, shaded paths, waterfalls and beautiful green wherever you looked. We spent several hours here and then continued on to the small town of
Avoca (Irish: Abhóca) is a small town near Arklow, in County Wicklow, Ireland. It is situated on the River Avoca. The Avoca area has been associated with its famous copper mines for many years and the valley has been immortalized by Thomas Moore in the famous song The Meeting of the Waters. The name of the song derives from the meeting of the Avonmore and
Avonberg rivers, about two miles fromthe village of Avoca. The song is said to have been written under a tree, the stump of which remains by the Meetings. Avoca is also famous for its hand weaving. Avoca Hand weavers are based in Avoca.
We met a very interesting lady on the bus with us, who was originally from
IT’S A LONG WAY TO
Monday morningup early to head out of
The second link here is for images of the Griffiths Valuation
Probably you Irish researchers know about this already but
I found some names in there to give me something to look for. I am down to looking for where the two surnames show up in a County together and trying to go from there. We’ll see.Anyway, my traveling companions didn’t give me much time but I did get an overview of things they had at the Library, most Catholic Parish records. Also learned it is best to talk with the people in the Genealogy Services room and have them go over your research and suggest what would be good for you to look for. You then order your films or books and they bring them to you. So, you could be twiddling your thumbs for a short while. They maybe have 20 or so microfilm readers and
a few microfiche readers. Well, needless to say I didn’t find much on my film, not enough time but I did speak with the Genealogy Service assistant about a future group tour and will work on that.
We were picking up our car today and heading out of
We had a GPS but found that was only accurate about half the time. I’m a map person and after getting out of out of
weed-whacked quite a few hedges, plus they are not to big on signs. You kind of guess where you are going. As a lady at the Kilkenny tourist office told us when we asked her how anyone knew where they were going, she replied, “Oh we know where we are going, we just like to keep it a secret!” Indeed they do.
Kilkenny's rich medieval heritage is evident in the city's treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks, exemplified by the magnificent
The original Anglo-Norman stone castle was built for William Marshal, 4th Earl of
.1146-1219) during the first decade of the thirteenth century.
The buildings have been in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1969, and many important programmes of archaeological excavation, conservation, and restoration have been carried out there.
It was especially impressive at night.
One thing about
Since this is a Blitz tour of
So off we were to Kinsale. On the way we wanted to stop and see the Rock of Cashel.
Legend associates the Rock of Cashel with St. Patrick, but the name comes from Caiseal, meaning "stone fort," and the hill was originally the residence of the kings of
We arrived in Kinsale late afternoon, what a great town, on a beautiful harbour filled with masts of sail boats. We enjoyed a quick meal, walked around the harbour and of course visited another pub.
Another Irish custom I liked is the continuation of the traditional Irish music in the pubs nightly. These pubs are not only filled with tourists trying to “absorb the culture” but the locals who bring their children and make an evening of it. One word of advice on pubs though, sip your drink, they can be VERY expensive.
Our B&B, the Sea Breeze (doesn’t that just sound like a fantastic place?) was great and the owner Fiona was the best. Very helpful and sweet and went out of her way to help us with anything. Next morning, after another ample Irish breakfast, we headed back down the harbour for a walking tour. I highly recommend Dan O’Herilhy’s Walking tours, but our guide was Barry Maloney.
This company is also recommended by Rick Steves, and Barry starts off by saying you don’t have to pay until the end and only if you liked it. The tour was worth way more than the 6 Euro we did pay. He gives a great historyof the town of
Under tempestuous clouds of a wind-driven autumn sky, the first of a fleet of 26 Spanish ships bearing 3,500 soldiers entered the deep sheltered port of Kinsale on September 22, 1601 (old style)--or October 2 if the new calendar introduced by Pope Gregory is used). These were the survivors of the original 35 vessels that had left
Our guide gave us an in depth history lesson of the battle and how if the outcome would have bee
n different our world may be a different place. I guess you will have to take the tour to find out. He also told us of the connection between Kinsale and the book “Robinson Crusoe”. The history continues…
The story of Robinson Crusoe was written by Daniel Defoe, who came to Kinsale in autumn 1690 as a junior figure in John Churchill’s expeditionary force to capture the harbours of
The story is based on the experiences of Selkirk, a seaman from Fife in Scotland who sailed from Kinsale in September 1703 aboard a ship, CINQUEPORTS, which was paired with another, The GEORGE, in a Pioneering venture financed in part by a local merchant Edward Southwell.
Seamen like Selkirk aboard theses ships were never paid salary or benefit but rather failures were encountered worked “on percentage” of the prospective spoils, a system which worked well when the spoils were taken but the reverse when failures were encountered.
The story of Robinson Crusoe can be explained by the fact the following about two years of hard life at sea Selkirk’s ship had come up with almost nothing. He quarreled with the captain and abandoned the enterprise at a small island off the coast of
The character Man Friday is based on the real experiences of another individual who was also abandoned on Juan Hernandez, but 10 years before Selkirk and in completely different circumstances. He was a South American Indian who was named `Willie ` by his ship mates. He was, apparently, a skilful hunter and so when his ship came to the island to replenish its water supplies, the shipmates told Willie not to bother with the water but to go up in to the hills and hunt for some game instead. All was going fine until a look out spotted Spanish sails on the horizon. They had to flee the island and there was no time for Willie to get back to the ship. He probably saw the ship leaving the island without him on it. Willie was rescued off the island a few years later by another ship calling there for water.So, the two principal characters in Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe were both real people and were both indeed abandoned on the island but not at the same time. Willie was off the island about 6 years before Selkirk arrived. Defoe met up with Selkirk at
n the two men’s time on the island but shuffled the dates to make a better story. Willie was named Man Friday in the novel as it was the day on which Crusoe found him.
Okay, enough history, but as you can see the tour was very inter
esting if you like that sort of thing. I really do and enjoyed it a lot. It was at least 2 hours or more.
Also, Kinsale is guarded by two English Star Forts.
Charles Fort is one of the finest surviving examples of a 17th Century star-shaped fort, and much of the construction begun in 1678 remains. The fort has two enormous bastions overlooking the estuary, and three facing inland. Within its walls were all the barracks and ancillary facilities to support the fort's garrison. The fort continued in military use until 1922.
James Fort holds a commanding position directly across the harbour mouth from Charles Fort. Together, these forts guarded the narrow harbour entrance. Work began on the construction of James Fort in 1602. It was completed in 1607 and was captured in 1690 by Williamite forces. It has undergone much alteration in the intervening centuries. Lots to see in Kinsale, worth spending several days here, but alas we are on our way the next day.
OCEAN VIEWS, BLUE SKIES AND A LONG WAY TO
Next stop after Kinsale is Dingle. I had big plans to stop in
The drive was long but scenery is beautiful and before long we were seeing peeks of the ocean. We arrived in Dingle and found our B&B, WOW, big, new house overlooking the Bay.
We couldn’t get enough of the view, absolutely gorgeous. Our rooms were nice but the sitting room with a huge
picture window and telescope reminded me of something of a 1930’s movie.
There was a chaise lounge sofa in front of the window and I could have stayed there with a good book forever. We needed to stretch our legs so we walked into Dingle town following along the beach front. Spectacular! Good dinner and a good pub, more music and when we walked home at , felt like it could have been .
After another bountiful Irish breakfast we wanted to do the drive around the Dingle Peninsula, but knew we didn’t want to drive, so we had heard of a tour service the night before and we had the driver of a 8 person mini-van come pick us up in the morning. It was nice to leave the driving to someone else and luckily for us the day was magnificent. Sunny, blue skies, white fluffy clouds and the ocean with all its myriad of colors spread out before us.
The road is tricky (as you will see by the picture) but there are stopping points along the way for picture taking and admiring the view. We stopped and some of us went down to the beach and put their feet in the cold, cold ocean. Along the way one of the stops was at a few cottages along the side that were Famine Era Cottages (or perhaps replicas?) of stone cabins showing what people ended up in before they were really out in the cold. Very sad, but gave you a sense of the hardships they endured.
Dingle Penisula was a wonderful ride, much less crowded than the Ring of Kerry ride, which most of the tour buses travel. This was better, I think.
A HORSE FOLLOWED ME HOME
After our fantastic ride, the blitz continued and we had to head off for our last stop for a couple days, Doolin. This is up in
We decided today to use public transportation instead of driving anymore. There was a bus that stopped in Doolin and a couple of us went to the
Next day was our last day of sight-seeing and we had to get from the west coast of