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.