Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vous parlez français? Nein,nur ein bischen Deutsch

Amazement. Actually, amazement tinged with synchronicity. Amazement and synchronicity best describe my research status at the moment.

Recent discoveries have re-affirmed my belief that my ancestors in the 1750's lived in the area now known as Luxembourg. I found one link for an ancestor, Margaretha Bach, on familysearch.org. I sent two possibilities to three fingered frank for his take on it.

Then he turned around and checked with his European sources. He was able to track back a few more generations.

Margaretha was born in Bitche, Moselle, Lorraine and she married Johann Nickolaus Herrmann of Luxembourg. Margaretha's parents likely lived in Bettviller. Historians familiar with Moselle Lorraine know this area transitioned back and forth from Germanic to French rule numerous times over the centuries. Further research shows the city of Bettviller lies only a few minutes from Bitsche according to Google maps. Check out this link to see how close these cities are to Germany and Luxembourg. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=bitsche&daddr=bettviller+france&mra=pe&mrcr=0&sll=48.966962,7.684169&sspn=0.824,2.559814&ie=UTF8&ll=49.066219,7.444611&spn=0.102798,0.432587&z=12

So, this small area of roughly 30-50 miles near the current borders of Luxembourg, France, and Germany, was critical to my family history. The border wars and religious shifts no doubt altered my family's lives. I also discovered yesterday the surname Herrmann means Army Man. Coincidence?

My research continues and I gain a whole new respect for the small details and subsequent effects which ripple down through generation to generation. Right now, I am a sponge soaking up all of the information I can find on Luxembourg, Moselle and Lorraine. Somehow, learning French is right around the corner.

2 comments:

Frank said...

It is so exciting when a new name appears in a genealogical searchzqxskw. What I love is learning the occupations. Weaver, Mason, Farmer, etc... I wonder if some of these marriages were for love or arranged to bring ties between families. Especially since some are between different villages. Did the Hermans in Bitsche come from Luxembourg first or was that a branch that had left Moselle to seek fortune elsewhere? It is these questions that make searching family roots. fascintating.

Anna said...

The occupations truly bring the individual to life. I also enjoy videos/pictures of the Alsace countryside. I try to get a sense of what it was like to live in that time. Very humbling but it gives me a feeling of authencity to simply imagine it.