It is always fun and exciting expanding the family tree. I have talked with cousins from around the world, from Australia to Germany. That is often thanks to this very blog. People find my notes on so-and-so, and then write to me.
According to 23 and Me, the origins of my DNA trace back to Germany, Britain, Ireland, and Poland. I’ve always wondered about multiculturalism in my great-grandparents homeland. They were Germans. But their community was diverse. The main town in the region, Bütow, had a majority German population, but from 35 to 40 percent Polish and … Continue reading My ancestors were primarily British & German. But I also have some Polish & Irish in me. You can learn a lot from your DNA.
ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏᚱ ᚴᚢᚾᚢᚴᛦ ‘King Harald’ in runic script On the shores of an island in northern Germany, surrounded by the waters of the Baltic Sea, amateur archaeologists recently discovered a horde of artifacts directly related to King Harald, otherwise known as Harald Bluetooth. The find suggests that the treasure may have been buried in the late … Continue reading I should learn more about Harald Bluetooth, first king of the Danes
I am trying to sort out the various people with the surname Schanofski and its numerous variations — Szanowski, Scharnofski, Scharnowski, Czarnowski — who lived in the same vicinity as my ancestors. Is the Anne mentioned in the birth record of my great-great grandmother, Marie Schanofski, the Anna who married Johann Scharnofski? Anna, maiden name … Continue reading So who is Anne (or Ann)?
The Beginning of the End I’ve been looking through books on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, the first time the Nazis targeted Jews — their shops, their homes, their synagogues — en masse. That was 1938. Four years later, the horror of the Holocaust was in full swing. I have been trying to get … Continue reading November 1942
In my pursuit of learning more about the family history, I discovered the names of three siblings — three brothers — of my great grandfather, a farmer born in Prussia who settled in South Dakota named Albert Fromke, which for some reason had been lost and not been passed down. Just discovered more siblings of my … Continue reading The Missing Fromke Brothers | Friedrich Wilhelm, Carl August & Emil Gustav
I wasn’t sure I’d ever find more information than what had been collected before me. I began asking questions and taking notes on the family history in 1989, my first year of high school. But the only info my mother had on her father’s grandparents were their names, and one was misspelled. My maternal grandmother … Continue reading Fantastic! Discovering details on my great-great grandmother.
One of my incidental Google searches came up with some wonderful results the other day. Fellow genealogists has been tracking my family. They are probably cousins. They have uploaded details, information lost through the generations, to a genealogy site, geni.com. I’m not familiar with it. I tweeted about my find at the time. Someone has … Continue reading Since 1989, I’ve been hunting for this information. Thankfully, I’m not the only one.
I just learned that the town in Germany where my great-great grandparents married in 1880 did indeed have a synagogue, which was destroyed in 1938 during Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, when the Nazis encouraged people to target the Jews after the assassination of the German ambassador in Paris. I am hoping to learn … Continue reading I’ve been wondering. I’ve been trying to learn more about the Jews in my ancestors’ neighborhood. ✡
A brief post I wrote five years ago about a serial killer in Poland attracted an amazing amount of attention this Halloween. I’m not sure why, but my blog hasn’t had that much traffic in a very long time. The only reason I wrote about the man is because he hails from the town where … Continue reading Five Years Past