Family Tree Tour reps Kathy and Matthias have found people in both Germany and Switzerland who are willing to do some research on my family and also meet with me when I arrive. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the volunteer in Insheim is looking for my Metz family records. He will also accompany me to Steinweiler where my fourth great-grandmother was from, though she married my fourth great-grandfather Andreas Mez in Insheim in 1777. The volunteer sent an email with a document about this couple, which lists 10 additional children that my cousins and I did not know about! It was in German, so I ran it through a translating program in Gmail. I got a chuckle out of the fact that the program translated Apolonia Schwein to Apolonia Pig. Somehow, I don't think she would have appreciated that!
Meanwhile down in Switzerland, volunteer Rolf has been a busy bee! He has taken photos of over 400 documents to share with me. Wow! But perhaps even more exciting is the fact that he has contacted 25 members of the Kubler family in the area, and they want to have a family meeting with me. This is so above and beyond anything I could have imagined! We are still working out the logistics, but I believe I will leave my tour group in Boppard, Germany and take a train to Busserach on a Thursday. I have no concept of how long that will take by train, but it looks like it is about four hours by car. Then on Friday Rolf and I will go to the research center together and look at records, and Saturday will be the family gathering where we will talk about what we have found. At this point I am not sure if I will take the train to Speyer, Germany to meet up with my group on Saturday night, or if I can stay until Sunday. Currently I am scheduled to go to Insheim on Sunday to meet with the volunteer there, but Matthias is checking to see if we could do it on Monday instead.
Near Busserach is an inn called Gastof zum Kreuz where I hope to stay. My ancestor in 1854 sold his house and his land to finance his voyage to the United States. He left Switzerland after February 1854 with four children. We are uncertain at this time what happened to his wife. But how amazing would it be to stay at an inn that is part of my ancestor's history?
Yesterday I attended a workshop on writing your family history. While I have written other books, writing about family is another animal altogether. Trying to take dry statistics and turn them into something others will want to read is a challenge indeed. But I have a feeling that after my trip this September I will be able to find a way to make two of the branches come to life.