While Trump claimed he had been vindicated – and therefore his Russian headache and cloud had lifted (fake news and alternative facts, as usual) … While Theresa May had created a big, huge, enormous splitting headache – for herself, her party, plenty voters who had supported her … I accidentally hit upon a very bad idea.
Bored with trying to figure out why Trump always picks folks with Russian interests and ties for any job he wants done, like his lawyer. Fairly content Trotskyist Jeremy Corbyn had lost the UK election … I hit upon the idea, to have a look at my family tree.
Sounds boring enough. It’s more of a hobby for OAPs with one foot in the grave. Nevertheless, like many families, mine has these stories as well as numerous secrets and skeletons in cupboards. Admit it: fascinating stuff for aspiring detectives and wannabe thriller-writers.
So after hitting upon an article with about fifty free sites, I had a go. Friday just after noon, I started with the free research site offered by the Mormons. Friday afternoon, the trail petered out in 19th century Roubaix.
As the Mormons are somewhere in Utah, it came as no surprise their site might have problems with France, Belgium, Flemish, Wallonia and shifting borders. Trying to uncover traces before Roubaix, did show that French and Flemish names, births, deaths, idioms, phrases, can be a challenge.
However, France fitted with some oral family stories. But after reading up on 19th century history of the area: why migrate from a booming region? Whatever: I was hooked on the detective work.
A few generations after Roubaix, part of the family apparently opted to not just head north but branch off west. Some relatives cropped up in Ellis Island migration ledgers.
It came as no surprise. Family stories abound of various branches uprooting and resettling all over the world. The US is just one of these.
Focusing on the main line, I opted for a different approach and website the next day. It turned out Roubaix was not the main trunk. Using dates, places, names of my-generation-one-back, the new website came up with different links, dates, places.
Something had happened to the family name in the 19th century. With Napoleon and all that, it came as no surprise. More fascinating: the main trunk now ended halfway down the 18th century – in Germany.
No his- nor her-story had ever mentioned Germany. But a large part of the 20th century, any ties to the country were of course suspect, bad, best forgotten, if not totally obliterated.
Germany, but not a place or region I fancy. I love where my friends live: castles, beer, wine, good food, loads of lovely folks, rich culture, rich history. What more can one wish for? A look at Wiki and the region and town where his-story petered out did not fit what I wished for.
Too bad her-story was deemed uninteresting and was so seldom jotted down. I totally agree with Jane Austen, that “… The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all — it is very tiresome …“. History has not enough women in it.
Yet, like Jane, I read up on what was one of those German mini-states. Napoleon did away with most of these, though Josephine’s son ensured his family and state were safe from too many axings and annexations – for a few years. But all the wars and mergers and annexations left a muddle.
There were no reports about outstanding regional wines, delicatessen, beer, Kaffee und Kuchen either. Perhaps that was why the family had migrated? Meanwhile, Germany kept trundling round and round in my brain – on the back-burner.
Then, all of a sudden, a connection erupted behind my eye-balls.
Uh? Uh! It wasn’t true? Of course, I had just read a biography.
That family originated from Germany too!
It remains highly unlikely, but imagine, just imagine …. Imagine to be related – though very, very distantly (it certainly can’t be distant enough) – to Trump!
You are aware part of his family comes from the Scottish Hebrides? You know the families migrated to America? You are aware Herr Drumpff’s other part of the family tree goes back to Germany?
Fortunately, his and my German family names are miles apart. His and my German family come from different regions. But just imagine the splitting headache the idea alone caused me, over the weekend.