There has always been an expression in our family about the [Strong German Family Name]* Women in our family. It has something to do with us being stubborn, some might say. However, I prefer to think of it as strong-willed and intelligent.
The first woman in our family tree to come to the United States and marry into that name was my great-grandma, Marianne (see in the red jacket). I remember going to her cottage on a lake, picking fresh berries and drinking the most amazing-tasting and cold well-water I had ever had (funny what memories stay with us). She was a beautiful woman with a huge heart. I’m sure, however, my grandpa (her son) would think of her more as one of those strong women. After all, according to my research, she had 7 siblings. There isn’t much wiggle room with a family that big!
l to r: my grandmother (daughter-in-law to), my great-grandmother, my sister, me, my mom
My great-grandmother and my great-grandfather came to the US via New York from Germany in the 1930s-1940s. It is so cool to be able to pull up their information and see immigration cards, naturalization records and even passenger lists from the boats that got them here. It’s amazing that it was less than 100 years ago and yet it was such a different time!
Even though my grandmother doesn’t share that same last name by birth, she fits the bill perfectly to carry the name by marriage. Maybe it’s because she has quite a few younger siblings?
l to r: N, my mom, baby E, I, me, my grandma
My mom had that last name for quite a bit of her life. She’s definitely lived up to the standards of those strong women! And she still is!
l to r: E, me (with B in the tum), I, my grandma, my grandpa (son of my great-grandma above), N
Of course, yes, I live up to those standards as well. And all of the men in the family know the expression well! Get us all together and it will be uttered or grumbled under clenched teeth at least a couple times a day!
In addition to learning about our strong women, I found it interesting that E’s name pops up quite a few times in branches of our family tree. We had no idea when we were picking out her name that it would have such strong family roots.
Since I started my ancestry.com account, I haven’t closed the tab out on my computer. New hints keep popping up and I’m having a fun time learning more about my family! Also, I’m keeping this on hand for when the girls get older. I felt like every year in school I was recreating my family tree and having to find the information all over again! This will definitely give them a place to start!
*Sure, if people dig hard enough, you’ll find that family name. But, I’m not sure my grandparents and family want it out there, so I’m not including it.
What is something interesting you have learned about your family?