Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I hail from a tiny town in Bavaria...

I guess I've always been aware of this but it's striking me now, in particular, as I'm looking into the Stutzmann branch of my tree, that while my background is diverse and taken as a whole, I come from all over, from general areas like "Germany" or "Western Europe," that each of my individual branches come from specific localities and in many cases, from a single town, for many generations back.

I guess it's like over here, on Long Island, I'm not just from New York or Long Island, I'm from Freeport. My family is from Freeport. For generations back, my family is from Freeport and if you go far enough back, I can claim the whole village as relations.

So, I'm looking at the Stutzmanns, my father's mother's family, who I've always known are from a tiny town in Bavaria called Grossbockenheim. Grossbockenheim doesn't exist anymore, having merged with nearby neighbor "Little Bockenheim" to form just the regular town of Bockenheim, but looking at this particular branch, it's striking me that the Stutzmanns are really from there. Their fathers and mothers, their grandparents, their cousins, their great-grandparents. Each of my ancestors married someone else from the town, as their parents did before and their children would do after. Everyone was married in the same church and the cemeteries there are probably filled with my relatives, both near and distant. Grossbockenheim is full of Stutzmann history, and the Stutzmanns are intregal to Grossbockenheim history. Ah, the intertwining of genealogy and history yet again. It's just so exciting. And finding all of this out really makes me want to go there and see where the Stutzmanns hail from, to walk where they walked, to breathe the air they breathed. And then repeat with all the other branches of my tree :)

Just as an added note, I have always felt that, Raynor American-English colonial research aside, that I would have the most genealogical success with my German roots, and it appears, at least from the FamilySearch website, that they did in fact keep meticulous, detailed, and organized records. So it seems that while I very much identify with my Irish roots, that I may in fact be much more German in personality than I originally thought...

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