Sunday, July 13, 2014

An outsider looking in...

I am part Luxembourger. In the US, that makes me Luxembourg-American.
    But like who were raised outside of central Iowa, I have almost no connection to Luxembourger culture. Why? My Luxembourger ancestor married German. Their child married an American born child of another heritage. Everything said and done, I am only 1/8th Luxembourger. The rest is a mixture of other American cultures, including Irish and colonial New England. And the Luxembourger history - minus a few random references to Black Peter - disappeared in the mix.

   Where does that leave me? Sometimes a little bit lost. I find the heritage of my Luxembourger ancestor fascinating. But it is extremely difficult to learn about what his daily life was like before he immigrated to the United States. I haven't been able to find any good books about Luxembourger culture. And where I'm located (New England), the other resources - like Luxembourg-American cultural societies - are not easily accessible. I know two words of Luxembourgish. Ironically, as an American trained French-speaker, I feel like I know a lot about my French-Canadian ancestor's daily life. I wish I had that knowledge of my Luxembourger ancestor.

    I would love to learn more. More about my ancestor's life. More about my past. Maybe even Luxembourgish. But how do I start?

Friday, January 31, 2014

John Theison of Meriden

One of my ongoing interests in Luxembourger genealogy is the community in Meriden, Connecticut. Every so often I'm able to turn up another reference to that community - often by looking for people who list their nationality as German on the census.
 The 1900 census lists John and Johanna Theison as natives of Germany. John is 66; Johanna is 62. John's family, like other Luxembourger families in Meriden, are factory workers. I can't find either on the 1880 census. Which makes me wonder - were they Luxembourger and where did they come from?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolution Time

  I've learned a few things in terms of my research into Luxembourg-American genealogy this year.
1) There just aren't any courses. There are some good webpages online, but after you exhaust those, the only way to learn is to do research. There are experienced researchers who can help with this.
2) If you're like most Luxembourg-American families, you exhaust your ability to online research after about three generations. If your ancestor came over in the 1820s, you can only research one ancestor in Luxembourg- the earliest available records are from the 1790s.
3) You probably will need to be able to learn to read French and German. Your family's records could be in either language.

So my resolutions are as follows:
1) Organize my research on my own family. This will mean starting with my most recent Luxembourg ancestor and working backwards... This may take awhile
2) Convince my local library to become an FHL branch so I can order the earlier records!
3) Look for a course in either Luxembourger or German, so I can learn more about my heritage.

What are your resolutions?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Latest Resources in Luxembourg research?

  I've spent the last few days playing catch-up with my Luxembourger research. And it's made me curious. What new resources are available for Luxembourger research? What are your favorite resources? What do you suggest to a "newbie?"

Friday, August 2, 2013

Follow Friday: The Mill

  Have you ever thought of writing your family history through the life of their home? This kind of history is called "house history." Usually it's written about the site, rather than the family. In short, if the home changes hands - the story changes topic.
  Jim Heckenbach follows both the site and his own family in his article " The Mill at Boulaide, Luxembourg, and the SCHLEICH, SPARTZ, SCHUlLER, BIERCHEN, MICHELA, and Nilles Families."  His grandmother was born in the old mill, and the story intrigued Heckenbach. He begins by providing the history of the site. Using old maps, he places the mill in the history of the royal holdings on the edge of modern day Luxembourg.
   The mill was sold into private hands at the end of the 18th century - and that's where its modern story begins. Era after era, Heckenbach is able to take the old mill into the post-World War II era. Definitely a good read.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Follow Friday:Kahn Family Genealogy

   I admire the families who work across borders to share their family history. The effort requires not only good personal research but also communication skills. You have to stay organized- and not duplicate each other's efforts.
   The Kahn family is just starting their work. Most members are based out of Canada or the United Kingdom, but their tree expands across most of Europe. Right now, the site functions around profile posts. Arthur Kahn, a native of Paris, is one of those profiled. A short biography provides his birth, death, and work information.  If you're at all related, the site is worth a look.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Luxembourger families stay together

  So believe it or not, I finally found one of my missing ancestor's graves. She's buried with her sister's family. Lesson learned - look for all Luxembourger families in the area before giving up. Your ancestor may be buried with a relative.