I’m probably ¾ German and ¼ Irish with a little Swiss in there. My maternal grandfather’s family came from Southern Germany, the Bavaria area. My father’s family came from Northern Germany, north of Berlin. I got to visit both of those places. I did all kinds of research beforehand. I had all the maps; knew where I wanted to go. 6 girlfriends of mine and me did a 13 day tour in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. But I said, if I’m going to be over there I’m going to stay an extra 13 days and visit all of these places my family came from. I was about the only one that knew where my relatives had come from. So they kind of had to follow me. This is where I want to go, and I’m driving! I think we put about 5,000 miles on the car. I didn’t get to visit all of the places. They were all very rural. You just don’t get the same feel of finding your roots in a big city. When you go to the small cities everybody’s friendly, even if they can’t speak the same language.
We were north of Berlin visiting this little town. I think it was just a farm, but there was a church and some other buildings. I was out taking pictures and this man came out of this house and looked around like, what are you doing? I took my family book over to talk to him and mentioned our last name. He couldn’t speak English but he looked at my information. He’d write on his mailbox; he was 76 and his wife had died. We visited with him for quite a while. He wanted a picture with us at the end!
My maternal grandfather’s mother came from Switzerland. So that’s where Swiss comes in. Then my mother’s grandfather came from Ireland. I haven’t visited Ireland yet.