Family History


Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ve come from. I know that I’m more or less full-blooded German–there’s a German girl at work and it seems strange that we shared the same culture a hundred and fifty years ago. Give or take.

In the back of my head I suppose I always just thought that my family has always had this midwest American culture and for how proud we Americans are of our nationality (especially today, Independence Day), it’s remarkable that we aren’t separated by more than a couple hundred years.

My Grandpa Weber (my dad’s dad) came over for lunch today and I asked him who was the first generation to come from Germany. He said it was his grandpa who came over when he was seventeen. Grandpa’s grandpa pronounced his last name ‘Veber’ (the German pronunciation) and he obviously spoke German. Grandpa’s dad even spoke a little of it but grew up with English as his primary language, and by the time my Grandpa was growing up, he didn’t understand the German but heard them speak it occasionally.

Apparently either my great Grandpa or my great-great Grandpa documented a little of the history and my grandparents have the book. I’m eager to read it.

My great-great Grandpa came from a city in Germany near Trier, along the German-French border (or at least what used to be the German-French border–it’s shifted around a few times so I’m not really sure which border my Grandpa was referring to). Apparently Grandpa toured near that town in WWII, but obviously never stopped to tour the place. On a side note, it is a little ironic that he was fighting against the country from which he descended. Grandpa also visited Germany on a couple of other occasions but I don’t think he ever made it to his grandpa’s town.

After college I kind of want to make a trip to Europe and I want to make it a point to visit there. In the mean time, I want to do a little more research: read that book, look into the records at Ellis Island and see if my great-great grandpa came through there, and then maybe look into the ancestors of the rest of my family (my mom’s great-grandparents and my dad’s mom’s grandparents). Additionally, according to the German girl at work, the German government (because of its historical instability and, until recently, lack of sense of nationality) never kept good records; however, individual communities–specifically churches did keep good records. So there’s a chance that I’ll be able to look up information even beyond my great-great grandpa. And if I go to Europe, I may as well look into my other great-great grandparents if I can find out information about them. I’m excited.


One Response to “Family History”

  1. Life is short, and this article saved vaaublle time on this Earth.

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