Monday, January 7, 2013

Stories from Europe - Arrion visits Alsace, France, area

Stories from Europe - Arrion visits Alsace, France, area

Today I am proud to share a story written by my youngest daughter, Arrion Rathsack, who last fall was able to visit one of our ancestor European homelands, with her permission. She and her husband, Ben, took the photos, as well.

"In September 2012, I had the opportunity to visit the Alsace region of France. My great-great-great grandparents Joseph & Beatrix Schmitt were from the region and immigrated to the U.S. along with my Great-Great Grandfather Michael Schmitt born May 16, 1829. I was able to visit the town listed on Michael's birth certificate - Nambsheim. We visited during the fall harvest season and as we approached the town, we were surrounded by corn fields and numerous corn pickers! Very reminiscent of Iowa. Nambsheim is located about 1/2 mile from the Rhine River and the border with Germany. Over the centuries, the area has traded hands between France & Germany. To the west are the Vosges Mountains (and endless grapevines supporting their wine industry.) To the east across the Rhine River is the deep dark Black Forest of Germany (land were many great fairy tales came from!) I knew before I arrived, I would not have specific information about the whereabouts of my ancestors, as they were Tax Collectors and frequently moved from village to village every few years, in addition, their name was very common. They immigrated to the United States in 1845 arriving in New Orleans, LA on June 16, 1845."

We stayed at a B&B in Colmar, France. Visited the Haut-Koenigsbourg, a majestic castle over looking the valley; several villages on the Wine Route; and Triberg, Germany in the Black Forest. I absolutely loved the area and would love to go back and "bike" the wine route."


 Thank you, Arrion, for adding to our family history and genealogy story through your visit, photos, and story!

Families are Forever!  ;-)

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