Cousin meets cousin. Mission family reunion successfully completed ;) #genealogy
— Barbara Schmidt (@BarbFFm) September 23, 2014
That was my tweet the next day following traveling with my Dad up north a bit from Lübeck to Fockbek to meet his cousin.
But let me tell you the story.
It was back in May 2014 that I found one of those shaky leaves on ancestry.de showing me that someone else had information on my paternal SCHMIDT line on his family tree.
I contacted the owner of the other tree and the same day I got a response which really surprised me… and of which I was very happy about. Günter (that’s his name) was married to the cousin of my Dad’s cousin wife.
Still following me? C’mon, for a genealogist, that is a piece of cake ;) So we mailed back and forth and he told me that he even had my Dad’s uncle’s “Ahnenpass”.
Of course I asked him, if he could provide me with a copy. He went back to Peter, my Dad’s cousin and came back with some very detailed questions for me to answer. To make sure that I really was who I told I was. Understandable, since otherwise everyone can come up and ask.
So, a few days later he sent me a copy of this Ahnenpass and instantly my family tree grew by a few generations.
The detailed story about that can be read here: http://schmidtbarbara.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/what-a-beautiful-day/
Again a while later I asked Günter if he had an email adress from Peter. I wanted to personally thank him for allowing me to get the copy.
And again some days down the road I finally managed to send this email. It took Christiane, his wife only a couple of days to reply. We had a very nice email conversation and curious me I asked her if she would be interested in reunioning the both cousins. In the meantime we actually found out when was the last time the two met: It was the funeral of their grandmother in 1972 – 42 years ago! And since Christiane was as curious as I was we had quickly set a date for two weeks ahead.
Correction: my Dad didn’t meet his cousin for over 50 years but “only” 43 ;) on Tuesday we gonna change that #genealogy sooo exited ;)
— Barbara Schmidt (@BarbFFm) September 19, 2014
Watch out for my typo on twitter ;)
That day I packed my Dad and our dog into the car, I was the driver and we took the short drive up north – about 90 minutes.
Christiane was already standing in the frontyard to wait for us. She was as exited as I was. And the two cousins? Well, typical northern German Schmidts I would say. The greeting was rather short… guys, I would have expected some more emotions, please? But well, knowing my Dad, then again I wouldn’t. Not that he is not emotional and not that they were not happy to see each other again – but like I said: typical Northern German ;)
But soon the chatting started. After a while I just told my Dad that he must be lucky to speak lower German again. Which he doesn’t use back home that much, since my Mom doesn’t really understands it.
I was prepared of course and brought my memory – meaning my iPad. Peter and Christiane took out the photobox and we took pictures from everything. They even gave us some pictures they had duplicates from. Inbetween I just put the iPhone on the table, recording everything.
It got really emotional when Christiane read out loud the letters with which Peter’s Mom got informed of the death of her husband in WWII.
What a coincidence that during our stay my Dad received two phonecalls from one of his brothers and his sister. Of course we used that instantly to clear some names and dates.
7 (in words: SEVEN!!) hours later, following lots of chattering, laughter, a long walk in the neighbourhood, great food and some hidden tears I packed my Dad and the dog again in the car – we had a big good bye and I am sure this was not the last time we met! I am very happy that my family got bigger again that day!
And now I have a lot of pictures to sort, letters and recordings to transcribe, etc.