Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CVGS Member Travel Stories - Myrna Goodwin

Germany – April/May 2011 – by Myrna Beach Goodwin, © 2012

In the spring of 2011, my husband and I, along with my first cousin, Donna, took a wonderful trip to Hesse, Germany, where Donna’s and my grandfather, John Born, emigrated from in 1892.  Our grandfather’s older brother inherited the family property and remained in Todenhausen, Germany.  We went to meet our 2nd cousin, Helga Kahl.  While there we toured the house where our grandfather was born, visited his elementary school, and went to his church.  A friend of Helga’s helped us locate church birth and marriage documents.  We also met descendents of our grandfather’s mother’s family in the small town of Hermershausen and they helped with church records as well.

After several days in Todenhausen, we drove to the village of Aua where our grandmother’s father, John Bechstein, came from in 1855.  Although we did not have a contact person, everyone in Aua pointed out the “Bechstein” home, so we knocked on the door.  We met the current Bechstein family. They took us to the Aua church and cemetery and even though their English was limited, we got basic information to help with future research.

 Our final stop was Bad Hersfeld where our grandmother’s mother, Henrietta (Kolbe) Bechstein emigrated from in 1857.  We walked past the old Kolbe home in the city center and visited their church built in the 14th century.  The church documents for the Kolbe family had been obtained by others in 2005, so we just enjoyed visiting the area.

Meeting family, finding records and walking the streets of these villages made for an amazing trip.

[Editor's note: This is a series of “genealogy travel and research” articles submitted by our members.]

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