I watch genealogy tv shows like people watch sports. I’m yelling “Do the DNA tests! Take their spit!” at screen-Henry Louis Gates Jr. I’m so excited. While tracing one’s family can be totally privileged– money, war, genocide and more can sever branches– it’s utterly fascinating how these genealogists can find such information, know where to look, put it in historical context, etc.
I’ve really no idea if I’ll ever be able to know anything about my own Filipino side further than my great-grandparents’ mere names, so the focus of this post is thinking about how cool it’d be to be able to visit some of the places from whence my dad’s side came.
My dad’s side has always been rather ambiguous. On his mother’s side, a record will say someone is from Romania; one will say Hungary. This is because of the various disputes that weren’t World Wars and them changing boundaries. Still, most documents list nationality and not ethnic group, so people could’ve very well have been German even though they weren’t born there.
And since it looks like my dad’s paternal side is, if anyone isn’t satisfied with “white” then I’ll identify as “German-ish?” and make this face ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Some family might be from other little towns like Ieca Mica, Dudeștii Noi, and even Međa, Serbia, but Uivar, Romania seems to be a hub. It’s actually quite exciting to see this cemetery on Google Maps because a one) uh, I can travel roads thousands of miles away from my computer and two) a distant relative actually has a picture of from when he visited.
My great^3 grandfather is reportedly from Hamburg, Germany. While small towns might have that authentic feel, I’d definitely want to visit the regular tourist stuff! Kunsthalle is Germany’s largest art museum. The city is on the Elbe, so that’s probably picturesque, and their parks are beautiful too. I’d have to visit Neuengamme as well.
I’ve an great-great grandfather whose last name is Zunz. A cousin of a cousin (or some other far off relation) who considers herself an “armchair genealogist” put together a little book on her findings of the family. She found someone with an identical name from a Jewish collection in Dettelbach. We haven’t for sure connected them, so I’d love find out if there are any collections one would have to physically search that would help.
Additionally, look at this church! I want to visit the churches of Uivar and Hamburg too, but Wallfahrtskirche Maria im Sand is extravagant.
Have you ever been to any of these places? What did you do? What else should I see?