Thursday, April 13, 2006

Grass- lots of it!

Nearby Gunnersbury Park has more grass than all of Paris city's parks combined, which is wonderful for Bondi's feet. I've also just started him on a new course of cartrophen for his joints, as that treatment is not available in France.

This week I've been taking a table at Munson's on Ealing Road for coffee each day and going over a week of my French class notes each session. The guys there have been very welcoming and it's been interesting meeting readers of this blog introduced via their website.

Other than that I've mainly been busy with housekeeping tasks such as sorting out clothes, books, and maps accumulated and intermingled over the last 10 months or so of travel.
There has been a bit of activity on the family-tree front as well. I've been corresponding with a lady in Australia who shares a common immigrant ancestor of German birth. Her late father tracked many of their family lines back as much as 800 years. She has shared some of the information with me: mostly families living in villages south of Magdeburg, (in Saxony-Anhalt, more recently in East Germany) such as Staßfurt, Friedrichsaue and Förderstedt.

Her father's notes from a visit to distant relatives in Germany include this detail:
On the more general question of the route my great-grandparents would have taken to migrate from Germany to Australia, Rudolph... told me that in 1849 there was a train running from Stendhal, about 80 km north of Stassfurt, which was known as Der Auswanderer Zug (the migrant train) which went all the way to Bremerhafen, from where the ship “Pauline” took them to South Australia. In May 2001, Lisa ... showed me the single track line just north of Uelzen called the “America Line” which she said took migrants from Berlin via Magdeburg to Bremerhafen. The Kühne family would have travelled on that line.
I've also had a few death certificates for relatives off my patrilineal line in Wales, the most recent of whom died in 1930 and gives some promise of locating living relatives. I occasionally get email from guys who share a DNA link unearthed via programs like Family Tree DNA, but they are usually descendants of Welshfolk who emigrated to the USA over 300 years ago. I am barely reaching beyond 200 years in my researches through Wales, so there is no paper trail to connect me with these distant living relatives.

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