Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Exploring My Heritage: Germany

Time for a confession: I'm a huge genealogy dweeb.  I have traced parts my family tree, with some help of one of my cousins, all the way back to BC. I've been interested in it since I was a child. At school there would be some kid saying that he was from England or Africa or Canada or was mostly Native American and so on and so on. I would come home and ask my mom, "Where is our family from?" She would simply reply with "Everywhere." To me as a child, this was fascinating. As an adult, I have discovered that our family really does come from all over the world. I'm a mixing pot of different cultures, countries, and famous names.

One of the things that my grandma (who my husband endearingly calls the mob boss of the family) loves to remind us all is that her family came from Germany. I have (so far) traced back her lineage to my great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandpa, Johannes Reidinger. Yeah, that's seven greats. It was Johannes's son, Stephen Reidinger Sr, who was the first of my Ridinger (the name changed along the line) ancestors to cross to America. He landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship "Adventure".  Though my grandma has it set in her head that our family landed on Ellis Island. Ellis is apparently a family name amongst the Ridinger's and she has been putting pressure on all of us grandchildren to keep it going to remember where we landed...but we didn't even land there. Cue dramatic eye roll.

I get requests a few times a year to assist other genealogy dweebs work on their trees. I seem to be able to find things that other people can't. It's a gift, I guess. Today, for instance, I checked my genealogy email for the first time in a few months and I have three new requests for research and pictures. I better get searching!

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