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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Genealogy discovery

I was pretty thrilled over the past week about a major genealogy find for my family, one that opens the door to an entirely new section of research and history.  

To summarize: I've been searching for some time to find more information on a great-great grandparent on my dad's side of the family. He emigrated to the US through NY in 1890 from Switzerland, however, neither Great-Grandma nor my Grandma knew much more than that. He apparently never shared info about his parents nor birthplace/extended family, and no one has been able to locate his citizenship documentation.

A songbook that Grandma shared contained notations about him being "in Glarus" in 1876, so that was a key clue found a few years ago. My initial searches in online databases in Switz didn't find anything and I suspected this might be a dead end. 

This past week, however, I happened to find a website and individual who focuses solely on family genealogy for Glarus, and took a chance sending an email to see if he may have recommendations or information. He was able to find great-grandma's dad's family and more! 

- His family were in Ennenda: https://www.glarusfamilytree.com/kopie-von-riedern

- My first ancestors lived in Saanen, near Gstaad, Switzerland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saanen

- Eventually the family lived in Laufen an der Eyach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laufen_an_der_Eyach

The information and links are absolutely fascinating (the name list in our tree is now over 2700!) The researcher confirmed that we have a direct line to Charlemagne and the links go back even further to BC. Some highlights:

Berengar I, King of Italy (abt 850) - 32nd Great Grandpa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berengar_I_of_Italy)
Mathilde Plantagenet von England (born at Windsor Castle 1156) - 27th Great Grandma (Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony) and daughter of Henry II
Antenor I (abt 483 BC), last king of the Cimmerians (Cimmerians) - 85th Great Grandpa

Some framing info on the noble/royal connections is here: https://www.glarusfamilytree.com/nobility

I'm really looking forward to more research and visiting these towns during upcoming trips to the region.  Genealogy is such a rewarding activity and persistence is required!

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