I contacted my cousin Nancy Romsek McCarthy to see if she had information on the location from which our grandparents immigrated. She put me in touch with another relative, Patricia Wagner who had been doing research. I actually have a village name for the first time.
My mother’s maiden name was Doneth. My mother told us we came from the Alsace region which borders France and Germany, and we were half French half German. Now part of France, the area has been heavily contested between Germany and France for years. So the border changed from one country or the other for hundreds of years.
My father was Murrell Schuller. Certainly a German name. We were told we were half French half German on his side also. One of my cousins contacted me last week to say it was her understanding that the family was from the Alsace region.
So both the Doneth and Schuller families came from the same region. Mom’s family settled in Michigan, Dad’s in Arkansas. They met in Michigan while Dad was serving in the Navy.
We cut our stay with Thomas and Rike short a day so that we could drive to Ettersdorf. It was about a four hour drive.
Beautiful pastoral scenery, it was easy to imagine our ancestors walking on the twisting cobblestone streets. Were they potato farmers as they were in Michigan? Did they own one of the farms with the huge barns and huge draft horses?
They looked at the same hills and green valley I was seeing as I stood there in the rain taking pictures.