My aunt gave me a memory stick with all the genealogy stuff she has collected.
I have more information about my dad’s aunts and uncles and his cousins. You’d think my dad would know them, but his dad was the youngest of 10 children and never even met some of his own siblings.
According to my great-grandma, her mother was a “weird woman”.
My great-grandma’s father Georg first went to the US in 1903 to work as a carpenter. He returned to Romania in 1910, where he was drafted and fought in World War I as a sergeant. He married in 1912 and had six children but only three of them - Mathilde, my great-grandma Anna and Frieda - survived. In 1924 he returned to the US, first working as a waiter in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC, then as a barkeeper in a Saxon bar. He only visited his family once a year. In NYC, he lived together with a woman but they were not married and it is unknown if they had any children together. Actually he wanted to return to Romania in 1936, but he fell ill and died in a hospital in New York City.
My great-grandma’s maiden name was very common in the village they lived in. There even was a judge with that name in 1580.
My great-grandma’s sister Mathilde (called Tilly) fled to Austria with her husband, her two children, and my great-grandma in 1945 because the Red Army deported Transylvanian Saxons. My great-grandma returned to Romania because she wanted to see her husband again, but he was deported to Stalino (now
Donetsk in Ukraine) where he died in 1948. She never saw him again. One of Tilly’s daughters was at her grandparents while her parents fled and came to Austria 14 years later.
My great-grandma’s uncle Christian met his wife on the ship to America. He had red hair and worked as a machinist.
There were even more pictures and records of Christian, but a lot of them were lost during the 2007 California wildfires.
I thought Christian changed his last name voluntarily, but as it turns out the Americans ™ didn’t know how to spell it and he just went with that misspelling.
Illustration by Thomas McIlvaine from the 1903 book, The Sociable Ghost. Being the adventures of a reporter who was invited by the sociable ghost to a grand banquet, ball, and convention under the ground of Old Trinity churchyard. A true tale of the things he saw and did not see while he was not there.