Tagged: German influence

German Dolls Come to America

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Early German Dolls Did you know that the majority of 19th century dolls were made in Germany? I didn’t. But there’s a good reason they were so follow along and I’ll explain why. The prolific German doll making industry began more than 400 years ago. Early dolls were made of wood, taking advantage of the country’s dense […]

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Tracking the Separatists in Germany: Last Stop: Prison, Penitentiary, and Punishment

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Continuing the saga of the German Separatists, our small group of Americans traveled deeper into the German countryside to explore the darker side of the Separatists’ experiences. And their bravery. As Wuerrttemberg historian Dr. Eberhard Fritz explains, the Separatists ignored increasing threats from authorities to return to church or suffer the consequences. On Christmas Day 1803, eleven Separatist […]

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Blog Posts Translated into German!

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This is so exciting! Peter Bachteler, who lives in my ancestor’s hometown in Germany, Merklingen, is tranlating my blog posts into German! If you remember your high school German, try your hand at this. Otherwise, just enjoy the novelty. Here’s one about our visit in the town: Auf den Spuren  der Separatisten in Deutschland: Erster Halt: Merklingen […]

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Americans Look for Traces of Their Fathers

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This article appeared in the Schwaebishe, Germany paper on September 21, 2012. Note the translation reflects the way German sentences are constructed. MERKLINGEN / cm A dozen people from Zoar in the State of Ohio in the United States on their visit to Germany on Thursday Merklingen paid a visit to find out about the founder of […]

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Following in My Ancestors’ Footsteps

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Soon I start on a trip to follow in the steps of my ancestors—across the ocean (albeit by plane) and dropping down in Munich. Then we (12 of us interested in Separatist history) travel by bus (not on foot as they did) to Ulm and on to Merklingen where Joseph and his brothers and sister were born—on […]

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Travel in Early 19th Century America

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Pride in America loomed large in the 19th century. A revolution had freed men (not women, not blacks) from England’s yoke. In 1829 Andrew Jackson was elected by popular vote, ushering in an era when all common men realized they could become president. Ambition and open land beckoned to foster westward migration. It seemed that […]

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Do You Have German Ancestors, too?

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Does your ancestry include relatives who were born in Germany? Probably.  The majority of Americans have some German ancestors, but sometimes we’re reluctant to admit it. Two devastating wars forced German-Americans to Anglicize their names and deny their heritage. But we do a disservice to our distant relatives who were adventurous enough to come to America […]

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My 3rd Great Grandfather–the Hapless Peter

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If you read last week’s blog, you know that Joseph Bimeler escaped from religious persecution in Germany to lead a beleaguered band of believers to America in 1817. A widower of ten years, he left a fourteen-year-old  daughter behind but brought his thirteen-year-old son, Peter with him.  Johann Peter Bimeler Born 7 March 1804 Known as Peter, […]

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Tracing My Family History–One Ancestor at a Time

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A few days ago I was interviewed for David’s Booktalk. After hearing about my family history and its relationship to my stories, David asked if I’d put my family history on my website. I agreed. Thinking about various traits in my distant relations I’ve uncovered in historical records, I marvel at how many of my ancestor’s traits I’ve seen revealed […]

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Old-Time German Christmas Treats

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Want a taste of old-time Christmas treats? Try these two that were made in the 19th century German village of Zoar, Ohio, where, by the way, my story is set! Ginger Christmas Cookies (Ingwer Kuchelchen) 1 lb. soft brown sugar 1 lb. butter 1 qt. molasses 1 3/4 lbs. flour (more if needed) 1 1/2 tablespoons […]

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