|We made a mad dash today for two towns in the north of Germany to complete our hat trick of ancestral villages visited. Several of John's ancestors came from villages around the town of Osnabrück. Our first stop was Dissen, home of the Kicker family. We explored the town for a few minutes (a few was all it took) then ate Greek food - yes, Greek food. I see a pattern developing. When we were in the small village of Tobercurry, Ireland we ate Indian food. When we finally get to visit the Russian village where my mother's family lived, maybe we can get a burrito.
We spent the night in Osnabrück, an attractive university town that has very few choices in accomodations. For the first time on this trip, we had trouble finding a place to stay, not because every inn was full, but because we had trouble FINDING a place to stay. In the morning, we drove about 30 km to another area to visit the small towns of Damme, Osterfeine, and Bergfeine - Meyrose territory. Damme was the hub town; it has had a church for a long time and is where the Meyroses were baptized, married, and buried. The other two villages, Osterfeine and Bergfeine, where the Meyroses actually lived, were cute little farming communities. Any doubts about the dominant industry in the area were quickly erased after a good inhale. The fields were being prepared for planting with a fresh coat of, um, crap of some kind.
Earlier in the trip, we drove through Kohlberg, a village just south of Stuttgart and home of my Wohlfarth ancestors. A few years ago, I researched the Wohlfarths extensively and traced several branches back to the 1600s. I am probably related to every single person who lives in town! Kohlberg is situated in a striking hilltop location with expansive views of the surrounding area. We stopped to walk around the church, which had a memorial to families who I think helped rebuild it at some time in the past. It included every family name I am related to, except Wohlfarth. Like every other village we have seen in Germany, the homes are well-maintained and the streets clean, unlike so many small towns back home.
A quick note on the cemeteries. From the picture of the Dissen cemetery, you may notice that it is unlike any cemetery here. Families maintain the burial plots as small parks, landscaping them with evergreens, annuals, and other flowering plants. If no family members remain in the area to maintain the plots, after 10 years or so they are re-sold to a new family and a new headstone is placed. Unfortunately for future genealogists, the more contemporary headstones only have a family name on them; they usually do not list the names of individual family members and dates of birth and death.