Saturday, September 28, 2019

Europe Trip 2019

Kent and Deborah Gardiner
Ronald and Sandra Blunck


09 Travel day

10 Arrived in Munich and visited Rothenburg. Rothenburg is Germany's best-preserved walled town. 

11  Graben tour and history lesson by Gerd Hartmann. Gerd is a 78 year old retired teacher and principal. Met his wife Doris and he guided us around the town on foot telling us about the early history of Graben where my gg grandfather Philipp Scholl was born February 12, 1825.  It was here Philipp learned the trade of shoemaker, probably in his early teens. He most likely immigrated in 1848.  Seven generations of Scholl's spanning 225 years or at least 17 families lived in Graben, Germany. During the 19th century only 7 percent of the people moved. And if they did their town was still responsible for them if they got into debt in their new area. Gerd spent the whole day with us and presented us with a packet of information on the early history of Graben. 

Church Pastor Ulla Nagel
Tel. 07255 9634
This church is modern but the church the Scholl family went to was on the same spot.

Kirchenstraße, 76676 Graben-Neudorf, German
We meet with the Bürgermeister, or mayor, of Graben, Christian Eheim, who spent an hour with us and presented us with a book on Graben-Neudorf.  A delightful man with a keen awareness of US politics and details about his own community.  In his community, immigrants live in common housing. If they want to work, Graben helps them find jobs, housing, and works them into the local culture. 

12  Visited Speyer and Karlsruhe. In the 1800's Karlsruhe was the seat of government in the nobility area of Baden.  When Philipp Scholl lived there he was subject to Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. In 1848 the middle class, like Philipp Scholl, wanted both freedom and less taxes that were enjoyed in France and the United States.  Freedom was considered a liberal idea.  Leopold was interested in liberal ideas, and granted concessions to his subjects in 1848.  He declined to oppose the revolution which broke down some barriers and forced him to flee from the country. The revolution failed, Philip Scholl emigrated, and Leopold later returned and died in Karlsruhe. Germany didn't become a unified state until 1871.

Leopold Grand Duke of Baden
On 25 July 1819, Leopold married in Karlsruhe his half-grand-niece Sophie of Sweden (21 May 1801 – 6 July 1865). Sophia and Leopold had 8 children.

Marklin Days in Goppingin, Germany. Once a year Marklin puts on a tour of their factory with other related exhibits.  Ron and I saw how they make model train engines, watched coal being shoveled into the boiler, felt the intense coal fired heat in the cab of a steam locomotive and rode the famous Swiss Electric Crocodile locomotive.

Marklin worker testing the sound and functions on new electric locomotives.

14 Traveled to Ottenbach, Switzerland. At least 29 of my ancestors lived in Ottenbach. My g-grandmother, Anna Hegetschweiler, and gg-grandmother, Anna Sidler, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints in Ottenbach and immigrated February 20, 1860 according to the following passport document found in the Zurich Archives. At the time Ottenbach had a thousand people.
Below are their passport entries:

Ariel view of Ottenbach, 2,300 people in 2019. The Reuss river is to the left (not shown).

Video about the River Reuss in Ottenbach

15  Wiliburg, Switzerland  We toured with Patric Jakob, a city official, in Wiliberg and René Rindlisbacher, a local historian. Both were extremely helpful. Patric is second from the left in this photo from the Wiliberg website: 

We met at the Moosersagi Restaurant in Wiliberg which is a few hundred yards from the Bachman home.  It just so happened they had a tractor gathering under a tent across the street from the restaurant that day. We ate with René and Patric. René found an entry from missionary Karl G. Maeser dated September 24, 1867 to Mission President F. D. Richards which said in part, "Late in the evening we reached the house of brother Bachmann at Williberg, Canton Aargau, where we staid over night and started the next morning for Aarau." Maeser, a German, is considered the founder of BYU.

Bachman home, 2019 Photo by René Rindlisbacher

Bachman home, 2019 Photo by René Rindlisbacher

Our group in front of the Bachman barn which has a small gathering room/bar through the open door.  The home is on the right, the barn left and the home is divided as it was originally so two families can live there. 

The civil district for Wiliberg is Bottenwil and the church, or kirche, the Bachman's originally attended is in Reitnau. We visited both. 

Kirche in Reitnau where the Bachman's originally went to church. 

16  Lake Lucerne. Took a day off from family history and enjoyed a beautiful Swiss city. The Reuss River travels from the Alps to Lake Lucerne and passes Ottenbach. 

Bachman's are involved in the lumber and transportation industries.  We discovered Bachmann's making chocolate in Lucerne. 

We loved riding and watching the electric trains. One of the three train stations in Munich handles 450,000 people a day. Munich runs 2,000 trains a day.

The cities of Europe are filled with bikes, bike paths and riders of all ages.

17 Zurich Archives
From the US we made contact with the Zurich Archives and asked for information on Anna Sidler's (my great great grandmother) parents. The archives responded that they found no records.  They added that a frequent patron of the archives, Andreas Sidler, had actually found some which were then forwarded to us prior to our trip. We made email contact with Andreas Sidler who has the same Sidler ancestors we do.  We followed up and spent the day in the Zurich Archives. After locating additional records, Sandy sat with the archivist, Barbara, who painstakingly translated them.

Rudolf Sidler, from Ottenbach, is my 4th great grandfather who had 15 children.
These archives hold all the Bachman records for which we have no sources. Either we will need to learn how to read old German or we will need to hire a genealogists who can. The marriage records are online. We asked about Elizabeth Kolsch and an archivist showed us two Kolsch families who immigrated from Lingenfeld in 1845. We drove to their archives but they were closed.

18 Morning, walk around Ottenbach, afternoon traveled to Austria.

Switzerland and Austria have many long tunnels. They even build them to go under the edge of a mountain. We watched our speedometer carefully while driving in Switzerland as there are traffic cameras everywhere.  The fines start at 40 euros for one kilometer above the speed limit.  If you go way over the speed limit your license can be withdrawn, and the heavy fines will be set according to your taxable income and wealth.  

19 Jenbach, Pfarrkirche St. Wolfgang und St. Leonhard and Jenbacher Museum, and Franz Brunner home

Visited Jenbach today. Deborah found an address her grandfather, Louis Brunner,  left in a notebook that listed this home where Franz Brunner lived. Franz Brunner was Deborah's great grandfather’s brother.  The home was under renovation.  The Yugoslavian owner didn't speak English and didn't want us taking photos inside.  Deborah went across the street looking for info and found the person directly across the street was also a Brunner.  Later in the day we made contact with Alois and Doris Brunner, who spoke no English.  Alois didn't think we were related but we think there is a family connection.  Sadly, he didn't know the names of his grandparents and we couldn’t get much further with the language barrier.   

Franz Brunner home, Achenseestraße 75, Jenbach, Tyrol 6200, Austria

Visited the Jenbach museum where we discovered this city and Deborah's ancestors made scythes or worked in the iron foundries.  This tool was sold all over the world in the 1800's. Jenbach also produced parts of the V2 rocket during WWII and is a highly skilled industrial area.

While we were in Jenbach, Ron and Sandy went up a mountain on a cog railway from Jenbach. 

20 Train to Innsbruck and Nordkette, the top of the Alps. The reason they call this town Innsbruck is because it lies on the Inn's river. Walked around Innsbruck and then took a gondola to the top of the Nordkette.

21 Met the Patek Family and toured Brunner sites; Sandy and Ron visited Jenbach.

About a year ago Deborah asked about going to Europe. I told her when she did some research, yes. About a month later a distant relative, Rainer Patek, began uploading lots of content to FamilySearch on her Brunner line in Austria and Deborah was ecstatic. We met Rainer, his wife Angela (Deborah's distant cousin) and their daughter, Ella. A real treat. They generously spent the day taking us to various locations in the area related to Deborah's ancestors.  Angela drove us to the top of the alps where one of Deborah's relative, Marie Lackner, died in a river and we had lunch with some happy cows.

During the summer the cows of Austria graze in the Alpine meadows. In September the cattle are decorated and brought down to winter in the city as a way of saying thanks for a good year. Once fenced in they hold festivals.  I asked Rainer's daughter if they sang, danced and drank at the festivals. Ella said "Yes, but they mostly drink."  We just happened to be there the day this all happened in a village were Deborah's relative, Sebastian Brunner born. Sebastian was born in Reith im Alpbachtal in 1838.

22 Traveled to Salzburg. Did a walking tour of the city in the rain. Lots of great history. This was my favorite city we visited which included Mozart, a giant cathedral, the Salzach River, Sound of Music tours and narrow streets with tall buildings.

Getreidegasse, Salzburg, Austria.

No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. The Mozart family resided on the third floor from 1747 to 1773. Mozart lived here from his birth in 1756 to 1773.

Entrance to Mozart's birthplace. He was born and spend his childhood in Salzburg. I stood in the room he was born in saw a lock of his hair, his wallet and some jewelry and a letter to his wife which was very touching. Mozart died at 34, his wife at 80. She sang some of his music in concerts and was talented and capable and had 6 children, 2 of which lived.

On Monday Deborah went on a Sound of Music van tour and on Tuesday the Blunck's did the same on bikes.

This is the house (we are looking at the back of the house) that was used in the Sound of Music movie for the back yard scenes.  This is the lake that was also used when the children were in the boat.  The movie used a different house for the front of the house. It was down the lane from this one. 

23  Salzburg. Mozart conducted music in the Salzburg Cathedral.

24 Tramwerk Marklin Layout in Anger, Germany which is outside of Salzburg.

Included was Hans-Peter Porsche's antique toy museum.

25 Octoberfest in Munich

26 Leave for the states, 26 hour trip, did security 3 times, Very tired.

Unusual things about Europe:

1.  A WC or water closet or toilet costs 50p. In downtown Salzburg it is a cottage business. Always have some change in your pocket or find a McDonalds.

2. When you shower there are two faucets. One is for the amount of water and the other is for temperature. I called the owner and told him the shower didn't work. They came up and said it looked good to them and they showed me how to adjust the knobs.

3. Watch your speedometer, especially in Switzerland. They have cameras even hidden in rural areas and one mile over the km limit is 40 euros and goes way up from there. You can lose your license and they charge interest on your fine. You can even go to jail for reckless driving and if you don't pay they lie in wait and get you when you enter the country again.

4. The front door locks work differently. To open you have to turn the key 3 or 4 revolutions and when you close the door it automatically locks by itself.

5. Parking is a pain. Watch the signs. Some have a blue P for parking but add a lot of German text which probably means you can't park there.

6. People are friendly. Most young or middle age people know English.  When you ask if they know english they often say, "a little." That's good because you usually only need a word or two.

7. No garbage disposals. In the five places we stayed we never saw a disposal. You have a few small containers below the sink where you recycle, green, plastic and paper.

8. Watch out for roundabouts. If you don't know where to exit just keep going around until your GPS gets up to speed. Watch out for cyclists, pedestrians, trolley cars, fast moving cars, and buses all converging in a roundabout at the same time.

9. Your GPS can lead you on a merry chase. You need an overview of where you are going and what autobahns you can use. They are much faster than rural roads no matter what the GPS says. Sometimes the roads double as a driveway in the countryside.  Rural roads can be closed with no obvious detour signs to direct you.  Getting around them is difficult, time consuming and confusing.

10. Gas is expensive. Most European countries do not have their own oil resources, so they need to import oil.  The best selling car in Germany is the VW Golf. Its tank holds 50 liters of fuel. Gas costs between 6 and 10 dollars a gallon. It is most expensive is in Switzerland. Everyone drives small cars which are easier to maneuver on narrow roads and more fuel efficient. 

11.  Markets are different. You weigh your own fruits and vegetables. When you buy produce you place the items onto a scale next to the fruits and vegetable section, punch the name of the item on the screen and out come a sticker which you place on your item at the check out stand. The checker always sits, which looks a lot more comfortable than standing all day. Bring your own bags. They sell bags in their markets but everyone I saw brought their own or just walked out with a few items cradled in their arms. Most items I saw in their markets came in smaller sizes than I am used to. 

12. Europeans homes have tilt and turn windows,  Their windows are like mini engineering marvels. They may be twice the insulation of a double pane window in the US and they open sideways or from the top to let in a little or a lot of air. When we lived in Slitters, Austria I told a visitor how impressed I was with the windows. She said, "Oh everyone has those."

Even these large patio doors below open both ways: