After the conjunction entry, something clicked in the back of my memory and I remembered that there was a double wedding in the family. The record here shows the weddings of Great-Grandfather Carl Alois Hornung with Great-Grandmother Charlotte Semmel; and, her brother Diedrich with Johanna Nelius.
I keep two data files in FTM, one for each of my maternal and paternal families. As I was going through the church records for Kuldiga ( Goldingen), Latvia, I noticed that I had to switch back and forth as I found family members on each side. The conjunction came when I found the confirmation record that is pictured here. Johann Heinrich Geide is a maternal 2nd great grand uncle and Ernst Friederich Theodor Semmel is the same on the paternal side. These are the only two that were confirmed together, even though they are several months apart in age. Their siblings were confirmed but not in any of the same groupings.
The families lived in the same town for decades and generations, going to the only Lutheran church in town. Yet, none of them married into the other family. They were also of the same social status, if occupations are compared; and, of the same ethnicity. Another puzzle to ponder.
Finding Your Roots last week also gave me some things to ponder. I am a child of immigrants who came to Canada in 1951. Growing up gave me some grief being the "Nazi" on the block; and. adding to it, I was a 'gimp' (Polio '53). Fortunately I had some very good friends that included me in their activities and protected me from real serious bullying. Having a steel brace on the majority of the time didn't hurt either. They knew that if I connected they would hurt worse than me.
Having left their own families back in Germany, my parents connected with a group of Baltic-Germans and these became our Aunts and Uncles. We had to learn some German in order to communicate with the older ones who had difficulty learning English. We also grew up with many of the traditions that they brought back from the Baltic States and their German heritage. Real candles on the Christmas tree, carols I still sing in German, egg rolling at Easter, Fasching costume fest, Johanni bonfires, German folksongs, schnapps and the most delicious foods - from soups to tortes. Some of these we maintained but most fell by the wayside as I raised my own family, away from these influences.
Last week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Rashida Jones left me conflicted in my reaction. First off, I got excited when she discovered Latvian roots and traveled there for further research. The record books she was shown looked so familiar as they are the same books that I have been looking through online at http://www.lvva-raduraksti.lv/en.html. It was interesting to see where they are stored and what they looked like physically. I hadn't thought to look through the enlistment records but will give them a try.
The conflict arose when she learned of the fate of her family members that had not left the country, as her direct ancestor did. To think that these atrocities were perpetrated by members of my national heritage was disconcerting. Knowing that my own family had been moved out of the country, either forcibly or by choice, gave me relief that they were not directly involved. I am sure that my reaction is similar to other guests on this show, and others, that learn their ancestors owned slaves.
Since I had done so much work in the last while, I decided to add the database to my website. There are actually more people in this than in the Hornung database. This is likely due to the fact that most of the Hornungs are in Germany and I have not found good sources of information yet. On the other hand I have found that the National Archives of both Estonia and Latvia have digitized many of the church, and other, records. These have been tremendous in tracking family and adding information. I believe that I have most of the primary documents for my grand, great-grand and great-great grand generations on both sides of the tree.