My Ancestry

20 Nov

Having just had a little bit of sweet red wine with lunch today, I felt a pit tipsy.

Peter said, he read two interesting blogs today from Polish people, one written in English the other one in German. I cheered him, I said, after all I am half Polish, aren’t I? Well, Peter pointed out, I might actually be more Russian for when my father was born in Lodz in 1904, the place was Russian.

But you see, my father was actually German by descent, and as far as we know, he never gave up his claim on German citizenship. When later on in life he moved to Germany, he had no problems at all being recognized as a German for he was definitely totally German by descent.

So does that mean I am neither Russian nor Polish even though my father was born in a Russian place which later became Polish again,  and then during WW II was occupied by Germans? All this is very confusing, isn’t it?

I am an Australian citizen now, have been for some time. However, Peter said, I probably could not be a member of the Australian parliament. How so? I had to renounce my German citizenship, didn’t I? Any German embassy could vouch for it, that I am not allowed to carry a German passport anymore. I had to hand in my German passport as soon as I acquired Australian citizenship. So doesn’t that make me eligible for the Australian parliament? I bet it does!!  🙂  🙂

By the way my mother is from Leipzig, Saxony, Germany, same as her father (my grandfather), whereas her mother (my grandmother) comes from Bavaria. Seems to be a straightforward German ancestry on my mother’s side.

17 Responses to “My Ancestry”

  1. lewbornmann November 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    I also am never quite sure what to claim for family heritage (though I never intend to run for ANY political office). The paternal side of my family came from Baden-Württember and apparently entered the U.S. (though technically still British colonies) technically illegally as a Hessian soldier in our Revolutionary War — and deserted. My maternal grandparents emmigrated to the U.S. from Preburg (now Bratislava), Austria-Hungary. Now, some Irish has also been added in through subsequent marriages.

    Unfortunately, there is very little I know about any of my ancestry and no one left with any knowledge about those now long gone. It has left me firmly believing in recording what little I know prior to when I also no longer am able to tell my children/grandchildren about their family history.

    • auntyuta November 21, 2017 at 7:56 am #

      Thanks for commenting, Lew. I too try to record as much as possible everything that I know about my family. I am 83 now. As far as I know there is nobody in my family still alive now that is older than I am.

      During the 1920s my paternal grandfather used to be in the Polish Sejm as a senator representing the German minority in Poland. In Wikipedia I found the following:

      “Since the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939), “Sejm” has referred only to the lower house of the parliament; the upper house is called the Senat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (“Senate of the Republic of Poland”) . . .”

      I do not understand this, why was grandfather called a “senator” when it was always said that he was in the “Sejm”? I do not remember much about what was said about the political situation. But I remember very well, that grandfather was always referred to as a “senator”.

  2. gerard oosterman November 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

    It is odd that our Prime Minister is always praising us for being such a multicultural society, yet when it comes to being a member of Parliament, the slightest whiff of anything non-Australian and they are out and banned.
    We know that an Australian is either an indigenous person or someone that could easily be related to a convict, so…?

    • auntyuta November 21, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Gerard, it is all because of section 44 of our constitution, isn’t it? We cannot just ignore the constitution, can we?

      • gerard oosterman November 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

        Or, is it that the constitution is ignoring the reality of its people?

      • auntyuta November 21, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

        I guess you mean that it is about time that we make a few adjustments to the constitution?

  3. catterel November 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Dear Uta, I started my research into our German family with a family tree that one of the aunts had to draw up in the III, Reich to prove that they were Aryan. That took me back to her great-grandparents. We also have the family Bible that goes back to the early 1800’s. I googled some of the names, and the genealogical site geneanet.org brought up several family trees. That’s a free site, as is familysearch.org, whereas ancestry.com is a subscription site although sometimes you can use parts of it for free. I still have a lot of gaps on the east German side of the family, but have got a very long way back on certain lines. Why not start with familysearch.org and gannet.org?

    • auntyuta November 21, 2017 at 8:38 am #

      Thank you, yes I am going to look into it, Cat. I believe in earlier times a lot of records were kept in churches. Some church records may have been destroyed because of the war.

      • catterel November 21, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

        That’s true, but many of them have been transcribed onto microfiches and are available online. The Mormons have millions of records, which can be a accessed free through familysearch.org.

      • auntyuta November 22, 2017 at 8:29 am #

        This sounds fantastic, Cat. I hope I can find something. 🙂

    • berlioz1935 November 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

      In Germany, until 1888 all records were held at the parish churches. You would actually have to visit those places. The next difficulties arise from the damage the war did to the churches and their records.

      • catterel November 22, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

        Yes, that’s true. But you may be lucky, as I have been, by finding distant relatives who have done all that research and shared their findings on the internet. That’s particularly true of geneanet.org, – a free site with lots of information. Worth a try anyway!

      • auntyuta November 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

        Thanks Cat, It would be nice to find out about some distant relatives. I believe some people from the area in Germany where my relatives lived before they migrated to the Lodz area, well some people from that area in Germany apparently migrated to South Australia at the time.

  4. doesitevenmatter3 November 21, 2017 at 9:01 am #

    Very interesting to read, Uta!

    My grandparents on my father’s side were born in Germany. Not sure exactly where. Their families came to America in the late 1890’s. My grandparents on my mother’s side were from the Netherlands and Germany. They, too, came to America as little children in the late 1890’s, early 1900’s.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    • auntyuta November 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

      Carolyn, yes I think it is interesting to find out where our ancestors came from. It might be interesting for our descendants too. My husband grew up in Germany and has German heritage, so our children also have German heritage, even though they did grow up in Australia. But our grandchildren as well as our great=grandchildren have a great many different heritages apart from German. There is English, Ukrainian as well as 5th generation Australian heritage among some of our children and great-grandchildren!

  5. rangewriter November 23, 2017 at 4:46 am #

    How did that make you feel, when you had to surrender your German passport? I think that would be very difficult.

    • auntyuta November 23, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

      Not really, Linda, To us it is important to have Australian passports.

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