Sunday, May 20, 2007


Family Outing to Walbourg

A few days ago, I noticed a couple of posters in a bakery window announcing up-coming local events. One was the local participation in a national (or international, I'm not sure) event : museum night. The other was "Exposition généalogique à Walbourg".

Much like the "heritage days", which are a European event in September (since 1984), access is free of charge to encourage people to go see things they might not otherwise have visited. The "heritage days" have a broad scope, however, and part of their benefit is to allow access to buildings and other sites of interest than just museums: the European palace of human rights, some public buildings with military or administrative functions, the workshop where TGV are repaired, to mention a few. Museum night focuses on a few museums which, for the occasion, open a Saturday night and provide talks, thematic guided tours, and musical events.

The "exposition généalogique" was organized by the "Atelier Généalogique de l'arrondissement de Wissembourg et Environs" (AGAWE), and held in Walbourg Saturday and Sunday. The associations which participated are:
  • Le Cercle Généalogique de Pirmasens
  • Le Cercle Généalogique de Moselle Est
  • Le Cercle Généalogique du Pays de Bitche
  • Le Cercle Généalogique de Mulhouse
  • Le Cercle Généalogique des Pays de Sarrebourg et du Saulnois
  • Der Pfälsisch-Rheinische Familienkunde
  • La Société d'Histoire des Quatre Cantons
  • Le Cercle d'Histoire et d'Archéologie de l'Alsace du Nord
I noted what information I had on a couple of ancestors who might have been from around here, or close enough that research on people around here by the participants in this event might have clues to give me on how to find out more about them. And I refreshed my info with a few more Internet searches. Then I headed up to Walbourg to see what I could learn.

The people I consulted were helpful, or tried to be, but I didn't come away with any revelations. I did come away with their recommendations of resources to try (,, and several others). I've barely started to use them, and haven't yet much to report.

The exposition also included lots of displays explaining basics, types of source documents and, lots and lots of family trees. A sampling (phone camera quality, with backlight problems in some, but hopefully sufficiently unreadable that there will be no copyright issues) follows. The first one shows both ascending and descending trees (although not to the same extents). The second is a "sculpture": it is metal (bronze, or plated or painted to look so), brazed and engraved with the names and dates on the "shields". The third is a semi-circular format which (I think) nicely keeps the chart dense despite the doubling of the number of entries with each generation. The fourth is like the third, but with husband's and wife's charts fused; as long as they have no common ancestors, it works, but otherwise? Is it always possible by flip-flopping (and not always splitting father/mother in the same direction) to do when there are common ancestors? Hmmm, I sense some research coming on.

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