Jordan’s Journey Goes International! ✈️

Kathrin and Jordan doing research in Ebingen

After I published Jordan’s Journey, I always fantasized about doing a volume two sub-titled: The European Edition! It would be a fascinating way to dig deeper into my heritage before my ancestors came to America. While, unfortunately, I don’t think such a book will happen any time soon—for a variety of reasons I won’t get into here—I do intend to explore my international heritage in whatever ways I can. I took the first step towards this last summer when I visited Germany to learn more about my Beck ancestors.

My Beck family can be traced back to a small city called Ebingen (which, today, has become part of a larger city called Albstadt). Initially I was going to visit Ebingen on my own just to see what I could find there. I had no real hopes of accomplishing anything in terms of “serious” research because—most unfortunately—I do not speak German. So… that makes research a bit difficult if not impossible.

Then along came AncestorCloud, a new service that specializes in connecting genealogy buffs like myself with professional genealogists and historians. I thought, what the hell, why not give this a try. And, sure enough, they were able to connect me with a professional German researcher who agreed to take on the job. I met Kathrin in Ebingen one day and she had prepared a wonderful historical tour of the city. This gave me so much insight into the the cultural and economic circumstances my ancestors lived within, which I found incredibly valuable.

On top of providing a broader context for me to understand the lives of my German ancestors, Kathrin presented me with a multitude of church records she had retrieved before I arrived in Germany. We spent a whole day together, sitting in an outdoors cafe on the streets of Ebingen, sipping lattes and teas and enjoying a wonderful day of research and conversation and laughter.

My time in Ebingen came to an end all too soon. Leaving the city–and Kathrin–felt very sad. In such a short time I felt “at home” there. I had connected with my German roots in ways I simply never thought possible.

So… I don’t know… Jordan’s Journey: The European Edition… maybe it is actually possible. It’s a nice dream. But even if it doesn’t take the same form as the original Jordan’s Journey project, rest assured this is only the beginning as I explore my European heritage more deeply.

Be sure to read the piece AncestorCloud put together about my trip over on their blog.

Exploring Ebingen

One Response to “Jordan’s Journey Goes International! ✈️”

  1. Paul Maloney says:

    Jordan, you are a remarkable young man. I’m so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished. Just so you know, I brag on you every chance I get. Anyone who walks through my door is required to review your book.

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