At some point about 120 years ago, there was a man with two sons.
(Yes, there were many…)
One of those sons stayed in Germany near a town called Bad Zwischenahn.
The other son came to America.
The son who came to America was Carrie’s great-great-great-grandfather.
The families stayed in touch over the past 100+ years, and today, Carrie and I are about the same ages as Joern and Sabine.
Joern is Carrie’s 16th cousin-twice-removed (or something like that).
Joern and Sabine now run the family Baumschule in Northern Germany.
Baumschule = Nursery (for plants)
Baum = Tree
Schule = School
I like the idea that the word for nursery (in German) is the place where trees go to school. I think that’s fun.
But I digress…
We came to Bad Zwischenahn while on our honeymoon 4 years ago.
While driving from the Baumschule in Bad Zwischenahn to the cemetery in Twistringen where my Great-Great grandparents are buried (about 1 1/2 hour drive away), we realized that it’s quite likely that hundreds or maybe thousands of years ago, Carrie’s ancestors and my German ancestors were trading partners, or maybe warring tribes.
Returning to this part of the world is returning to our roots – which (coincidentally or not) are not that far away from each other.
We stayed with Elsbeth in her beautiful new home. It didn’t exist when we were here 4 years ago, but it’s beautiful, and is the first home we’ve stayed in which uses a geothermal coil for heating and cooling the house. Really neat to see how that works.
Her house was built on the land at the Baumschule (which is on about 75 acres).
We had a wonderful time enjoying the good company of Elsbeth and Haarold, Joern and Sabine, and their son Kevin. We even got to play Monopoly City (a whole new way to play Monopoly) with Kevin.
The high speed Internet allowed us to get a lot done, and the peaceful quiet all around us gave a place to rejuvenate.
I really like that returning to Carrie’s roots can happen in nearly the same place where I return to my roots too.
Carrie’s Mom responded with these notes:
1) Christian Bernard Oltjenbruns–born in Edewecht, Jeddeloh Germany 27 Feb 1843-died 02 August 1926 Osmond or (Plainview? ) Nebraska buried in Plainview
2) Son- Gerhard Hinrich Oltjenbruns –born in Edewecht, Jeddeloh Germany -18 December 1867- died 08 January 1926 – Amherst Colorado ( buried in Plainview Nebraska )
3) Son- Harry Frank Oltjenbruns – born 12-May 1894 York, Nebraska- died 26 April 1988 in Sterling, Colorado ( buried in Amherst, Colorado )
4) Son – Elton Gerald Oltjenbruns – Born 23 August 1920- Holyoke, Colorado=
5) daughter- Susan Eileen Oltjenbruns- born 19 January 1949 Holyoke, Colorado=
6) daughter Carrie Lynn Roll – born Holyoke, Colorado 13 June 1981=