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Jun 20 2016

Tripping back in time

My “baby” Kayla triggered a whole bunch of things. She’s such a trouble maker šŸ˜‰

It kinda started with the idea of her looking into being eligible for German citizenship. It extended into a visit with Mom today to spend some time together and talk through family lore / history. Then it got down to poring through boxes of documents hidden in dusty places. It turned into quite the adventure!

I’ll back up to my Leica Tour post to mention two details from today…

Ideas That Resound As They Land

First: the youngest is always stuck with being the baby. Or being referred to that way (the diminutive ending in German fits that model too, hence Pitche for little Peter). The baby in the family is stuck there. Yes Kay, you will always be my Baby just as I’m my mom’s.

Second: Peter. What a wonderful eye-opener I got when I asked mom about that. Turns out dad’s nickname for mom was Pieter which is the German (& Dutch) version of Peter. Mom used the same nickname for dad… as they were falling in love they called each other Peter. So when I arrived they tried to figure out who I was. Seems Charles was on the short list. And then a flash of insight led them to wrapping a warm blanket around the idea of Peter. Well…

Well I’m still smiling as I think of that tale shared over lunch with mom, & Kay. One I’d never heard before and wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t written yesterday’s blog. YES!

Digging Into The Past

After lunch we got down to looking through old documents. While there are still some missing pieces in the puzzle I can happily say that many important questions were answered. And some surprising revelations were uncovered. Looks like I’m definitely a dual citizen of both Canada & Germany so I will explore that. There’s a good chance my kids are too, that will require more digging though.

I need to show my parents were married before I was born (check)

That they were of German nationality (check)

That I was born in Canada, hence being able to have dual German & Canadian Citizenship (check)

History or my dad’s military record (partial check) It’s one document I’ll share. I can only guess at the bitter sweet taste this moment would have had. The end was his release from an American POW camp, noting injuries sustained and signed with a thumb print. Wow.

Discharge

Official Discharge

Evidence that my marital status is “Divorced” (Fail… my bad, don’t think it’s a problem but I’ll have to go digging for that)

When my parents became Citizens rather than Landed Immigrants (check for my dad, still to be found for mom)

My baptism record… not needed at all, fun to find though despite getting the names wrong!

Baptism

Baptism

In A Nutshell…

I am amazed, stunned might be a better word, at what I learned today. And intrigued. There are lots of mysteries not yet revealed. Today was one of those days. And I’m thrilled I got to share it with my baby šŸ˜‰

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