Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gifts of Family History from Rudolf, in Wesel, Germany

On the wall of my office, I have a beautiful calendar showing views from the Lower Rhein Valley (Niederrhein in German). On the right bank of the Rhine River where the Lippe canal meets the river lies Wesel, Germany. It is the homeland (Heimat) of the Gailliot family. The calandar was sent to me on Christmas by my friend and fellow family historian, Rudolf Kerbitz. In addition, Rudolf sent me several other gems for our Family History, such as a tourist brochure of Wesel which included an historical "Stadtchronik Wesel" (chronical of Wesel City). The article contained vintage photos of the City before it was bombed during the last months of WW II. Over 90 percent of the City was destroyed. However, the city recovered and reconstructed many of the buildings and churches- including the Dom or Cathedral. One building project which has just begun is the restoration of the old Rathaus. A corner stone containing a time capsul was laid last October, 2007, during the celebration of Wesel's former membership in the ancient Hanseatic League. Wesel was a commercial partner along the trading route between Koln (Cologne) and Amsterdam. Today, Wesel has formed partnerships between Hagerstown, MD, and ironically, Durham, England, from where my father's maternal branch, the Russell family, emigrated.

Most important in my gift package were copies of several pages from a recently published transcript, "Das Kirchenbuch der Katholisch Kirchengemeinde St. Mariae Himmelfahrt Wesel, Heiraten 1835 bis 1849", compiled by Kurt Grüter. This publication contains Marriage entries between these dates at the Catholic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Wesel. Fortunately, both the first and the second marriages of Anton Gailliot were documented:

Firstly, Anton Gailliot, born 16 May 1816, in Saarbrücken, son of Johann GAILLIOT and Elisabeth PIERRE; married on 2 May 1841, in Wesel, to Maria DISSEL, born 29 Jan 1814, in Wesel, daughter of Andreas Dissel and Maria HÜNING. Zeugen (witnesses) Heinrich Müller, Gertrude Dehörs.

Secondly, Anton Gailliot, witwer (widower) of Maria Dissert (sic), born 16 May 1815, in Saarbrucken, son of Johann Gailliot and Elisabeth PIERNE (sic); married on 22 Oct 1848, in Wesel, to Johann Helena Theodora SCHLEBUSCH, born 2 Sep 1819, in Rees [Germany], daughter of Johann Schlebusch and Johanna OFFENBERG; Zeugen (witnesses): Heinrich Dissel, Mechtildis Wagener.

You may have noticed the discrepancy for Anton Gailliot's birth year and the different maiden surnames for Anton's mother (Pierre and Pierne). Close match, but anything less wouldn't be a challenge, would it?

Thank you Rudolf, I'm extremely grateful.

For more views of Niederrhein, including a few of Wesel, go to Heinz' Picasa album at:

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