Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kreis Wesel: homeland of Gailliot & Dissel Family Lines

Digital picture of front cover of a tourist brochure for Kreis Wesel in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. It was mailed to me by our family friend, Rudolf, who lives in Wesel. In the center is the dominant landmark of Wesel City- The Willibrordi Cathedral or Dom. The communal and ancient Gross Markt lies beneath its spires. Around 1843 and bordering the market square was the first residence of the married couple, Anton Gailliot and Maria Dissel. About a year later, the family moved to a flat on Stone Street (Stein Str) but still within sight of the Dom. In 1848, Maria died of cancer leaving two small children, Lawrence and Karl. Anton then re-married Helena Schlebusch and they had at least 4 more children- the youngest of whom was my great grandfather, Henry Caspar Gailliot.

Last year at this time I celebrated Augustoberfest held in Wesel's "sister city" in America- Hagerstown, Maryland.

The tourist brochure also mentions a "sister district" for Kreis Wesel, which is County Durham in northern England. Amazing coincidence: My father's maternal grandfather was baptised and resided for over 30 years in County Durham, before he immigrated to America with his family in about 1881.

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