Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fröhliche Weihnacht- my German heritage

The above images were sent to me by my friend and fellow genealogist, Rudolf Kerbitz, who lives in Wesel, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. They were created by his talented mother, the late Mrs. Charlotte Kerbitz, nee. Nürnberger. The artistic craft is called handschnitte or scherenschnitte. The artist cuts out a silhouette by hand with nothing other than scissors and paper. Rudolf recalls his mother did not use a pattern or template, but rather, whittled out the design immediately from her imagination. The craft is unbelievably detailed as seen in larger resolution images.

The image on left is captioned, written in Sutterlein, which means in English, "cheerful or merry Advent Season". The picture is of 7 cherubs dancing around a candle which Rudolf suggested reminded him of the 7 great grandchildren that surrounded my mother in the picture I posted earlier on my blog.

Read more, in German, in Rudolf's article on his mother's art- or go there for the images. Scherenschnitte was brought to America by German and Swiss immigrants, and you can Google many English language sites for more information, such as this one.

Another fantastic "gift" which Rudolf gave me this Christmas is information which will apparently push my pedigree back another generation. My great, great grandfather, Anton Gailliot, who was a Master Shoemaker in Wesel, the town where Rudolf Kerbitz now resides, was the son of JOHANN GAILLIOT and ELISABETH PEIRNE or Pierre. The data are from a marriage record in a just-published transcription: Marriages of St. Mariae Himmelfahrt, Wesel, 1835-1849. The Transcripton recently became available in a limited edition print in Wesel. How wonderful will this Weihnacht be remembered. Danke schön, Herr Rudolf Kerbitz.

1 comment:

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