Family Tree


Growing up, there was a family tree hanging in the family room.  It’s for my mothers’ side of the family.  I always thought it was pretty cool, being able to look back 450 years to see where your family began.  For Christmas, mom had it copied, and gave one to each of us. 


That’s the good news.  The bad news is, it’s all in German, and my high school German doesn’t even begin to allow me to read it.  Someone told mom recently that it’s going to be difficult to translate because the language is pretty archaic.  Sort of like Olde English. 

I really like the Coat of Arms.  If I read the caption properly, it was created for Sigmund Furst (I don’t think Word Press will allow the umlaut in English) in 1550.  I have that embossed on a pocket watch that was my great grandfathers.  The watch, unfortunately, no longer runs, and it’s face was covered with a plastic “crystal” rather than a crystal crystal.  I think it was probably made back when plastic was the cool new thing.  Now, it’s just a curiosity on a watch that doesn’t run.

My dads’ fathers’ railroad watch runs, though, but that’s another post.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to have a go at translating the German on my family tree, there are more pictures on Flickr.  Drop me a note if you have any success.

brewerysm.jpgMy grandmothers’ grandparents were the Hauensteins in New Ulm, Minnesota.  This is an advertising piece for Hauenstein’s New Ulm Beer, which was brewed up through the early 70’s.  My ex-wife and I visited the brewery, or what was left of it, in the mid 80’s on a business trip (hers) to Minneapolis.  We drove over to New Ulm, and found the ruins of the brewery.  the people who owned the house at the time, which you can see on the hill in the upper right on the image, invited us in and gave us a tour of the place.  They didn’t know us from Adam, but when we told them the Hauensteins had been my grandmothers grandparents, they welcomed us like family.  I understand the beer is again being brewed using John’s orginal recipie, and some of the original wort that survived the years.  I’m told it was pretty good beer, and I’d like to get my hands on some.  Maybe I’ll have to take a trip to New Ulm.

We know a lot more about the Fursts and Hauensteins than we do about the Pattons.  I’m not sure why that is.  You could not have found two more disparate families that merged when my mom and dad got married.  But, with neither of my cousins having sons, and me with a daughter and no sons as well, it ends with us.   Since I’m the youngest of the boys, I could very well be the last.

I’ll hang on as long as I can.




Filed under Family, German, Heritage, Thoughts

2 responses to “Family Tree

  1. I was searching for Hauenstein beer collectables… and found your blog pic. My grandmother’s parents and grandparents were Hauensteins too. Her name was Henrietta Hauenstein, her father was Charles, her grandpa was John…
    Was your grandma her sister?

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