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The farm fields of France

Siegan, France: the home of Johan Adam Gerhardstein & Family before leaving...

Street Scene of Siegan

St. Lawrence Church, Siegan where he worshiped.

Interior of St. Lawerence

Church - Busenberg, Germany-home of Mike's 5th Great-grandfather

Steeple of Busenberg's Catholic Church

Catholic Church in Wilgartswiesen, Germany-of Mike's 6th Great-grandfather

View from the Church in Wilgartswiesen

Italian cousins - Heidelberg

The Heidleberg Group: Dianne, Erny, Giovanna, Kathy, Catarina, Mike

Spent the morning driving to three small towns where Mike's forefathers lived: Siegan, France home of Johann Adam (3rd Great-grandfather) who came to Ohio in 1830 to farm.; Busenberg, Germany home of 5th Great-grandfather, Paul and his family of 12 children.(1700's -early 1800,s) and finally, Wilgartswiese , Germany home to Johann George, shepherd for Falkenburg Castle. He died there in 1778 at age 80. In each town we visited the church knowing that is where they would have participated in the community. Only one of the churches were opened. St. Lawrence in Siegan. Beautiful country church. A candle was lit for all the Gerhardsteins back home.

In Heidelberg, had a several hour lunch on a plaza with Italian cousins, Giovanna and Catarina and English friends, Dianne and Erny. Wonderful food, drink and conversation and instant reconnection. Have not see my cousins in 16 years and my friends for 2. Dianne and I have been friends for 50 years this month when we began writing as pen pals about the Beatles. In all that time we have only actually see each other a total of 5 times including now. But, it doesn't matter, we talk as if it was yesterday.

After lunch, we headed with Dianne and Erny to Burghotel in Oberwesel, a 700 year old castle. Our rooms are beyond words. The views and terrain are a photographer or artist's heaven. Would love to come back! On final note, the Internet only works in the lobby, so I am a bit behind in my posts. Thank to all my loyal blog followers for your patience!

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