After we left Heinsheim, Germany (Region Baden Wurttemberg) we drove to Bonfeld, Germany. This is where my husbands ancestors were from, so we thought we would visit the cemetary to see if we could find their graves. While we were walking through the cemetary we saw a very nice elderly lady there, who spoke English very well. She asked us who we were looking for? We told her the names, she thought about it for a minute and said she believes she recalls the names but she would have to check the records.
She also told us that we wouldn't find a tombstone or a grave where they were buried because in Germany the graves are dug up after about thirty years and the remains burned. The lady asked for our contact information so she could get a hold of us if she found anything. We really didn't expect to hear from her again, but she kept her word and about 1 to 2 months after we got home she sent us the info we had asked for.
Look how they decorate the graves they take very good care in making them beautiful!
This section of the grave is the only one that has old tombstones in it. These tombstones belonged to the really important people of Bonfeld.
After our stroll through the cemetery we had a nice picnic lunch in the park and then took a short walk around town.
Left Bonfeld and drove to Bad Wimpfen, Germany - One of Germany's oldest towns.
Bad Wimpfen, Germany
We toured the tower, took a walk around town and stopped for some ice cream.
after leaving Bad Wimpfen, we drove to Schiltach/Region Schwarzwald ( Black Forest). This is the region my ancestors were from.
Schiltach, Germany - We stayed at the Gruner Baum Pension. A Pension is similar to a Bed & Breakfast. They offer a nice room and a nice breakfast for a very reasonable rate. I think we paid around $35.00 a night per room.
We got settled in our rooms and then took a stroll through town.
Schiltach is a very beautiful town.
After we did a little exploring we we headed back to the Pension for dinner.
While we were eating we asked the owner of the Pension (Mario Justin) if he had a phone book that we could look at. I wanted to know if there were any Rieger ancestors still living in the area. Although he couldn't find a phone book he decided to do some checking online.
He found a postcard from the late 1800's with a picture of a cafe that read Cafe Rieger on it. He said I know where this place is. The building is still there, but it is no longer a cafe, that there is someone living in it now. Then he made a phone call. I am not sure who he called, but he was being so helpful, he is a very nice guy and I am so glad that we chose to stay at this Pension.
I couldn't believe what was happening. I was excited to come to Schiltach just for the chance to see the town where my ancestors lived, but I was learning more than I had ever dreamed.
This is the owner and his daughter. His daughter was learning English so she was practicing her English on us. What a cute girl and very polite.
At breakfast Mario told us he was going to take us to the place where my ancestors
owned their cafe and then he would take us to the archives building and there would be a man there that we could talk to who could tell us more by looking through the archives.
This was once cafe Rieger. Owned by my great grandpas brother, Andrew Rieger.
Me and my two children and the owner of Gruner Baum, Mario and his two children, standing in front of the What use to be Cafe Rieger.
The Black Forest is absolutely beautiful!
Standing in front of the archives building.
This is the very nice gentlemen that showed us the book that my ancestors names were listed in. He was able to show us when they got married, it listed their children, where they lived.
Here he is showing us on the map where my ancestors lived.
Here he is showing us the liquor license that Andrew Rieger had applied for, so that he could serve alcohol on special occasions, such as New Years Eve.
Here we are standing in front of the house where my ancestors lived. I still find it amazing how much we learned about my ancestors just by asking and how nice these people were to help us learn a little bit more about my families history. I owe them many, many thanks!!
We have to say so long to Schiltach, we are onto our next adventure, I do hope to return someday.
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