Luxembourg is a tiny country sandwiched in between Belgium, France, and Germany. Amazingly, it has survived as a distinct state, with it´s own culture and language (Luetzeburgish) through over 1000 years. My grandfather´s family comes from this tiny country. And coincidentally, so does my friend Elizabeth´s grandfather. So we decided to rent a car and tour around this tiny country to see our heritage. It turns out that there are a load of Americans who have Luxemburg heritage. One of the employees in the town hall of Heffingen, Elizabeth´s ancestral home village, told us that many people from the town emigrated to the U.S. and he even has family in the small suburb of Chicago where E is from. The biug mystery for me is why my great grandfather and his wife emigrated to the U.S. in the 1814. Why then? It seems too early for the more usual emigration to the U.S. from Europe. Elizabeth´s grandfather emigrated in the 1940s, which is probably explained by WWII. The VERY catholic Luxembourgers were persecuted to a degree during Nazi occupation and were forced to declare German citizenship. I think that perhaps my family´s emigration may have had something to do with the aftermath of the French Revolution. My small amount of reading seems to indicate that things weren´t so great in the Grand Duchy at that time. In any case, today Luxembourgers are very proud of their hertitage and are also very interested in helping Americans who want to find their roots in this lovely little land.
I went to visit some of the villages where my ancestors came from. The main one is Useldange.
See all the photos on the Flickr set I created (I took too many