Some people break under pressure, crumbling when faced with adversity. Then, there are those who walk tall under the weight of the world and rise above the strife. My grandmother was one of the latter.
Monthly Archives: March 2019
I have always been fascinated by language, specifically where it originates and how it adapts, mutates, and relates to other languages. That is why I found the recent series of blogs by Andrew’s Kindred so intriguing. It combined my love of etymology with my love of genealogy. I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to try my hand at chronicling the origins of our families’ surnames.
This is the twelfth installment of a series of posts documenting the etymology of many of our families’ surnames (recent and distant, direct and indirect.)
Well, since I already covered the L names, let’s now address the letter M:
Happy, happy, joy, joy, happy, happy, joy! Today is my blog’s 8th Blogiversary!
Please pardon me while I do my happy dance…
Nearly 75 years ago, on 1 September 1939, the Luftwaffe bombed Poland just before the German army invaded. Although the Poles tried to fight back, they were no match for the Nazi war machine, and the Third Reich soon annexed Poland.
The border of the German General Government was established a few miles east of the town of Trzebinia, Poland. On 5 September 1939, just four days after the blitzkrieg, German soldiers marched into Trzebinia and executed 97 people, including local leaders.
Then, from mid-1940 until 1945, approximately 200,000 Polish children were abducted by the Nazis. Those kidnapped were deemed Aryan-looking—fair-skinned and fair-haired—and were adopted or fostered by German families or sent to Schutzstaffel (SS) Home Schools. Children determined to be Slavik in appearance and/or nature were sent to extermination or concentration camps, where they were either worked to death or gassed or were subjected to barbaric medical experiments.
As if things weren’t bad enough, in 1941, Nazi Germany decided that the Polish people must be eradicated so that their lands could be settled by German colonists. As part of the Generalplan Ost, the Nazis’ plan for mass-scale genocide, ethnic cleansing, and colonization, the Polish population was forced to perform hard labor and, through strict rationing, were slowly starved. The Nazis’ goal was to eliminate between 70 and 80 percent of the population (or about 20 million people.)
My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the ninth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.
In the previous post of this series, I discussed the life of Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband. In this post, I will discuss the life of my ancestress, Joan of Valois, who became a nun after her husband’s death.
On this day, 7 March 1342, Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainault, passed away. She was my 22nd great-grandmother through her grandson Thomas of Woodstock, my 23rd great-grandmother through her grandson Lionel of Antwerp, three-times 20th and three-times 21st great-grandmother through her grandson John of Gaunt, and my 21st great-grandmother through her grandson Edmund of Langley.
Born circa 1294, Joan of Valois was the second eldest daughter of Charles of Valois and Margaret of Anjou.