Family history moments: German connection

My husband is a convert and the only member of his family to join the Church. He and I have become very interested in tracing his ancestors' lines and performing the temple work on their behalf.

With our children grown and living far away with their families, we realized this was our time to begin. We decided to move from Montana to Missouri to be where many of my husband's ancestors had lived. I accepted a position with an automotive business in Eldon, Mo., last July.We were excited to be able to locate near Eldon because much of my husband's maternal side of the family settled this area in the early 1800s from Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. We have visited many of the grave sites of these ancestors. We continue to search for information taking us farther back on these family lines.

However, the real surprise came shortly after I started work. I found the company had just agreed to a joint venture with a German company. I then found out the partner company's plant was located in Rockenhausen, Germany. We have a copy of an old passport dated October 1839, indicating that Heinrich and Barbara Frey left Rockenhausen with three sons to move to America. This passport was all the information we had on them.

I contacted our corporate office and asked if I could get in touch with the representative from Germany who traveled between Rockenhausen and our company headquarters in Michigan. He proved to be most helpful and took it upon himself to take a copy of the old passport, go to town records in Rockenhausen and look up our family.

In November, he sent us 15 pages of documents that included marriages, births, etc., along with a book on the history of Rockenhausen, newspapers, brochures and many other things connected with the area. He included a beautiful color photograph of the town, with its tiled roofs, cathedrals and rolling hills covered with trees.

In the book he sent, I found a Georg Frey with a date in the 1600s. We will have a lot of fun as we work to get all of the materials translated, especially the birth, marriage and death documents. A few days before we received this information, we were assigned our home teacher, and he understands German!

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