Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Friday, March 3, 2017

German and Irish ancestry events coming up in March in Camden County - celebrating your ancestry

In the 2000 census, a little over 17% of Americans identified as of German ancestry.  A little over 12 % identified as of Irish ancestry.  As per my ancestry.com dna test, I am 52% English extraction, and 17% Scandinavian (which I presume to be the effect of the conquest of Ireland during the Norse invasion as my mother's parents and grandparents are evenly divided amongst the English (Garwood and Cheesman) and the Scots/Irish (McQuiston).  We have no identifiable Scandinavian ancestors except for a wife from Denmark married to a German, four generations back from Holstein Schleswig, the Jutland peninsula that has been Danish then German, then Danish then German, back and forth throughout history.  A devotee of ancestry.com contacted me once because she was related to Anna Koble of Danish ancestry married to  Wilhelm Jung, one of my German ancestors.

All of that is to let you know about some German and Irish events coming up. this Sunday, March 5th at 1:00, in Gloucester City, will be the 2nd annual St. Patrick's Day parade from Martin's Lake, off Johnson Boulevard to King Street.  Johnson Boulevard comes off Rt. 130, so it is easy to get to, but parking will be difficult so get there early and park off the parade route, not on it.  They say that on St.Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish and that is certainly true in the sense that everyone can share in celebrating the contribution to American life by Irish immigrants from the poor fellows who died building the railroads, to the first Irish Catholic President, John F. Kennedy.  

The ancestry with which I identified was cultivated by my close attachment to my grandmothers, Lavinia Lyons (the Irish side - from McQuiston's of Londonderry) and Mabel Wright (the German side of the Jungs of Holstein Schleswig and Prussia) and the Sandman family of Southern German, Hesse Cassel area).  We ate German heritage foods such as knockwurst and saferkraut, and Irish foods, cabbage and potatoes, and we sang Irish songs like "When Irish eyes are smiling."  

On Saturday, March 25th the German American Cultural Society will hold its 26th annual dinner dance at the Woodbury American Legion Post #133 from 5:oo pm to 9 pm, located at 1018 Washington Avenue.  Live German music by Willie Aust and a; German Buffet plus beer and wine, $26 for adults.  Reservations must be made by March 10 856--468-9525.  I would like to go to one of their events, but I don't drive at night anymore due to visual difficult resulting from Fuch's Dystrophy, a corneal disorder.  I can see well enough but in th dark, not so much.  Also, thought fairly confident, going to a dance alone might be beyond me, even though I can still Sprechen in bassinet Deutsch from my Drei yahren of Deutschland of neunzen hundred nun und sexisch (spelling may be wrong - I learned by speaking).

As it turns out through the good fortune of good choices and simple luck, I have managed to visit all of the countries of my ancestral origin, Ireland (with my daughter in the 1990's) and England and Germany in 1969 through 1971, when I was married and lived in Germany for 2 years.  I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania afer  the victorious end of World War II to two happy Philadelphias who had a long and loving marriage.  So the city of my birth has always meant as much to me as my ancestry.  It is also where my daughter was born in 1983.  To be born in the birthplace of American Liberty is, to me, a meaningful thing and probably the inspiration for my lifelong interest in history. 

Hope you can attend one or both of these events or at least find some way to celebrate your ancestry and to meditate upon the rich fertilization of our native human culture by the contributions of immigrants from other lands.  Speaking of winning the War, where would we have been without Einstein?

Auf wiedersehen, Slante', Arrividerci, Hasta Luego, Vaya Con dios Amigos!  Au Revoir, Salaam, Shalom!  May the Road Rise up to Meet You and the Wind be at your Back.
Jo Ann

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