I’ve always been interested in the ethnic roots of wherever I happen to be. I was born outside of St. Louis, Missouri and then moved to Suamico, Wisconsin, Sarasota, Florida, Muscatine, Iowa, Waverly, Iowa (for college), Cologne, Germany and 12 years ago, I landed in Des Moines, Iowa.
My roots are VERY German. My ancestors arrived, mostly from what is currently Alsace region of France (which was formerly Germany), just prior to the American Civil War. While I haven’t done extensive genealogical research on my family, oral histories have been passed down through the generations.
I picked up Iowa’s Ethnic Roots at a book sale earlier this year. Published in 1993, it’s a collection of papers written by the Presidential Scholars of the University of Northern Iowa. Each paper focuses on a different ethnic group that had a hand in shaping Iowa’s future. Czech, Danish, Norwegian, Scottish, German, Welsh and Irish. What’s great is that each paper tells the story of real people who came to Iowa in the context of our State’s history.
Does your family have ethnic ties overseas?