I had a great 70th birthday. Gifts, cards, phone calls, and the works. Leroy brought me a dozen roses. I thought he was up to something when I saw him get some money out of my wallet but I knew enough not to ask questions on my birthday. If it sounds crooked that he took money from my wallet to buy them, remember he's the one who earned the money so it was his to start with.
We went out to eat for supper, using a gift card we got for our anniversary this summer. Since I didn't have to cook, I had the whole day to entertain myself however I wished. So I had fun writing a story.
The icing on the cake was an email from a fellow Burkholder researcher. We can now go back one more generation in our Burkholder ancestors.
The earliest Burkholder to which we could document our line was Joseph Burkhalter who was born in the 1620s and married Elizabeth Widmer. They lived at Ruderwil in Switzerland. Now the church records from Trachelswald show that Joseph was born June 6, 1623, to Jost and Cathrin (Fueni) Burkhalter. They were married in 1612 and lived on a farm named Haslematt (or Heslimatt) within sight of the famous Trachelswald castle. Many Mennonite tourists visit this castle because Anabaptists were imprisoned there. We were in the castle and looked out over the countryside but did not know we had an ancestral home on the next hill.
Haslematt is the house/barn in the foreground and the castle is in the background. It's only a few miles from here to Ruderswil where three generations of our Burkholders lived before the fourth generation emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1754.
Now that we know Joseph's parents were Jost and Cathrin, the next question, of course, is, "Who were their parents?" Since Jost and Cathrin were married in 1612, they had to be born in the 1500s. Genealogy research is never finished but I am delighted that we can go back one more generation. What a birthday present!