Both of our families have deep roots in the Swiss countryside.
My maternal grandfather’s family, the Swartzendrubers, trace their story back to this farm:
The other side of my maternal lineage spells its name Ewy. We’re pretty sure this spelling evolved from “Aebi,” which we spotted on this contraption around the corner of the Schwarzentrub barn.
My dad’s family, the Weavers, came from a nearby area. We drove through here too, but couldn’t quite find the original weaving shed that gave us the family name. We did see beautiful green hills, farmland, and happy cows.
I grew up thinking of my family lineage as German, but I’m realizing that this isn’t true. According to the (admittedly limited) records we’re working our way through, both sides of my family are very much Swiss.
It may sound overly sentimental of me to say this, but it makes sense. I’m starting to understand why so many of my relatives feel attached to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (which looks very much like this part of Switzerland), and why I’m always pulled to wide open spaces and mountains. Even the human genome project is beginning to reveal traces of social memory embedded in our genetics. It seems very possible that even things like our aesthetic preferences, traumas, and moral frameworks travel through family genetics.