Bier Trip to the Homeland

After years of muttering about how we “really oughta,” we’re doing it.  We’re taking all of the rich first-hand narrative information about our family history and doing a mission of discovery.  I along with an assortment of my Bier relatives are spending our first night in Munich.

Our guide, Christiane Haack. She was quite popular holding this sign in the arrivals hall.

This trip was about two years in the making, and we set up an itinerary to accomplish several things:

  • Go back to Ketzelsdorf (Koclirov) and see the village that our ancestors left behind.  
  • See a little of the other villages that other relatives came from (more on this later)
  • Stop by the nearest big city, Prague
  • Take in a smattering of German and Bavarian culture in Munich.

The trip ranges from my parents at the older end of the spectrum to my cousin, Nick Laning, who is 17.   Here’s a fun little tree to see how we’re all related and who’s along for the ride.   The tree is set up in relation to my great grandfather, Edward Bier.  He’s the youngest of Valentine’s kids, and the most recent common relative of us all.  Trip participants are circled:

Edward A Bier Hourglass Chart

We spent this first day getting here, wandering around the city in bleary-eyed fascination and taking in a delicious dinner of sauerbraten, bread dumplings and bier at the Augustiner Keller Biergarten, proudly serving Augustiner bier which has been brewed since 1328!

Louise Bier and dessert and some scrap metal on the wall that we sat next to.

Now I’m in bed writing and the younger and heartier of the group are out pub hopping.   Also Uncle Jim. For my family, discovering our “German roots” is not proving to be that much of a stretch!

Mom and Dad walking home from Augustiner Keller
Discovering our German roots in the hotel bar–Bier and Riesling

6 thoughts on “Bier Trip to the Homeland

  1. I’m enthusiastically following the trip! Derek, Ellie, Livvy and I got back from three weeks in Normandy, Paris, Homburg, and Düsseldorf late Friday night. I found that if you can even manage a few pictures and captions from each day, you’ll be so glad to have the record of it!

    I love the “Edward and Rosalia” tree. I have trouble keeping us all straight, and this clarifies a lot! There are a few errors in the Alfred and Eleanor branches of the tree. I’d be happy to help you with it when you get back. (Maybe sending a file would be simplest.)

    Send my hellos and best wishes to everyone on the trip, especially Joan and your mom and dad!

      1. Right! Poor guy. I noticed as soon as I sent. How cool is it that you noticed, too.

  2. I’ll represent the descendants of Louis Bier and Frances Parr Bier, our grandparents. Louis was born in Ketzeldorf. Throughout his life, he carried the look and sound of his homeland including his thick German accent and his dress. We look forward to your reports from our home village. Thanks for making the effort for all of us.

    Richard R. Bier, Bloomington, Indiana

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