I was born in East Prussia, Germany and grew up in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony, Germany after my family was forced to leave East Prussia at the end of World War II. In 1964, I received my Bachelor's degree in Education and History from the Pädagogische Hochschule ("Kant Hochschule") in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany.
Shortly afterwards, I emigrated to the United States. Here, I was able to further my education, earning a Ph.D. in German Language and Literature from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, while teaching German part-time at various universities and junior colleges.
My own family research has occupied me for more than 25 years, and my focus has been on East Prussia (now Poland), since my ancestors on both sides of my family resided there for generations. They lived in the southern part of East Prussia, the "Masuren" and "Ermland" areas, namely Makrauten, district Osterode, Redigkainen and Kainen, district Allenstein, and Bensee, district Mohrungen. I was fortunate enough to visit these localities three times, in 1990, 2003 and 2014.
So far, I - with the help of my cousin Siegmar Thomaschewski from Halle/Saale, Germany - have self-published two books on the THOMASCHEWSKI - BLUMSTEIN families from Redigkainen and Kainen, district Allenstein and Makrauten, district Osterode; and with the help of my cousin Sigrid (Lang) Grandt from Tespe/Hamburg I self-published one book on the LANG - DANN families from Bensee, district Mohrungen (all three books are written in the German language). Since we give up-to-date information on many of our relatives in these three books, my cousins and I decided to distribute them only to family members. However, I gladly give out select information to researchers interested in the same names or localities, so feel free to contact me for details.
In 2021, my cousin Sigrid (Lang) Grandt from Tespe/Hamburg and I self-published a book (in German) we wrote on our hometown in East Prussia, the small village of Bensee (now Bądze, Poland), district of Mohrungen. Almost nothing has ever been written on this town, and all of the church and civil records were lost during the Second World War.
Since we mention plenty of names and give a list of Bensee-Inhabitants who lived in the small village before the Second World War, we decided to make the book available to everyone on the Internet. Click the picture of the cover page above for a full copy (~109MB, .PDF).
Native German Speaker
Ph. D. in 17th Century German Literature
Master's Degree in Library Science
Many Years of Translating
Experience focusing solely on Documents pertaining to German Genealogy