Touching Roots: An Incredible Lightness Of Being by Carol P. Christ

carol p. christ 2002 colorA few days ago, a German-speaking friend spoke with an Eiloff relative of mine who lives in St. Nikolaus, Saarland.  My relative remembered hearing the story that Heinrich Eiloff, my 2x great-grandfather, emigrated to the United States in the mid-1800s.  Since we connected, I am experiencing an incredible lightness of being.

This is the first time my two years of genealogical research have led to a “Kunta Kinte” moment, a connection with a relative in “the old country.”  I have been unable to trace most of my ancestors back to the places of their birth. 

My relative in St. Nikolaus was perplexed by a call from Greece from a woman claiming to represent his American relative. But when she explained that I only want to find my roots and perhaps visit relatives in St. Nikolaus, he said, “that would be very nice.”  He promised to speak with other living relatives and said we should call in a month or two and he would tell us what he found.

According to my research, my 2x great-grandfather Heinrich Eiloff was born in 1820 in St. Nikolas, Saarland, in Prussia (now in Germany).

st nikolaus saarland

Continue reading “Touching Roots: An Incredible Lightness Of Being by Carol P. Christ”


Annie Corliss was my great-great-grandmother. The Corliss name, also spelled Corlis, Corless, Corlies, Corlers, and Carlis, is derived from “careless” meaning someone who is “carefree” or “happy-go-lucky.”

Annie Corliss was the daughter of James and Mary Corliss, both born in Ireland. Her parents may have been tenant farmers, but given that their surname could refer to someone who doesn’t settle or own property, they may have been Irish Travellers– itinerant craft persons and traders, sometimes called tinkers because they mended cooking pots and farm implements.  “Irish Travellers are a traditionally nomadic people of ethnic Irish origin, who maintain a separate language and set of traditions. … Irish Travellers have their roots in a Celtic (and possibly pre Celtic) nomadic population in Ireland.” Continue reading “THE CARELESS SPIRIT OF ANNIE CORLISS: TRUMPING DESPAIR IN THE NEW WORLD by Carol P. Christ”

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