|The passenger list for the SS Vaderland which sailed out of Antwerp to the Port of New York in 1909.|
My Grandfather Rudolph is 10 months old and is returning with his mother Maria and siblings from a trip to their Grandfather Kurta's house.
For years some family members have been in denial over possible Jewish origins. I was told by my Grandmother Kapple not to worry, she looked it up and we weren't Jewish (but she also told me to get married and get rid of the "Jewish" surname). I guess there is good reason to worry about possible Jewish ancestry considering still present anti Semitism, and centuries of persecution. I really have wanted to know for certain whether our family had been Jewish at some point despite the burden of having connections to a persecuted minority.
|My Aunts with my Grandfather Rudoph Kapple|
A Self-Help Guide to Locating Your Sixteen Great-Great Grandparents, by Robert W. Marlin . After reading that I got a clear idea of how to proceed with my research. Using Naturalization records for my Great-Grandparents I found out the name of the village they came from. Searching the Internet I found the Burgenland Austria, Burgenland Bunch, genealogy website. My ancestors' village was in the groups area of specialization. Their website gave helpful tips on researching in that area. They pointed me to microfilm available through the LDS Family History Library. I ordered Catholic Church records and Jewish Records. I didn't find my family in the Jewish records like I expected. They did appear in Catholic Church records for 100 years. This really puzzled me. Many of the names I found in the Catholic Church records for Ronok Parish, where my family attended church, contained surnames associated Ashkenazi Jews. I figured that my family likely converted to Catholicism, and many of my collateral families likely did too.