After a few weeks planning between Melanie, Hans Kern from the Historical Society and myself we were able to arrange a nice schedule for Melanie and her family.
On Wednesday Nov 24th Melanie Jay arrived with her husband Keith and the two sons Nathan and Zackary in Reutlingen where they have found an appartement for the family.
Melanie is a descendant of Mathias Bader, who was one of the first emigrant from Jettenburg and settled in 1752 in Pennsylvania. In America the name Bader changed to Border respectively Borders. Over the time the descendants of Mathias Bader moved South and West to the North of Texas where Melanie’s family is running a farm since 1908.
On Thursday the family was accompanied by Hans Kern and Manfred Wandel from the Historical Society. The first target was the church of Jettenburg. From there they visited the house of Heinz Kern as well the historical farm museum of the Bader family.
On Friday I was able to join them in Kusterdingen to participate in the audience at the Mayor’s office. Dr. Soltau welcomed the guests on behalf of the city of Kusterdingen. He proudly reported the successful development of the city, which now even has a high school. He was also very interested in the history of the emigrants and their descendants. After half an hour Ines Stoehr from the local press (Reutlinger Generalanzeiger) joined us for an interview.
Finally we made some pictures in front of the city hall in Kusterdingen. After the visit at the city hall we met Mathias Bader (his family is running the farm museum) for lunch in his compartment store “Braun Moebelcenter” in Betzingen for a joined lunch.
In the interview Melanie said, that she and her family like Germany quite well and they would like to live in Stuttgart. She confirmed that the visit in the church has been a very emotional moment for her.
Unfortunately we could not accomplish another big wish of Melanie: To meet with local relatives. The archive in Kusterdingen does contain very limited information on Mathias Bader which could be helpful to find a related family. However Melanie provided us with the father and grandfather of Mathias Bader:
Hans Bader (1606-1683) married to Apollonia (1610-1679)
Adam Bader (1656-1728) married to Barbara Schneider (1651-1724)
Matthias Bader (1707-1783) married to Anna Maria Schneider (1711-1757)
If you should share the same ancestors with Melanie I would appreciate if you could let me know.