I had a very nice visit from Robert Hilgenbrink on New Years Day, 2015. Robert is pictured on the left and myself on the right. I found Robert in my genealogy research and had been in contact with him through email. Robert is also researching his genealogy and we have some common ancestors. I determined, with the help of a relationship chart, that Robert is my third cousin, once removed. That basically means that we share a ancestor but Robert and I are from different generations. The common ancestor is John Schell Sr (Johann Schehl). I am five generations from John Schell Sr., whereas Robert is only four generations from him. And Robert is about a year younger than me! That's just how it worked out. It's too complicated to explain in this post why that happened, but, trust me, it is true.
Robert called me right after this Christmas (2014) and said he was going to be traveling through my area on his way to take his dog, Liza, to a show in St. Paul. He wondered if we could meet. So, I invited him over to my house and we met for the first time on New Years Day, 2015. It was great to get to know each other and we were able to compare some notes on our genealogy. I think this will be a very beneficial relationship as we both do not know much about each other's Schell branch. As I mentioned, our common ancestor is John Schell Sr. Robert is descended from John's son, George, whereas, I am descended from John's son, Peter. Robert had been stationed in Germany when he was in the service back in the 1970s and his Hilgenbrink family roots are more in northern Germany near the Dutch border. He has visited that area and also entertained in his home some relatives from that region. When I showed him where Erfweiler was on a map, he was surprised that when he was stationed in Germany he was actually not that far from Erfweiler. He would like to visit Erfweiler on some future trip to Germany.
This is just another great benefit from researching genealogy...... finding and meeting cousins you never knew existed. From meeting cousins Terry Emerson and Marjorie Jones in California to Friedbert Schehl all the way over in Stuttgart, Germany, it has been a real delight in getting to know these people and make the connections. I can only imagine who I will find in the future!