Monday, August 08, 2005


Finding pieces of the puzzle

After a late night on Sunday, I slept late on Monday then caught up on my journal. I still have not been able to get a signal on my wireless network card, so have not been able to send messages. The Formule 1 motel does have a computer terminal available in the lobby, for a fee of 3 euro per 15 minutes. In a half hour I am able to catch up on my e-mail and post a quick note on the blog to let everyone know that I am alive. This is my first experience with a German keyboard and it is a little different. The Y and Z keys are reversed since Z is used much more in Germany. So if mz tzping looks a little fuyyz, that is whz.

It is nearly noon when I walk out the door of the motel, and down two blocks to the subway. That takes me to Herne Hautbahnhof (train station) and from there I catch the train to Recklinghausen. An English-speaking cab driver takes me to the Hotel Albers Gasthof (, a small hotel with a restaurant on the main floor. It is located on the central Marktplatz and has a halfway reasonable rate of 55 euro (about $70) per night. My room is on the third floor, the top floor. It has its own toilet and shower, with sheets and towels provided, a luxury after several days of shared facilities. There is a date of 1766 on the front of the building, but it quite comfortable and modern inside having been remodeled about 10 years ago.

I have settled in to my room by 2pm (1400 hr in Euro time) and go to the hotel’s restaurant for lunch. A very good meal of battered fish filet and potato salad, with a beer, is only about 8,50 euro, a little over $10. Then I take a walk to locate the Rathaus, the city hall. A couple of young ladies there who speak some English are able to get me pointed in the right direction on my research, which will have to take place tomorrow morning as it is getting late in the business day.

According to the Borgmann family history, Recklinghausen was the home of the Schurmann family. Antonette Schurmann was the wife of Ferdinand Borgmann; they are my great-great-grandparents on my mother’s side of the family. It is possible that Ferdinand Borgmann is from this area as well, in the nearby town of Waltrop, though I do not have a confirmation of that. A look in the local phone book finds several Borgmanns but no Schurmanns. It is possible that those people are my fourth cousins.

After several excellent beers in the evening, I end up dining again at the Gasthof Albers, this time on peppers stuffed with ground pork over rice with a tomato sauce bath. Again quite good and rather inexpensive.

An early bedtime tonight as I want to get to the Registrar’s office when they open at 0830.

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