History, heritage, it all goes hand in hand somehow and with genealogy becoming more and more simple these days with all sorts of online databases it’s a reasonable interest people take in getting to know where they come from – or where the people they like come from.
So, how did I start? Well, first I took a closer look at my names. “Aleke Vilhelmsdottir” is some sort of a stage name for me, referring to my late dad being the one who actually introduced me to norse mythology. My actual first name is a greek male name my mother chose for me because she liked how exotic it sounded and I was born in a time where stuff like “Dynasty” was on TV. Go figure yourself 😀 My father’s last name can be traced back to a village in Switzerland of the same name, but as far as I know there’re no known ancestors of us coming from there, so this might be a coincidence. The trace ends (for now) in the southwestern parts of germany.
My mother’s maiden name was a typical german name but her mother’s (my late grandma’s) maiden name was a bit more interesting. My great grandparents came from Silesia over to Germany in the late 1800s. They had married in what is now Poland and lived in the region of Zabrze. Shortly after that they fled to Germany when the polish government started to expropriate people in Silesia and they basically lost their farm to these circumstances and went on their journey with nothing more than what could fit on their horse-drawn cart.
My grandma was born in the late 1920s and of course got hit by WWII. Because of our family history she hated the Polish people until she died because in her opinion she could have grown up on a huge farm instead of being born into relatively poor circumstances just because of governmental decisions, and you need somebody to blame, don’t ya? But no worries, I didn’t proceed to hate people who never harmed me personally and I actually think the Polish and Silesian culture are heavily intertwined, they were basically neighbours, like Germany and the Netherlands.
Fun Fact: My great grandpa spoke over seven languages. And he always claimed that our family had come from Italy to Silesia, because a more italian version of their name existed and their Silesian/Polish form of this name is quite rare. He said they went from the name “Pallotti” to “Pallotz”, which doesn’t sound that unlikely when you think about it.
How much the polish language and Silesia in general influenced my grandma becomes apparent when you think about that her first name was “Alice”. In German this name would be pronounced something like “Ah-leess”, just like in french, but my grandma called herself “Ah-lee-tzuh” all her life because the “tz” – sound is closer to the polish pronounciation of the name (“Alicja” – “Ah-lee-tzya”).
So do I get my viking card revoked now? Well … I don’t give a flying fuck if my ancestors were actually vikings or slavs when it comes to what I like to do, so I’m still going to get inspired by scandinavian culture and I’ll proceed loving their history and I’ll of course stay asatru because why the fuck wouldn’t I?
Have a great day, folks! 🙂