Friday, March 4, 2011

Allie-Oscar-Einstein Manifesto

Kirchhofer (Allie's) Family circa 1914

My mom’s big kick over the last few years has been to dig about our family history. She has found my 8th great grandmother (Angelique) and traced another branch to 1707 in Freiburg, south western Germany. It’s amazing and just a little awe inspiring to realize we have hundreds and even thousands of relatives both living and dead.

Her research piqued my interest and now I am wondering about the other half of my family tree. My father was adopted and I don’t know anything as to where/what his blood relations are. I like to think I am of a royal bloodline (hey, the queen mum had an ostomy!), lost to the bosom of the family through a series of misfortunes. In reality, I am probably the great x 5 grandchild, twice removed, from an illicit affair involving a buff stable lad and a cute chamber maid. Either way, all the genetics involved has me wondering; is Crohn’s inherited? And if so, how did anyone live long enough without modern drugs or surgeries to produce off spring to pass the gene on to?

I start thinking about who/what/when/where/why and my head feels as if it going to burst. But then I feel as if I owe it to myself, or better yet, owe it to Oscar to figure out just exactly how we came into being. Then my head starts hurting again and I think of all the hours that will be spent in dusty libraries and on internet searches. My last foray into a library involved screeching at the librarian when she wouldn’t hand over the washroom key. Note to readers: screeching is apparently frowned upon in libraries. I break out into a cold sweat whenever the word “library” is mentioned and find myself using every known excuse to not go into one. Silliness really, as I am a voracious reader and have spent a small fortune on books that could have just as easily been borrowed from the local EPL (Edmonton Public Library.)

Today I had a light bulb moment. I can comfortably enter into a library with Oscar’s help. Maybe I will find out whom if any, in my family had Crohn’s or any of the other IBD’s. Maybe I will find a relation between gene’s and this disease and become the next Hermann Joseph Muller! In reality I’ll probably just write about my fantastic adventures with Oscar and cautiously make my way to the nearest EPL. I intend to do so soon or at least as soon as I work up the courage to face down the librarian.


  1. Did you know you are a blood relative to every person in that picture except for the man in the little window. He is the husband of Maria,(the woman in the middle, back row.) She is your great great aunt. The older couple are Balthasar and Theresia Kirchhoffer, your great great grandparents. Not royalty, but regal just the same.