An update from Kyle…
Last week we visited the village of Trisching, where my Ploessl ancestors lived for many generations in the 1600 – 1800s. My parents and one of my sisters had visited Trisching about 20 years ago (so we had an idea of what to expect there), but this was our first time visiting and it was a great experience.
My great grandfather, Johann Plössl emigrated from Trisching to Iowa in 1886. He returned to Bavaria briefly in 1891 to pick up Anna, my great grandmother. She was from a nearby village, Etsdorf.
Trisching is a small village of about 700 people. When we arrived, we went to the old Plössl home site. There is now a newer building there, owned by the descendants of my great grandfather’s younger brother.
The headstone of my great great grandfather Andreas is still in the yard. In Germany, graves are not permanent. When you go to the typical cemetery, the grave sites are all less than 40 years old. When the space is recycled, the gravestones are often given back to the family.
There is a little playground/park at the edge of the home site now. While Max and Henry were playing there, we met Josef picking apples with his grandson. He spoke English well and had just been to California on vacation last year. So, we talked for a while and he invited us to his house for coffee. He’s only been in Trisching for a few years, but he seems to know everyone in town. He took us around knocking on doors of people that might know the old Plössls and connected us to the relatives that now own the Plössl property. Through some persistence, Josef got the phone number of Maria, who shares the same great great grandparents with me. We got to meet Maria and her mother and brother and see some of the old family photographs. They had many family photos that were sent back to Germany from my great grandparent in the US.
We happened to be in town for the Kirwa festival, a traditional celebration in Bavaria held once a year in each village to mark the original consecration of the local church. It’s similar to Oktoberfest, but for one night and on a smaller scale. The young folks are responsible for organizing it and many dress up in some version of the traditional Bavarian gear. Most of the music the band played was German or traditional Bavarian music, but here they slipped in some Elvis…