Fountain of Youth?

It’s a known fact that in traveling from east to west one “gains” time in crossing different time zones. A recent genealogy experience may concur with that point:

An examination of the ship passenger list gives the names of my great-great grandparents, Anna Wortelker (Antje Jurgen Kuiper) and Harm Wortelker, and their ages as 54 and 51 respectively at Castle Garden, New York City, on 30 Nov. 1860. However, original church records give their year of birth as 1796 and 1799. My calculations say they would be approximately 64 and 61.

Amazingly, later census and Iowa church records validate the 1796 and 1799 information.

So, did they “loose” ten years by coming from Germany? Did they purposely give the wrong information to immigration authorizes?

And then there was the case of my great-grandmother Bouke Wortelke, wife of John Schwans, who  stated her age in the United States as being  10 years younger than her recorded birth record shows in Germany.  She also “lost” a few years in crossing the ocean.

So, I’m left to conclude my ancestors did  indeed “gain” time as they traveled west– by dropping a few years from their age!   Alas, Juan Ponce de León never did find that fabled fountain of youth he set out to discover, but then good old Ponce never met my ancestors, either.   They might have been able to share their discovery with him and history may have indeed been different!


About maryjlohr

Avid genealogist.
This entry was posted in Research, Schwans Genealogy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fountain of Youth?

  1. Mary Ann Black says:

    Sounds very HOLLYWOOD to me!!

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