It is with great pleasure that all the Dangel could meet again in Bendorf to discover their genealogical tree. (DNA Photo)
Recently, Dangel, Willig and Juen gathered in their lair of the mill of Bendorf and discovered their ancestors thanks to the genealogy work of James Dangel, an American.
«Dangel, your merciless world. . .», one would be tempted to say, in order to mimic a famous serial [French theme song of “Dallas”], after this reunion of a very polyglot family! Between English, German, Alsatian and French, with all these languages required to explain how the aunt of Bendorf [grandmother of genealogist Emile Ruetsch of Bendorf] has an American nephew, it can get so complicated that it is difficult to make heads or tails from the discussions. Fortunately, the artisan of these genealogical researches, James Dangel, an American whose paternal [great-] grandfather came from Durlinsdorf, had crafted some very explanatory panels.
Since the XIVth century
Well represented in Upper-Alsace, the Dangel patronymic probably originates from the action of hammering, «tengeln» in ancient dialect. Several branches from before the Thirty Years War were identified. The oldest one is from Illfurth, known since 1589. In 1617, some Dangel can be found in Thann. Finally, the other Dangel families present in Alsace have all had one common point, they come from Lucerne [nearby Switzerland] where the name appeared in the XIVth century. From this branch originate the Dangel of Cernay, those of St-Maurice-sur-Moselle and especially the Dangel from the Sundgau [sundgauviens], all millers from Moos, Durlinsdorf and Bendorf. Since then, the «octopus dangélienne» has spread its tentacles as far as the country of Uncle Sam. (But all have not left, far from it. One of them is besides very well known at the editor’s office of the DNA [François Dangel, also a closer Willig cousin].)
4 generations in the USA
James Dangel, passionate of family history, is descended from the branch of Bendorf. He started his work in 1994 because «instead of visiting tourist sites, it seemed to me more interesting to visit the places where my family lived», precisely stated by the friendly Dangel of beyond the Atlantic. Since then he won’t stop wandering through the Alsatian countryside in search of the «lost cousins», as he calls them. His only difficulty seems to be the language. Bluntly, he affirms: «They (the lost cousins) would be more accessible if they spoke English like me! If only the English had only won the 100 Years War!».
Color photograph from a Willig cousin, not DNA.
Second reunion at the mill of Bendorf for some cousins that missed the first reunion.
James R. Dangel
1504 Sawmill Creek Road
Sitka, Alaska 99835 USA