Being connected is a part of my genetic make-up, part of my heritage and I hope a part of my legacy. Connecting and relating is like breathing. And although I expect to discover connections as I go about my life, I never cease to be amazed by the blessings they bring.
It’s a big world out there. For most of my life I have remained on the East Coast. Recently I have overcome my fear of flying and now hop on planes without a second thought, eager to get a window seat so I can take in all the scenery below. I thrill to the adventure of exploring new places, meeting new people and taking lots of pictures. I gather new facebook friends wherever I go.
Recently I traveled to Norman, Oklahoma where I was co-leader for a two-day genealogy workshop for the Oklahoma Daughters of the American Revolution. On the last day of the workshop I mentioned that I had just submitted a supplemental DAR application to establish a new patriot, my ancestor William Fundenburg of Frederick County, Maryland. During the break one of the attendees, a Funderburk from Texas, greeted me by saying she had visited the Schloss Burg Castle in Germany—ancestral home of my Fundenburg ancestors and that her husband is a cousin. Next a new Oklahoma friend exclaimed that she is also a Funderburk descendant. When announcing to the class that the three of us had just discovered our connection, another Oklahoma Daughter jumped up and exclaimed that she too is a Funderburk cousin! So we did the next logical thing—we embraced and had a picture taken!
The first two cousins descend from Devauld Funderburk who survived a ship wreck off the coast of South Carolina. The third descends from Henry Funderburk, nephews of my Walter Funderburg. All three men left their homeland for America. Our common ancestor was my Walter’s father Adolph Von Der Burg and his wife Princess Elizabeth of Berg whose line of descent can be traced back to Adolph I von der Berg 1078-1152, the builder of Schloss-Burg. His wife was Adelheid, daughter of Count Dietrich of Cleve. I’m not kidding. Look it up in Guy B. Funderburk, Funderburk Castles and Conquests, 1975, pp 19-27. A princess, a count and a castle in my family tree—a heritage I share with three cousins I met in the Heartland at a DAR genealogy workshop! And to think it only took us 10 generations to reconnect!