Sunday, January 25, 2009


Matthew Gray from New Zealand was ribbing me about the washing machines last night. He said I should give up the subject or his lady friend might start wanting a new one. Bottom line there are so many choices we haven't picked one out yet. I hope LuAnn can do that Monday.

I got to thinking about my grandmother Mabel Gray. I never knew her very well but I remember her. She was mom's mom. At least I did know her, I never met my grandfather Samuel Carrington as he passed away before I was born. The Gray's usually originate from Scotland and the Carrington's from Ireland.

My surname Winkle seems to come from Winckel from the Black Forest area of Germany. I do know I felt a strong connection to my roots when Rich Werner and I road through there on the train to Strasbourg France to look up the Werner family history. That was in February 1993, our final seminar of LEAD Class IV at Ohio State University.

When I got woke up in the hotel there I looked up my name in the telephone book and there was two full pages of Charles Edward Winkle's! I knew of only one back in the states! I told Rich our family must have gotten kicked out of Germany because the rest stayed here!

Grandpa was George Winkle and there were lots of George's in the family. Issac was grandpa's dad and Levi was one of his many brothers. They had big families of course in those days to do the farming. Lots of Winkle families had 15 children. There was even a town of Winkle here but it was renamed to East Danville. Peter and Christina Winkle settled around Sugar Tree ridge and most of the Winkle's and Kier's are buried in that area.

Dad's mother was Mamie Kier. Kier is very Dutch like Uetrecht or Van Zielst. I have good friends in both those families. I have met many Kiers in this region and there is a Kier Road south of me and Winkle Road is near Sardinia.

I never got into geneology but have lots of family records stored away thanks to dad's family. Roma Jane Mercer did a lot of the history on the Kier and Winkle side of our families.

We bought a place on Canada Road in 1983. It had a Sears and Roebuck kit house on it, the first pre-fab house in American. They must have taken the horses and wagons to the Midland City railroad station and hauled all those pieces to the building site. It was a basic 24 by 24 house with two stories, an option in those days. The stairway and built in China cabinet was beautiful for a kit house. Maybe they had a craftsman build that, I never really knew. The house was added onto the back and made a good place to raise the kids out in the country.

The next door neighbor was Merlin Winkle and he was a farmer, too. I went to meet him and asked him if we could be related. He guffawed and chuckled and said "I doubt that." I got to know Merlin and Dot quite well and one day he asked me if I was interested in attending the Winkle reunion. I said yes and we went one Sunday afternoon.

Turned out that his Grandpa and dad's grandpa were brothers, Isaac and Levi! When we got home he and Dottie took me upstairs to see Kenneth's room, left just like it was when he was a child. They showed me his picture and I gasped. It looked so much like my own picture at the same age it was like looking at myself. Kenneth had died of childhood diseases that summer and was confined to a wheelchair most of his short life.

There are lots of jokes out in the country about not talking about family because you are probably related to them! I found that to be quite true in my own experience.

That is a little family history of me. I always said I was a 4 way cross between German, Dutch, Scotch and Irish. Not far from true! I am sure you have considered your family history too. It makes for good research for some people. Geneology is a key part of who we are. We learned that in science with genetics and environment making us who we are.

Whoever you are and whatever your history is I trust it is good and you have made the best from it. I know I have tried!

Have another Blessed Sabbath,

Ed Winkle

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