Ryan Taylor Tracing Our Lunen-Links


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By Ryan Taylor

Where is Canada's earliest German settlement? In the east, of course -- Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

From the earliest days of the internet, descendants of the first families of Lunenburg have had their own chat group. It is called Lunen-Links and can be found on the Rootsweb site.

Shirley Goos of Victoria descends from Andreas Jung, born near Giesen, Germany but later a resident of Nova Scotia. She has belonged to Lunen-Links from the beginning and enjoys her contacts with other descendants, not all of them related. They are joined by their enthusiasm for their Nova Scotia heritage.

Members of the group met face-to-face at Lunenburg's 250th anniversary last year. Various families had their own tables, there were speakers on the history of the area, and it all culminated in the unveiling of a monument to pioneer families. It was financed by donations from individuals across Canada and from local companies. Tablets on the memorial list the names of those first families.

About 1,400 people came to Lunenburg to celebrate the anniversary from England, Australia and New Zealand as well as the USA and Canada. Almost exactly the same number of settlers first arrived there in 1753. For details about the celebration, including pictures, go to Chris Young's site, The Wizard's Cove, at www.seawhy.com.

What do the Lunen-Links discuss? "We exchange information about our families and the area," says Goos, "But if you really want a reaction, go to food."

What sort of food? "Blueberry grunt," she replies, "And sauerkraut."

Her Jung ancestors lived at Tancook Island and made the best sauerkraut. What made it better? The fact that they used seaweed for fertilizer helped. Also, family rumour said the secret was that it was stomped by foot, just as grapes are juiced in the Mediterranean countries. I have never heard of Waterloo County sauerkraut being made this way.

Asked if she continues the family method, Goos laughs, "No, I make a traditional Ontario recipe I inherited from my mother-in-law." She was named Kalbfleisch and had Waterloo County roots.

Chris Young of Guelph maintains a master list of the early Lunenburg settlers on his website. It could serve as a model for similar lists. Young indexes individuals from various primary sources. Researchers can access the materials either by looking at the whole source, or using the links in the index, which takes them back to the resources. Shirley Goos' ancestor, Andreas Jung, is linked to twenty original sources.

Goos refers people who would like to read about the Lunenburg settlers to Winthrop Bell's The foreign Protestants and the settlement of Nova Scotia (most recently edition published by Acadiensis Press, 1990).

Although there are victualling lists among the resources, none of them seem to provide details on stomping sauerkraut for better flavour.

Posted April 7, 2004
Column copyright © 2004 Ryan Taylor

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