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Trip to Ukraine and Alsace - 2007

Our group of Merck descendants made a trip in May-June 207 to visit the birthplace of Joseph John Merck, his family and ancestors in South Russia (now Ukraine). After visiting the Kutschurgan villages where they lived and the city of Odessa, we visited Alsace, France, where our ancestors resided before emigrating to South Russia in the early 1800s.


Strasbourg's medieval bridge Ponts Couverts in the foreground and the 
cathedral in the distance.

We made our headquarters for our visit to Alsace in Strasbourg, a beautiful history-rich city very close to the border with Germany. Strasbourg, considered the capital city of Alsace, is only a short distance to the villages of Schoenenbourg and Beinheim which were the home villages of our Merck ancestors.

Andre Merck

Andre Merck (left), of Strasbourg, visits with Ed Merck on the first day after we arrived in Alsace. Andre has been the source of considerable data about our ancestors in Alsace.

After arriving in Alsace, our first day was spent relaxing and visiting the sights of Strasbourg and surrounding areas. Visiting the famous cathedral with the tallest spire in Europe was a must.

Schoenenbourg was our first stop when we toured the villages of Alsace. Our ancestors first arrived here around 1700 from Austria.
Grave Marker

Merck families still live in Schoenenbourg. Several grave markers in this cemetery attest to this. This is but one of these.
Merck Grave

This grave contains Mercks from Schoenenbourg.

Another beautiful marker for a Merck family grave.
1732 Well

Legend says this linden tree was planted and watered by the tears of a lady when her husband left for the crusades. The tree and this 1732 well stand near the church.
Merck Group

Another photo of our group was taken inside the Schoenenbourg church. Inside the church we found a church bulletin which listed local Merck names.

Finding a place for lunch was difficult because it was Mother's Day. Finally, this restaurant in Mothern served us well.

Anita Whalen was surprised when this special treat, prepared by the chef in honor of her birthday, was presented for her dessert.

This stork found the natural place for nesting at the church in Beinheim. Beinheim was home to the Merck ancestors who emigrated to South Russia in the early 1800s.
Louis Merck

A visit to the cemetery in Beinheim revealed recent graves marked by the family name of Merck. Again, we were impressed by the beautifully cared for graves in the cemetery.

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