Swidwin Trip 2008.

Although a few may see this post who may be only superficially interested there might be a few others who have more of an interest, namely my family. So to my family members, 🙂 Welcome.

Ian in Swidwin

Ian in Swidwin

This year is the 125 anniversary of my ancestors Eduard and Antonia Kath travelling to Australia from what is now known as Swidwin. Originally known as Schivelbein in German in their time, Swidwin is the now the Polish name that it’s know by.

In 1884 this part of Europe was part of the Prussian empire however it is questionable as to whether Eduard & family would have identified as Prussian as they may have still thought of themselves as Pomeranian.

castleLast year I travelled to Europe to visit friends and record some Episodes of my Online Chat Show Your Story, that I’ve been doing since 2007. While I was in Berlin I decided that as it was only 3.5 hours drive, I may as well travel to Swidwin and see what this town is like. I was also on a mission to meet as many interesting people as I could and was lead to have a few drinks with a couple of delightful women who publish a travel magazine, Hidden Europe. This is my post of that meeting.

In telling Nicky and Susanne of my reason to visit Europe I mentioned that I was also intending on a trip to Swidwin to see where Eduard and Antonia came from. To my delight a couple of days later Nicky sent me an email to which I’ve added some images which you can download as a PDF. It explains some of the history of the area and general information of the times that may have impacted on our ancestor and reading between the lines, some of the reasons for wanting to leave Europe.

A few days later I travelled with three friends to Swidwin to have a look around and see if there is anything of interest. Here is the video of that trip which I’ve put together, I hope you enjoy. Although the trip was on a beautiful sunny summer day and I had great company I found that there wasn’t a lot to see in the town. Maybe if it was any other day than a Sunday it may have been more interesting but in many parts I found it a little sad. Granted we had limited time so we didn’t break into the culture of Swidwin and there may be a lot going on that we didn’t find but I remember thinking that if this is summer and the town is like this, what must it be like in winter?

In walking around Swidwin and thinking this could possibly still be my home I considered how hard life would have been with the living standards of the time, the recent wars and possible religious persecution that drove Eduard and Antonia’s decision to migrate to Australia, giving us the opportunities that we have here. Although it’s now 125 years later I’m so appreciative of the fact that I live in Australia and in their small genetic way I have them to thank for that.

If you want to check out some images of my trip to Swidwin please go to this Swidwin Flickr link and I have included some historical family images on this Family Flickr link.pommern

Feel free to copy, share, print or repost any content that you see here and please feel free to share it with the family. Hopefully it’s of interest to you.

As I write this I’m in preparation of travelling to a very large family reunion tomorrow at Glenco west of Toowoomba where we are gathering to celebrate the 125 years that our family have been in Australia. I’m intending on collecting some additional information that I’ll post in the near future.

Below is a place to post comments. Please mention that you’ve been here, it would mean a great deal to those who read and myself.

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About Ian

I'm in my late forties with a teen age daughter living in the eclectic area of West End in Brisbane Australia. I've 30 odd years skills in manufacturing within the trades and film industry. I'm deeply involved in exploring how people connect and communicate both intellectually and habitually. Interests in Science, Personality, Empathy, Evolutionarily Psychology and Attraction. I'm interested in peoples thoughts on life. By understanding others we learn about ourselves and others, so forging community. Ya!

8 thoughts on “Swidwin Trip 2008.

  1. Pingback: Iam Ian | 125 Year Family Celebration.

  2. Thanks Ian, for putting your trip and info down; it’s always great to learn more about our personal history and being able to add further information to Eduard and Antonie’s story. I travelled thru Germany in 2001 and we passed (on a bus) a beautiful gate entrance with ‘k a t h’ in huge letters across the top triangular shape. I was not able to find out where we were and this has been a great disappointment. Maybe one day, I will get to do a similar trip and come across this gate again. A trip thru any of the European countries where there has been so much was and dissent soons makes one appreciate how wonderful life in Australia is and has been. Happy travelling. Cheers Sherenne

  3. Sherenne.
    I wonder where that gate was and if it had anything to do with us. I’ll keep an eye out for it when I go back there. Let me know where you think it may have been so I can keep my eyes open. Someone may also read this and get the information also.

  4. I think I all ready submit one comment about your trip to Swidwin but not sure if it worked. Just wanted to tell you that I grew up in Swidwin and it was lovely to see your vedeo. You did a great job!! Thank you.

  5. Dorota

    Thanks 🙂

    It’s lovely to hear that someone who lived in Swidwin has seen the video and that it brought back the memories. It was a very special day for me to go and visit where my ancestors came from back in 1884 and to share the day with my friends.

    Thanks for dropping by and feel free to download your own personal copy of the video if you wish.

  6. Na początku przepraszam za mój słaby angielski… I’m 24 and in the years 1989 – 2006 I lived with my parents in Swidwin. Now live I in Szczecin (about 100 km west). From childhood I was a lover of local history. Today bored, I entered the password Google.com ‘Schivelbein “and came across your site. FIlm and description of the tour by Świdwin watched with bated breath and an open face. I would like to contact you and collaboration. In Swidwin still live my parents and once a month I try to visit them. If you want to, I would send you a recent pictures of places that interest you, movies, etc. I want you to tell me a little about his ancestors from Swidwin. Where they lived, send me some photos, more than what is on your side. It’s great that I found someone who became interested in the history of this small town. I look forward to hearing from you! Regards, Paweł Kaberow (check my profile on facebook.com).

    Please email me! 🙂

  7. Hi Ian,
    I’ve been reading your blog with interest – my Grandmother is Florence Kath, descendent of Eduard and Antonia. We come from the Darling Downs of Queensland. I’ve recently started doing family history research. Can you tell me, did you find out who Eduard’s parents were? Or Antonia’s?

I'm sure you've got some ideas about this? Eh?