Somewhere, nestled in my family tree, is a guy who got stuck with the nickname The Prince of Prunes. He got this dubious distinction by somehow falling into a wine vat. I’d love to know the rest of that story.
I think, but I’m not sure, that he’s the same guy that my mother used to have a tiny little picture of. He was wearing a spiked helmet and a monocle. He looked very severe. Apparently he was Prussian.
Here’s the thing. (Yes, there’s always a thing.) I have no idea who this guy is, where he came from, or how he popped up in the Danish side of my family. The fact that there was a Prussian floating around in there somewhere was apparently a source of a great deal of embarrassment. My grandparents didn’t like to talk about it.
I don’t even know where the picture is.
My mother also mentioned some Czech ancestry, too, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out when or where. I wish I had listened more. (I actually listened quite a bit, come to think of it. I just didn’t ask enough questions.)
My mother also said that back in the day, we had a family crest. She once showed it to me. I remember it included a unicorn, which I thought was extremely cool. I have no idea where that crest went. She said it was the Von Barby crest. But my cousin, who is the genealogist of the family, insists we were just Barby. Again, I have no idea when or where or how.
So much of our history is oral. We lose so much over time. Mine is probably the last generation of my family to hold even these small fragments of stories. I wonder what else has been lost?
Still, it’s kind of fun to be related to royalty, even if it is only of the wine vat variety.
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