For the millions of Americans linked to ancestors in the Chronnies, although there is connection to at least eleven European countries and five African, the heritage is greatly from along the shores of the Rhine River in Central Europe [See the Introduction that follows for details]. These Germanic forefathers and foremothers were part of a society that was able to resist conquest that other areas could not. Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, and Finland were overtaken numerous times. England had been conquered by Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Vikings, to name a few. Throughout history, while the Ottomans, Huns, Romans, Goths, Norse, Sweds, Austrians, Prussians, Russians, Bohemians, and others were running roughshod throughout the continent, the strong, smart, formidable Rhinelanders held strong. At worst, they were suzerain during a few points in history, but the early tribes and later aggregate Franks, Suebi and Alemanni kept themselves and their homeland secure.
The constant changes of boundary of these tiny lordships, the hazy character of the powers possessed by their rulers, the multiplicity of free townships yielding obedience to none but their own civic rulers, the brief but none the less tyrannous rule of scores of robber barons who exercised a régime of blood and iron within a radius of five miles of their castellated eyries, render the tracing of the history of the Rhine during the Middle Ages a task of almost unequalled complexity, robbed of all the romance of history by reason of the necessity for constant attention to the details of dynastic and territorial changes and the petty squabblings and dreary scufflings of savage barons with their neighbours or with the scarcely less brutal ecclesiastical dignitaries, who, joining with gusto in the general mêlée of land-snatching, served to swell the tumult with their loud-voiced claims for land and lordship.1
These Rhine inhabitants, incorrectly labeled Barbarians, were more accurately ahead of their times—family and community centered, politically democratic, religiously progressive, anti-monarchist, and understanding of the dynamics of the earth and her resources. They formed tribes based on safety and strength, not family lineage like the bordering monarchs. Their leader, the reik, fought and helped in community and worked with neighboring reiks, oracles, elders, and women to cohere the tribe. Germania had democratic methods for safety, food, community at the same time as the Greeks were developing democratic society. However, being located at the crossroads of Europe, their lands were constantly travelled through, pushed and pulled in various directions depending on the whim of the neighboring monarchs. Consistency was difficult. These ancestors also saw the value of other cultures and ideas and rather than annihilating them, more often than not merging with them to form more genetic diversity, better ideas and a overall healthier society. During the Middle Ages, they had elections to head both the sovereign and papal positions, unlike the absolute methods throughout most of the world.
Like other world-rivers, the Rhine has attracted to its banks a succession of races of widely divergent origin. Celt, Teuton, Slav, and Roman have contested for the territories which it waters, and if the most enduring of these races has finally achieved dominion over the fairest river-province in Europe, who shall say that it has emerged from the struggle as a homogeneous people, having absorbed none of the blood of those with whom it strove for the lordship of this vine-clad valley?1
One may say their biggest failure of Central Europe was the infighting amongst tribes. However, they joined and rallied when needed and one may more rightly say that this “weakness” the actual reason their nation remained healthy, strong, and resilient. Germany was not unified until 1871, formerly subsisting as tribes and later city-states, electorates and the like. As the area had no formal national name until then, merely called Germania by the Romans, one can see the beauty and benefit of this society.
But what German heart does not thrill at the name of the Rhine? What German cheek does not flush at the sound of that mighty thunder-hymn which tells of his determination to preserve the river of his fathers at the cost of his best blood? Nay, what man of patriotic temperament but feels a responsive chord awake within him at the thought of that majestic song, so stern, so strong, “clad in armour,” vibrant with the clang of swords, instinct with the universal accord of a united people?1
Early Germania also saw the injustices, amorality and corruption of not only of the monarchies but of the Catholic Church as well and hence produced men such as Frederick III and Martin Luther, the champions of Protestantism and later leaders to develop a Democratic state. They also saw the corruption of greed, placing little emphasis on silver and gold and more on bartering, community and sharing. Of course, the reiks and strongest warriors had more, but not at the expense of the others and not so much to force other tribes or other parts of the world to obey their ideals. The local tribes uniquely placed the highest value on women and understood the important of freedom, equality, and justice of all.
Among [the Germanic] people the female sex was held as absolutely sacred, the functions of wife and mother being accounted among the highest possible to humanity, and we observe in ancient accounts of the race that typically Teutonic conception of the woman as seer or prophetess which so strongly colours early Germanic literature. Women…[even with the onset of] Christianity…, remained as the sole conservators of the ancient Teutonic magico-religious lore, and in the curtained recesses of dark-timbered halls whiled away the white hours of winter by the painful spelling out of runic characters and the practice of arts which they were destined to convey from the priests of [Wodan] and [Donar] to the witches of medieval days.1
|German Diaspora Counties that are MAJORITY Germanic ethnicity: America, Austria, England, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland. Countries that have high Germanic ethnicity: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, South Africa.|
Having sustained for millennia, it’s no reason current-day Germans, who despised Hitler and other so-called “leaders,” don’t call anyone the Father or the Mother of their country. It was a group effort. Sure, there’s Bismarck, Wilhelm I, Arminius and others who assisted but there was no need for a George Washington or a Louis XIV, the tribes worked en masse, as a group, eliminating any subjugation and moving toward peace and prosperity. Although it may have been called the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, it was none of those. As those who broke from Catholicism, were Germanic in heritage, and who never had a true monarch or colonized elsewhere; let’s rather called them the VSD—vereinigte Staaten von Deutchsland! These Swiss, Rhinelanders, Palatines and Dutch were some of the best people who persevered through the world’s constant treachery, conquest, and subserviency to bring forward an honorable way, a better way, for all to survive and seize opportunity.
The protracted struggle known as the Thirty Years’ War was most prejudicial to the interests of the Rhine valley, which was overrun by the troops of the several nationalities engaged. One phase of this most disastrous struggle—the War of the Palatinate—carried the rapine and slaughter to the banks of the Rhine, where, as has been said, they were long remembered.1
The Rhine flows through six countries — Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea at Rotterdam. The river begins as The Alpine Rhine in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, continuing through the cantons of St Gallen, as the High Rhine through Thurgau, Schaffhausen, Zurich, Aargau, and Basel. The southern half of the Upper Rhine flows from Switzerland into Germany, forming the border between Baden-Württemberg and French departments Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. The northern part of the Upper Rhine runs through Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, and Hesse, with its main tributaries, such as the Neckar, the Main and Moselle. As it become the Lower Rhine, it flows through North Rhine-Westphalia and finally into the Netherlands, where its tributaries run through at least nine of the twelve Dutch provinces. The Chronnies can be divided into sixteen lines, note how much of each line originates near some part of the Rhine, from Switzerland, Germany, France, and Netherlands.
- Thompson, All UK
- Goodman, All Rhine
- Hensel, All Rhine
- Updegrove, Mostly Rhine, 1/16 UK
- Batdorf, All Rhine
- Peters, Mostly Rhine, 1/16 UK
- Wert, All Rhine
- Row, All Rhine
- Duncan, Mecklenburg
- McCloud, Mostly UK, 1/8 French
- Layman, Mostly Rhine, ¼ Romania, 1/8 UK
- Oberlander, All Rhine
- Anderson, Mostly Rhine, ¼ UK
- Gaugler, Mostly Rhine, ¼ UK
- Keefer, All Rhine
- Livezly, Mostly UK, 1/16 Rhine
Es braust ein Ruf wie Donnerhall,
Wie Schwertgeklirr und Wogenprall;
Zum Rhein, zum Rhein, zum deutschen Rhein,
Wer will die Strömes Hüter sein?
Lieb Vaterland, magst ruhig sein,
Fest steht und treu die Wacht am Rhein.1
NOTE: Coming Soon! The African Diaspora: America, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, DR, Ecuador, France, Germany, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, PR, Spain, UK, Venezuela, and Yemen.
1-Project Gutenberg’s Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine, by Lewis Spence