Bill Seamans Report
My wife and I were able to travel in Germany during May this year (2000). We drove from SW of Koblenz across Germany into the Mecklengburg area. We spent one night at the Hotel Praalank outside of Neustrelitz. The next day we traveled through Malchin and on to Dargun where we stayed at the Hotel AM Klostersee. The owner of the hotel Praalank did speak some English, but in Dargun we could not find anyone that spoke any English. We made out very well. The owner(or manager) at the Hotel AM Klostersee treated us like old friends. We had no trouble, ate and slept well for two days while we toured the area.
Most of my great-grandparents came from the area within 50 Km of Dargun. We were able to visit Jordenstorf, Wasdow, Demmin, Wesselstorf, Zarnewanz, and other villages in the area. It looks a lot like the area of western NY that they migrated to. Trees, shrubs, flowers, etc all look the same. The people we met were just great. We were able to convey the names we were looking for and they directed us to various churches and cemetaries.
One lady had us follow her in her car to her home so we could talk with her husband, who did speak a very little English. He contacted a Schildt that he knew and got us a name and address that I will be following-up on. I cannot say enough about the trip and the people we met. I urge anyone who has the opportunity to visit the area to do so.
After we left Dargun we drove south and visited Dresden, Meissen, Seiffen, and Heidelberg. We got "slightly misplaced" once or twice, but other than that every thing went better than I had hoped. I hope that I have the opportunity to get back and do it again.