A Trip To Saulxures

I visited Saulxures, Plaine and Schirmeck today (Sept. '99).  They are small hamlets  (Saulxures the smallest) in the hills of Alsace.  The terrain is very  similar  to Adams County ..... the South Mountain region where I traced my line back  through.  It was Saturday morning and there was nobody around to talk  to ...... as  if I could converse with them!  The drive took only about 45 minutes from  Strasbourg.  The first thing that hit me as I drove into the area was the lumber  industry .... which seemed to be the only industry besides farming.  I  remember  that my great-great grandfather, great-grandfather and grandfather all  worked in this industry, the first two in Adams County.  Some of the pictures that I  took  show how the hills have been stripped of timber.  Could this have been a  family trade that attracted them to the area of Pennsylvania in which they settled?

Saint Michel de Saulxures was built in 1792 (there is a bicentenial plaque on the wall for 1992). Most of the graves in the graveyard are 20th Century ... without  dates .... two with Strasbach's.  I wonder if the people are cremated to save space and put in the "family" vault.  There is absolutely no room for further graves in either Saulxures or Plaine.  I didn't see any other cemetaries, but maybe if the church was in a different place (during the 18th century) another graveyard exists.

Xavier Strasbach's name is on the WWI monument outside the church.  His  name ALSO appears on the monument in Plaine.  Does that mean that they lived between Saulxures and Plaine having connections to both?  There was  only one other name that was on both monuments.

Plaine is only a few miles away (as the crow flies) .... on the other  side of the mountain.  Both towns are situated on hillsides. Plaine is about twice as large as Saulxures ...... the church is similar ..... the graveyard is twice as large with many more Strasbach's buried there.

Schirmeck is more of a town...the main road goes right down the middle. There are actually stores and shops.  The church is much larger. I saw no navigable waterway here ....... may we assume that the family  must have trekked to the Rhine via ground transportation?

It could make sense that there are many more Strasbach's in the Plaine Cemetary since Nicholas took his large family to America, thus removing  them and their lineage from the Saulxures Parish.  In either town there was no place where you could go to ask questions.  In fact, I don't believe that mass is regularly celebrated in these churches.  I saw the same schedules in Saulxures, Plaine and St Blaise La Roche indicating that mass is rotated between the three locations each week.

George B. Strasbaugh

Note!  In regard to the' trip to Saulxuers' cemetary not having older dates on stones,  We found in Germany and parts of France, that If a 'rent' was not payed in 30 years, the grave was reused.  This was a very upsetting turn of events  for us, as it was not what we expected.