The Zetmeir Family in Bavaria and America

by Karl David Zetmeir



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 4/11/2021

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 118
ISBN : 9781665521383
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 118
ISBN : 9781665521369
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 118
ISBN : 9781665521376

About the Book

MAKING THEIR LUCK is the personal family genealogy of the Zehetmeier family, and the story of how they immigrated from Bavaria in 1883 to settle first in the coal region of Kansas and then the harsh Oklahoma plains at the turn of the Twentieth Century. It is reflective of the common immigrant experience in America; that of leaving a country with no prospects to voyage to another in hopes of making a better life. Originally motivated to just discover his family’s place of origin in Germany, the author’s genealogical search turned into a lifetime pursuit of his family roots. From their first known ancestors in Germany, it follows their family tree to the author’s great grandfather crossing the Atlantic to settle in Kansas during its frontier times, and to later take a growing family by wagon across the plains to build a homestead in western Oklahoma. It is a journey over a path well-known to genealogists; years of detective work in libraries, archives, vital statistics, church records and family interviews to capture the story of his ancestors. He has added from local histories of the regions his family lived to gain a better perspective of their life and times. It tells of the hard scrabble existence of coal-mining, and surviving a near disaster, to cutting a sod house out of the desolate prairie to make a 160-acre homestead a place to raise a family and prosper. Far from just a ledger of names and birthdates, it describes how they worked and endured to carve out a life in a new country and set a legacy of hard work and integrity that has spanned their generations. The title itself stems from a popular family phrase: “If I only work hard enough, I’ll make my own luck.”

About the Author

Karl David Zetmeir is a retired US Army officer whose interest in his family’s German genealogy and history began with stories his father told during family trips. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he graduated from North Kansas City High School where his studied the German and history. His military career led him to assignments in Germany, where he began what would be a thirty-year odyssey of researching his family story. He retired after twenty-eight years of active service as a Lieutenant Colonel, having served in various assignments in the United States, Germany, the Mid-East and Africa. These included Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the first US officer assigned to the German Bundeswehr’s psychological operations unit. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science: International Politics from Park University, and a master’s degree in International Relations from Troy University. His final assignment was as a Special Operations Forces instructor at the US Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Karl met his wife, Manuela during his first overseas assignment to Berlin, and they raised four children together. He currently works for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Leavenworth, Kansas.