Blog Post Helps Man Find Family Roots

The chances had to be a million to one. When I traveled around the world for six months in 2007, I blogged about every place I visited. Because Matten, Switzerland was one of my most picturesque destinations, I featured many photos of the town, especially the historic buildings.

Months later, I received an email from a William Diesslin, regarding my photos of Matten:

You didn’t know it at the time, but you photographed my great
grandfather’s store front! I’ve attached the photo for your reference.”

I scoured my photos until I found what seemed to be a match for the historic black and white picture Diesslin had sent. During the next few weeks, I learned the rest of the story. Diesslin's search for his ancestry had been unsuccessful until he discovered my blog. Once he saw my photo he was able to identify the present day building and track down the owners, who confirmed the store had originally belonged to his great grandfather.

In a subsequent email he remarked:

"This will be a landmark for my family as my dad was orphaned at 14
years old, all family history was lost. Your photos may have opened up
a long lost link to my ancestors.”

There's more to the story, like the fact that Diesslin stayed in that very building (it is now a hostel) back in the 1980's and had abslutely no idea that it had any connection to his family. The series of coincidences are so bizarre as to be almost unbelievable. To read the rest of the story, and to see the histoic and present day photos, visit Hole In The Donut Travel Blog.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by baweibel.

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Newest 5 Comments

I have a similar story...

I'm adopted. My adoptive parents first told me this when I was about three or four, and I grew up knowing that I had their full support any time I wished to look for my biological parents. I tried once or twice, but really didn't have enough information to go on.

Fast forward to 2000. I was bored that summer and taught myself HTML and put up a website. It was mostly a collection of essays, artwork, and photos. One of those essays was about being adopted. I referenced some relevant names within that essay.

In October 2001, I got an email from a woman claiming to be my birth mother. She turned out indeed to be my birth mother, but what's cool is how they found me (I never in my wildest dreams expected that my birth family would be looking for me also). My half-brother was searching for some of those same relevant names, and he got a hit off my website. He looked at the photos, decided I was who they were looking for, and notified our mother.

It was such a random happenstance I was tempted to start playing the lottery. :) What's even odder is that until 1997, she had been living within an hour's drive of me.
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Ha ha, when I first read the title of this post, I thought it said "Blog Post Helps Man Find Family Robots." I glanced at the picture and was disappointed that I could not see any robots.
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That's a neat story - I failed to see the resemblance of the two buildings, but that's probably because I'm not visually adept (i.e. if it's not the same angle and background, I'm completely lost!)
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