My name is William Toll, I am fifty nine years old and live in Brandon, WI. I am making this family tree in the hope that my children's children will read it, enjoy it and learn from it. I believe a wise man once said that "we can not figure out where we are going, until we find out where we have been." I hope this family tree not only entertains you, but it helps you to find where you have been!
DNA update 2019:
Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg
Western Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg
Brandenburg & Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
England, Wales & Northwestern Europe
Ireland & Scotland
I have just performed a DNA test from Ancestry.com, 2018, I had always believed that I was one hundred percent German but I was very surprised to find out that I was 26 percent Scandinavian, 21 percent German, 17 percent Great Britain, 15 percent Eastern Europe, 11 percent Ireland/Scotland/Wales and 7 percent Southern Europe. In limited searching of the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark I can only find Toll's on record in Norway, the city of Langesund in the county of Telemark, I have no link to any of my ancestors being from there but down the road with more research maybe I can find a link some day. Wouldn't that be something if I was Norwegian!
James Baldwin - “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.”
Sir Winston Churchill - “The farther backwards you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
One of my favorites: Desmond Tutu - "You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
I read an article from the Sept 12, 1995 issue of the North Dakota Weekly Heritage. The article was entitled "German epitaph timeless", the article was about the cemetery at Great Bend where Frederick and Charles Stoltenow are buried. The author Bob King states: The spot where a church should be is an empty concrete platform, and I'm puzzled until I read the marker in front of it. Established as the Zion Kirche der Evangelichen Gemeinschaft in 1904.....the church has been moved to Wahpeton where it now stands as the Zion Chapel. The author walks through the old cemetery full of old German headstones. He happens upon one, a Fred Sedler (1864- 1961), I am sure a neighbor of the Stoltenow's, Mr King stops to read the epitaph:
Mutter wenn die Kinder fragen Mother, when the children ask Wo ist unser Vater hin Where is our father Wenn sie weinen wenn sie klagen When they cry, when they cry with sorrow Saft dass ich in Himmel bin Say that I'm in Heaven
Mr King finishes the article: I find myself repeating it in German several times before I leave the quiet cemetery and get back in the car. It's the middle of the week, but all around me in Great Bend it feels like Sunday. I turn and cross the river which is moving forever north. After reading this article, it makes me appreciate a little more, why years ago, when Charles and Frederick headed west they picked this spot to stop and make there home.-william
Your tombstone stands among the rest;
neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out
on polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care,
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I'd exist,
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years ago -
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you.