About a dozen years ago, I moved from my home state of West Virginia to Delaware. While exploring a near-by area in Cecil County, Maryland, my sister pointed out the name on a road sign.
“Who’s Augustine Herman?” I asked.
“One of our ancestors.”
As both of us had been bitten by the genealogy bug early in life, it made sense to split up the family lines for research. Augustine, AKA First Lord of Bohemia Manor, fell into the lines she had researched, explaining why the name meant nothing to me.
I learned that Augustine Herman, my 9th great-grandfather, was a Czech explorer and cartographer. He created a map of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay areas for Lord Baltimore in exchange for a large grant of land which he named Bohemia Manor, now known as Chesapeake City.
The site of the original manor house, built in the early 1660’s, is located on property owned by Chateau Bu-De Vineyard & Winery.
Excluding some signs of modernization, the view to the bay would be much the same as during Augustine’s time. Standing there gave me a connection to a part of my history. I was standing in the same area, perhaps the same exact spot as my 9x-grandfather had over 350 years ago.
That day, I walked in the footsteps of my ancestors, and it felt like magic.