Remembering Our
Danube Swabian Ancestors

Donauschwaben Villages

"Helping Hands"

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.
In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead


Dan Sedley
Mount Laurel, NJ - USA

Mail List Administrator

Director of Volunteer Services

DVHH Board of Directors



"My interest in genealogy was peaked in 2006,
                     after the passing of my mother."

I was born in 1948 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to 1st generation American parents.  All four of my grandparents were born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 1800s, two of their families from the Banat villages of Bogarosch and Keglewichhausen.  As a child, I was always intrigued by the language spoken when my great-grandma was present.  Since she spoke very little English the adults communicated with her in “schwowisch” German, though the children were not encouraged to speak anything other than English. 

As children, we heard very little about our heritage, but I was interested enough to learn German in school and during college studied for a year in Austria.  After graduation and service in the Marine Corps, I began working for the US Customs Service, where I served in various positions, spending most of my career in Philadelphia, but having the opportunity for frequent international travel, mainly as an instructor on international training teams or conducting security surveys of foreign locations.  I retired in 2009 and since then have done some consulting work in supply chain security.  I have been involved in many civic volunteer activities, including serving a total of 12 years on two different Boards of Education.

I married my wife Kathie in 1974.  She is a registered nurse, who left the job market for about 10 years while raising our three children.  All are now married and we have one grandson.  Thus we are empty nesters, except for Morgan, our Bernese Mountain Dog.  Kathie now works in nursing administration and hasn’t yet decided to join me in retirement.  I look forward to that day, as we will then be able to travel more frequently.    

In addition to travel, I enjoy golf, skiing, bicycle riding and genealogy.  My interest in genealogy was peaked in 2006 after the passing of my mother.  Prior to that time, I had no knowledge of our family heritage, other than they were from Austria-Hungary.  In going through my mother’s belongings, my brothers and I found a treasure trove of materials.  These included baptismal certificates and other official documents relating to my grandparents and great grandparents, allowing me to determine the specific villages where my ancestors were born.  In addition, there were documents my grandfather had written, some typed, some handwritten, detailing not only family genealogy, but also his personal recollections from childhood, including detailed information regarding his journey from Banat to Pittsburgh as a young teenager.  Through these resources and others, including DVHH of course, these discoveries continue to unfold.  Prior to the many generations my ancestors lived in Banat, my family tree shows direct ancestors back to 1714 in Saarland and 1658 in Alsace-Lorraine.

~Dan Sedley, Aug 31, 2015

[Published at 30 Sep 2020 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Last updated: 31 Oct 2020