“Live your life as if it would last forever;
and live every day as if it would be your last.”
Rose Mary Keller Hughes
Published at DVHH.org 4 Jan 2006 by
Jody McKim Pharr
from Alexanderhausen to Ottawa" In this eloquent tale of his life, Nick Tullius tells us of
his life. The little boy who lost his mother forever to
typhoid and separated from his father for 18 years. He went
through a terrible war and survived. He is now retired and
enjoying life with his wife Donna and his two grown and
educated sons. Please read his memoir , it will move
Nick, to the list of Shakers and Movers.
Getting to Know You
. . . . . . . . .
learned about your having lost a mother at a very early age
and being separated from your father for 18 years. A large
number of us on the list have never experienced being in the
thick of war or knowing the trauma that you and several
other fellow listers have. Were there life-long lessons you
learned from your experiences that you passed on to your
that you can live on very little, if you have to, and that
sacrifices are needed to accomplish just about anything that
is worthwhile to achieve. You try to change what you can
change; you accept what you cannot change; and you hope that
you can recognize the difference.
you started in doing genealogical research?
business trip to Salt Lake City in the late 1980s I found
myself at the LDS (Latter Day Saints—the Mormon Church)
family research center. On impulse, I took out some
microfilms and looked up our family name (I think it was
under “Elsass-Lothringen, Germany”) and promptly found the
ancestors that went to the Banat. Our son Raimond, who was
in his late teens at the time, was fascinated and ordered
more microfilms. In 1992 and 1993 he visited Romania, and
collected a lot of information in Billed, Temeswar, and
Tschanad. He established that the Tullius families in
Alexanderhausen did not come from Triebswetter, but rather
Who or what
has been most helpful in your research?
help were Dave Dreyer’s passenger lists, especially in finding data on
my mother’s side (they lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1912
to about 1920). I also received help from friends in
Germany, the archives of the city of Trier, and many
others. With all that, I was able to follow many branches
all the way back to Germany (and its territories). A
remaining ambiguity is my great-grandfather
Nicholas/Nikolaus Beitz. He seems to have been a restless
soul, living in several Banat villages and in the USA more
Do you use
software for recording your family information–if so, which
using the Legacy software, but have not explored all of its
Who of all
your ancestors has made the biggest impression on you?
would have to be Franz Lukas (1856 – 1934) the first teacher
born in Alexanderhausen, and the first name on the list of
“Remarkable Personalities” in the Heimatbuch
Alexanderhausen. He worked for 40 years as a teacher and
principal in Temeswar, and was editor of the paper Banater Schulbote. He never married and left
most of his worldly possessions to the Banatia project (the
largest educational institution in Eastern Europe in its
been your most remarkable find in your roots research?
it remarkable that my ancestors came from so many different
places: Tullius from the Trier area; Lukas
from Luxemburg; Dupont from the Belgian province of
Luxemburg; Wildbrett from the Black Forest; Opitz
from Kuttenberg in Bohemia; and many others. I have
established contact with a 96-year old aunt in Cincinnati.
were some of the local traditions or family traditions that
were practiced when you were a child in the Banat? Do you
practice any of these traditions today?
The most memorable traditions were connected with village life—midnight mass at Christmas Eve, with the brass band playing in front of the church or up in the steeples; church processions at Resurrection, All Saints Day, and other occasions; the thousands of candles lit at the cemetery on All Souls Day; the theater presentation by the German Theater of Temeswar, and so on. These cannot be reproduced and can only be preserved incompletely by writing about them. [Interviewer’s comment: You along with others on the DVHH list have enriched all of us with your remembrances of life in the Banat.] The family traditions
that remain have to do with the celebration of Christmas and Easter, and also with cooking, baking, and drinking (wine and beer).
sites or references that have been helpful and that you feel
would be of benefit to the DVHH members?
too many to mention, but most of them are in German. In my
eyes, it is the great merit of sites like DVHH that they go
beyond strictly genealogical research, into the lives,
customs, and culture of our Danube-Swabian ancestors. There
is so much that we all can learn, and by preserving that
knowledge, we contribute to the extremely rewarding task of
keeping the memory of the Danube Swabians alive.
If you were
asked for any advice that you might give fellow DVHH listers,
what would it be?
patient; be persistent; be accurate; be meticulous; say so
when you are not sure of some facts – others may have the
answer. Never give up on the complexity of our history or
our language and dialects. I feel that the various
languages and cultures that I have had the privilege of
sharing immeasurably enriched my life. I cannot presume to
give advice on how others run their lives, but I would
encourage those of us with children to expose them to other
languages. If I had to pick one, it would have to be
German, the language of our ancestors and the repository of a
rich and complex culture.
have a motto you live by? Will you share it with us?
life as if it would last forever; and live every day as if
it would be your last.
you, Nick, for sharing your thoughts with us . . . also, on
behalf of the DVHH members who have been enriched by your
contributions to our group, let me acknowledge our
appreciation of your generous sharing of memories, your
translation skills, and your experiences in the land we call
our home of the heart.
& the DVHH . . .
Nick is a
member of the DVHH Administration Team, which focuses on decision
making and planning for the DVHH project; and he is one of
the Banat Regional Coordinators.
See: The Collected Works of Nick Tullius
Thank you Nick for your contributions to the DS community
and the DVHH
Updated: 26 Sep 2007: Nick is a member
of the DVHH Board of Directors, as he continues to server as one
of the Banat
Settlement Area Coordinators; and he servers on the DVHH Editorial