A wannabe no more


It’s been a few years, but after being introduced to this project at the beginning of my senior year of college, I finally received my notification letter stating that I became a citizen of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg effective Dec. 22, 2014.

The letter arrived in my mailbox yesterday, but Sarah, who had been at a happy hour at the best place to get a cheap drink in the District, was the first to spot it jutting out of our tiny mailbox. She grabbed the large envelope and proceeded to stuff it in the fridge so as to surprise me. Not until she insisted several times that she was thirsty and wanted me to fetch her a glass of water from the Brita pitcher did I realize something seemed peculiar. Exactly a year ago, she tricked me similarly; flying back back earlier than me from seeing family for Christmas in the Midwest, she taped my certificat de nationalité to the bathroom mirror. When I returned, I didn’t notice the paper until after using the facilities twice that night.

Now it’s time to plan a day to head over to the Luxembourg embassy near Dupont Circle. Lucky for me, the embassy is only a few stops down the Metro red line. Hopefully soon enough I will be sharing a picture of my passport and trying it out for the first time in who knows where (maybe the Canadian border).

I have to extend a special thanks to my Great Aunt Mary Lou, for learning about the reclamation law when she attended Chicago’s Schobermesse in 2011, and to Sarah, who translated emails and spoke to administrators in small Luxembourgish hamlets so that I could gather all the necessary documentation. And thank you, the reader, for asking for help and giving it generously. We have established quite a niche community and should be proud of the work we have accomplished.

Now … IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE … with some quetsch I bought in Luxembourg City last year.



Kudos to the newest dual-citizen from the Golden State


Are you having troubles with your Luxembourg dual-citizenship application and find yourself complaining and being a whiny defeatist? Well, stop. Look at Shirley Lee Ross, who, “having found that all 16 of her great-great-grandparents had come to the US from Luxembourg,” still stumbled into problems when the government began processing her documents.

I haven’t encountered anyone online who has done that much painstaking research and was able to trace his or her lineage to so many Luxembourgers. This woman must be the most Luxembourgish Luxembourg-American out there.

According to the Luxembourg Wort: “During the application process, [Ross] explained, there had been some issue with her surname. While in Luxembourg women commonly use their maiden name for official documents, authorities recommended that her Luxembourg passport should match the one from the US.”

Additionally, according to a Wort piece from March 2014, Ross also couldn’t find vital records for multiple ancestors who had immigrated from the Grand Duchy to Wisconsin because the state did not require these documents until 1907. Her complication joins a long list of applicants in states where old laws have become a genealogical hindrance to this project. Nevertheless she, and I know a majority of us, have prevailed in light of these governmental and bureaucratic obstacles.

Ross now has her passport. She made a special trip to the Grand Duchy to obtain it instead of picking it up from the consulate in San Francisco.

I suppose the bumps on the road make reclaiming citizenship a better story to tell; a smooth journey can be a boring one. Congratulations to Shirley Lee Ross, the newest member of the U.S.-Luxembourg family!

No. 1 on Google

A follower of this blog from the Peach State informed me that I have risen to No. 1 whenever one googles “luxembourg dual citizenship” as a search team. I now rank above the Luxembourg Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as the Wikipedia page devoted to nationality laws in the Grand Duchy.

Exciting, no?

Other than that, I haven’t much with which to update the Luxembourg-American community in regards to my application process. Unfortunately, I still have yet to receive any sort of notification from the Ministry of Justice. However, I now know it takes a significant amount of time, especially as more and more people submit applications for dual-citizenship.

(PHOTO GALLERY: Famous Americans of Luxembourg descent)

I will hopefully be calling Xavier, the contact everyone seems to be using, with the help of my French-speaking girlfriend so that I can check into the status of my application. I keep worrying the USPS box in which I put all the certificates and documents went down in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean. But I shouldn’t think so pessimistically. Either it’s there and has been read, or it’s waiting to be opened in a mail room somewhere in the bowels of a bureaucratic building in the capital.

I’ve been busy get acclimated to my new job, but once things settle, I’ll devote a couple hours to churning out pieces on Luxembourg history, culture and famous descendants. Please let me know what you want to learn more about, and I’ll do the research.

Instead of leaving you with a highly important word or phrase to learn in Luxembourgish, I thought I’d link you to a Facebook page at which you can learn completely useless phases in Luxembourgish. It’s rather amusing, and obviously has a very small following, but it’s hilarious and, who knows, might come in handy one day if you move to the Grand Duchy.

Click here to visit the Facebook page.


2nd on Google

2nd on Google

I’m very happy to announce that I now rank No. 2 on Google search when anyone is looking for web content pertaining to “luxembourg dual citizenship.” Hopefully this blog has been helpful to those who have found me via Google!

Best of luck to those still working on their projects, and to those waiting to hear back after sending their applications, I suggest drinking a large glass of beer or wine to calm the nerves.


This Luxembourg tennis player had no chance

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

I’ve been waiting and waiting for the moment when the mailman or woman finally delivers something from Luxembourg in regards to my application. But in the meantime, let’s look at an unfortunate Luxembourg tennis player who’s been walloped by one of the U.S.’s best tennis players, Serena Williams.

As the New York Times reports, throughout her career Serena Williams has had the opportunity to beat many of the her contemporaneous greats from tennis-playing countries across the globe. However, her most recent match against Mandy Minella, a 22-year-old Luxembourger, is the first time Williams has played and defeated a citizen from the Grand Duchy.

Minella ranks 92nd. Her best results were in 2010 “when she made it to the third round of the United States Open before she was crushed by Venus Williams, 6-2, 6-1.” Today, the other Williams sister beat Minella 6-1, 6-3.

Maybe next time, Minella.


Sort of meeting the Luxembourg ambassador to the U.S.

A few weekends ago, the European Union embassies in Washington, D.C., held an open house for locals and tourists to check out the embassies and learn about the countries they represent. After watching my sister’s convocation ceremony online …


One of few people who can be charming when doing the Richard Nixon pose.

… I hopped on the Red Line to get in as many European embassies as I could. My first stop: Luxembourg.

Just as I entered the queue outside the embassy, I ran into a former housemate, Lorena, from the rodent-infested residence on G Street NE. She has since moved, to the disappointment of the mice who loved devouring half loaves of her wheat bread.

After ten minutes had passed, we entered the grand lobby of the embassy where two people, a young woman and a portly man, were seated at a folding table. Both were quietly distributing pamphlets on Luxembourg’s tourism, economy and history. The two were unassuming. I picked up a pamphlet and said to Lorena “I wonder if the ambassador from Luxembourg is here.” The man looked at me, expressionless, and then turned his head toward the person behind me in line. I carried on past the large portrait of the strapping Grand Duke Henri and into the living room.

When I entered the living room, I said:

Picture frames on the room’s coffee and end tables showed the portly man at the table standing next to famous statesmen and women including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.


Upon realizing my stupidity, I dropped a F-bomb under my breath, snaked through the rest of the first floor and then took a picture of Ambassador Jean-Louise Wolzfeld from across the lobby, where visitors exited on the other side of a red rope that cordoned the line entering the embassy from the line exiting. You can see me snapping the photo in the mirror behind him — the bag I’m holding was a free gift from the embassy, and I call it my EU man purse.

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I’m not proud of the fact that I looked like a complete jerk in front of him. Herr Wolzfeld, a seasoned and experienced diplomat, boasts an impressive résumé.

Here’s his biography, thanks to Matt Bewig at Allgov.com:

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg—a tiny (area: 998.6 miles2/2,586.4 km2) landlocked nation sandwiched between France, Germany and Belgium—sent a new ambassador to Washington last fall who has served in the U.S. before. Jean-Louis Wolzfeld presented his credentials to President Obama on September 19, 2012, succeeding Jean-Paul Senninger, who had served since August 2008. Wolzfeld is concurrently accredited as Luxembourg’s ambassador to Canada.

Born in July 1951 in Luxembourg, Wolzfeld earned his undergraduate degree at the Institute of Translation and Interpretation at the University of the Sarre, in Sarrebruck, Germany, and two Masters Degrees from the University of Paris I in International Public Law and in European Law.

Joining the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1977, Wolzfeld served early assignments as an attaché, as secretary in the office of international economic relations, and as a delegate at the 34th UN General Assembly in 1979. From 1981 to 1986 he was deputy permanent representative to the International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, serving as vice president of the Contracting Parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986.

Ten years into his diplomatic career, Wolzfeld was named to his first ambassadorship, serving as his country’s first ambassador to Japan from 1987 to 1993, with a concurrent appointment as ambassador to South Korea for part of that time. Returning to New York, Wolzfeld served as permanent representative to the U.N. from 1993 to 1998. In 1997, as chairman of the European Union delegations to the U.N., it fell to Wolzfeld to publically chastise the U.S. Congress for voting to refuse to pay a billion dollars in back dues as a protest against abortion.

Back in Europe, Wolzfeld served as director for political affairs at the Foreign Ministry from 1998 to 2002. He then served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, resident in London from 2002 to 2013 and concurrently accredited to Ireland, Italy, Malta and Iceland.

Wolzfeld speaks French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Luxembourgish (a Germanic language spoken mainly in that country). He is not married.

I only had time to visit one other embassy, the Embassy of Ireland. Sad to say, Luxembourg, but Ireland won my heart over. Why? IRELAND PASSED OUT FREE CHEESE.

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An update from the Wanna-Be Luxembourger

An update from the Wanna-Be Luxembourger

As of a few weeks ago, I have finished the first phase of my Luxembourg dual-citizenship. After spending about a year and a half compiling all the necessary documents that prove my connection to several Luxembourg ancestors, I finally completed this part of the project and sent my application from the United States Postal Service office at Union Station in Washington, D.C., to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Now, the only thing I can do is wait. From what I have read and what several followers of this blog have informed me, after about one to two months, applicants receive word from the appropriate agency as to the eligibility of their applications. Then an additional six months takes place before the application is processed. Then, hopefully then, I’m off to Luxembourg to become a Luxembourger.

Those of you in this stage of the process: Let me know how it’s going!