(Updated April 5, 2018)


Dear Lili,

I’ve been working on genealogy research for quite a long time now. Through my own investigations, interviews with family members, and lucky connections with distant relatives who provided me with a lot of new information, I have been able to put together a fairly extensive family tree for our family. I can trace our ancestors back, in my case 12 generations and in your case 13 generations. As of April 5, 2018, I’ve learned that our oldest known ancestors are a couple from Sweden named Olof Aegidius Laurenti Giers born in 1583 and Ebba Gyllenax born in 1584! 

I’m attaching your ancestor chart, in PDF and png formats, which I will update periodically when I get new information. (You can enlarge this chart in both formats to read it more easily.) This chart will give you a pretty good idea of who you are and where you came from. There’s a lot more detailed information that I have about your ancestors, but for now, this is a good start!

Love always,

Your Dad

Ancestor Chart Liliana Del Vecchio




Dear Lili,

In another post, I told you about your noble lineage. You are descended from Christoph Beetz von Beetzen, an Imperial Knight of the Holy Roman Empire (higher nobility). His title is inherited by all heirs, male and female, meaning that you are a Dame (and I am a Sir).

Here are the details:

Christoph (alt: Christoffer) Beetz (May 1, 1670, Swedish Pomerania – April 18, 1746, Stralsund) was ennobled by Emperor Charles VI in Vienna, Austria on 27 January 1734 as “Beez von Beezen” (Beetz von Beetzen) after receiving an heritable membership of the old class of the Holy Roman Empire (higher nobility). His military career is highlighted by his command of a regiment at the age of 20 and his final appointment as Swedish Platz-Major and Stabs-Major of the military garrison in Stralsund. He was ranked with the same duties as a Stadt-General. His 1746 portrait still graces the interior of Saint Mary’s Church, Stralsund, Germany (German: Kirche St. Marien zu Stralsund) where he is buried.

Letters patent of Christoph Beetz von Beetzen

According to the letters patent of January 27, 1734, now in the Österreichisches Staatsarchiv in Vienna, the nobility and the title Knight of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsritter) is inherited by “all his present and future legitimate posterity, and their heirs’ heirs, men and women in descending line, in infinity” (‘Ihn sambt allen seinem jezigen und künftigen ehelichen Leibs-Erben und derenselben Erbens-Erben, Mann- und Weibs-Personen, absteigenden Stammens’). According to Codex Austriacus (ed. Herrenleben, S.G., Wien 1748, pars III, Suppl. I, 1720, page 953, 954) both daughters and sons inherited in Austria after 1720, so the reference “all his present and future legitimate posterity, and their heirs’ heirs” refer, according to Austrian law at the time, to both men and women when the letters patent was issued in 1734. This was also understood and underlined by the addition “men and women in descending line in infinity”. This pattern for hereditary nobility is called ‘cognatic succession’.

The claim that the noble rank could sometimes be inherited cognaticly is not undisputed; according to another view all noble titles are inherited agnatically. According to this view, the true meaning of “all his present and future legitimate posterity, and their heirs’ heirs, men and women in descending line, in infinity” refer only to men. This statement is understood as a standard formulation in all letters patent – it is not unique for the family von Beezen. The noble daughters married into other families and their children inherited the title belonging to their father. According to this view no one inherits a title from both the mother and the father in European culture.

However, this view is contradicted by the fact that there are many undisputed examples of cognatic succession for both male and female descendants, as in the letters patent of nobility issued by Charles VII in December 1429 to Jeanne d’Arc and all her family’s descendants, as well as the title Baron (or Count) Arundell of Wardour according to the letters patent issued by Rudolf II in Prague December 14, 1595 for Thomas Arundell and all his descendants, men as well as women. The more common pattern for hereditary nobility, when only men can forward nobility to their children, is called agnatic succession.

(from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christof_Beetz)



Here’s your exact line from Sir Beetz von Beetzen to yourself:


So from now on, all of your friends have to refer to you as Dame Liliana Del Vecchio!

Miss you every day! You are always in my heart.

Love always,


 ♥ You were the cutest kid in Tokyo! ♥


Dear Lili,

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. It’s hard to believe that the last time we spent a Christmas together was in 2004, 13 years ago.

I wish I could see you, but understand that for me, nothing has changed. You’re still my daughter. Always have been. Always will be. And I’m your only father. Always have been. Always will be.

Just understand that anytime you choose to knock on the door, it will be opened for you. Anytime you send me a text, I’l answer you. And anytime you seek me out, my arms will be flung wide open for you.

Looking forward to the day when we can say Merry Christmas to each other face to face.

Until then, know that:

You are always in my heart.

Love forever,

Daddy ❤ ❤ ❤

These parent-child reunion stories tug at a very special place in my heart. “Don’t lose hope.” How many times have I had to say that to myself over these past 13 years? Dum spiro spero.

Dear Lili,

How is it possible that 19 years ago at this very minute I was sitting in Keio Hospital waiting for the birth of my first, and as it turns out, my only child. Time just keeps slipping by, faster and faster it seems the older I become.
And over the past 13 years since I last saw you, I’ve waited for you to pick up the phone, send me an email, or knock on my door. Despite the thousands of disappointing days that have gone by since our parting, I have never given up hope that someday we can be the father and daughter we once were. I don’t know what you remember, it’s been so long. But I remember. I remember it all. We used to be very close. We laughed and sang and played silly games together. We watched Pingu and Peewee Herman and Dumbo together. And nothing could come between us. Until it did.
I still have all of your things — your baby shoes and toddler clothes, your books, your toys, and your drawings. Someday when  you want to know who you really are and where you came from, it’s all here, these souvenirs of a life once lived, of happy times a father and daughter once shared together.

I’ve never said a bad word to you about your mother, and I never will. To me, the idea of coming between a parent and a child is unimaginable. You have to decide how you feel about your parents. You and you alone. I just hope that someday you will want to know the other side of who you are. 

As I’ve said to you many times before,

You are always in my heart.

Love always, 


❤ ❤ ❤


by Dan Fogelberg

Here is a poem
That my lady sent down
Some morning while
I was away.
Wrote on the back of
A leaf that she found
Somewhere around Monterey.

And here is the key
To a house far away
Where I used to live
As a child.
They tore down the building
When I moved away
And left the key unreconciled.

And down in the canyon
The smoke starts to rise.
It rides on the wind
Till it reaches your eyes.
When faced with the past
The strongest man cries…cries.

And down in the canyon
The smoke starts to rise.
It rides on the wind
Till it reaches your eyes.
When faced with the past
The strongest man cries…cries.

And here is a sunrise
To set on your sill.
The ghosts of the dawn
Moving near.
They pass through your sorrow
And leave you quite still…
Sitting among souvenirs.