Thursday, April 8, 2010
Ancestor Approved Award
I received a surprise in my Easter basket from two of my favorite bloggers: Carol at Reflections Over the Fence and Linda at Flipside. Thank you ladies your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated as is your constant encouragement!
As a recipient of this award, I am to list 10 things I have learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.
Where do I begin? My genealogy adventure has been so full of surprises that have both enlightened and humbled me.
Finding the ship manifest from the Barque Siberia that brought my Watermann family to the United States was a big surprise. For so many years the only clue to where this family actually lived was on census reports. The census reports were very vague and did not list the actual town in Germany. Not only were the census reports vague but seemed to be inaccurate. My difficulty with the manifest was that I could not make out the actual town because of the penmanship. I forwarded the manifest to a cousin in Germany and he was able to decipher the record. I learned from him that the town was Langenholtzhausen. You can read this post at http://terri-thetiesthatbind.blogspot.com/2008/12/every-time-my-husband-and-i-take-road.html
My Second surprise was when I Google Langenholtzhausen and I located a website (http://www.lippe-auswanderer.de/index.htm) that is maintained by a group of dedicated genealogists in Germany. There on their site was my entire Watermann family. You can imagine the happy dance of joy I was doing. Not only was my Watermann family names but who each members Godparents were and the address of the home they lived in.
I was humbled to learn how they were all starving to death and that tearing the bark from trees was being used to make a sort of soup to sustain life.
I was surprised when while reading the OGSA message boards I noticed a note from a gal who was looking for her father-in-law's birth family and that the mother was from my grandmother's home town of Blue Hill, Nebraska. Blue Hill was and still is a small farming community. I was sure with the assistance of a cousin who still lives in the area that we could help her.
I continued to be surprised at the amount of information I was able to find. We ultimately found his birth family members. And the ultimate surprise when her father-in-law was able to meet his half brother who had been longing to meet him also. What a joyous time it was for the two brothers, who are both in their 70's to finally meet for the first time. You can read my story of discovery in my posts entitled “Pay it forward” http://terri-thetiesthatbind.blogspot.com/2009/01/pay-it-forward-part-ii.html
It was a humbling experience for me to realize how lucky I am to know my own family history and who my ancestors were. I will never again take for granted the joy of knowing who my family is.
I was surprised when a simple photograph book project to share ancestor photo's with my family turned into a year long project. My original intention was to put photographs that my mother had into a book so that they could be easily shared with other family members. As I began working on the project it took on a life of its own. As I researched I was somehow lead to other members of the same family group. The project grew and grew and finally ended with 320 pages filled with family stories and photographs of our ancestors. You can read about my journey to learn the stories of my family here http://terri-thetiesthatbind.blogspot.com/2009/01/searching.html
Writing this book took me on an unexpected journey. A journey that would enlighten me in the world of my family who first emigrated to the United States.
Their struggles to survive in an untamed wilderness with nothing but their own determination was very humbling in a day when the computer puts everything at my fingertips.
Discovering what happened to my great grandfather, Gustave Bebensee, who the family had been searching for over 100 years was not only enlightening but was a mixture of emotions. Emotions that ranged from joy to sadness flooded in when I finally found him after my own 10 year search.
I was thrilled to be the one who finally tracked down this man, but sad to know that he deserted his family to start a new life of his own. The reason I will never know but continue to search for. You can read of my quest on my posts titled: “The Quest of a Geneaholic” -
I think the most enlightening, surprising and humbling experience I have had has been writing this blog and discovering a community of “Geneabloggers” who have enriched my research more than I can express. Genuine people who have extended their hearts at time of joy and sadness. I'm glad to have joined this wonderful community and proud to know so many fellow family historians.
I want to bestow this award to the following Geneabloggers who I enjoy reading and hope you too will take a look at their great blogs.
Brenda at Journey to the Past http://journeytothepastblog.blogspot.com/
Nancy at My Ancestors and Me - http://nancysfamilyhistoryblog.blogspot.com/
Forgotten Old Photo's at http://forgottenoldphotos.blogspot.com/
Diane at Our Attic Treasures http://ourattictreasures.blogspot.com/
Jennifer at Jennifers Genealogy Blog http://jennifergenealogy.blogspot.com/
Trish at St. Vincent Memories http://56755.blogspot.com/
Bob & Marilyn at Lord & Lady http://lordorlady.blogspot.com/
Aline at Acadianroots http://acadianroots.blogspot.com/
Leah at Random Notes http://leah333.blogspot.com/
Deborah at Irish Family Research http://irishfamilyresearch.blogspot.com/