Last week my second cousin Kate Keller posted a story on her blog "Genealogy Bug" about how she got interested in researching her family's history. She gave me the idea to share the same thing. Then yesterday I read this article by Thomas J. Kemp in the Family Search blog about the importance of sharing our stories and photos so our descendants will know more about us after we're gone. Thomas opens by telling us: "For me, the two most urgent items that you should act on – now – are: scanning all of your old family photos; and finding & writing down your family stories. Why? Because these are in your control.
Global services like GenealogyBank and FamilySearch are putting millions of original records online. They are there ready for you 24/7 as you have time to do the research.
What is not online – and not preserved – are your old family photos and stories."
I've been sharing photos and stories about my ancestors in this blog since 2008, but haven't written much about my own life. After reading Mr. Kemp's article, I decided to focus for awhile on photos and stories from my own life. And after reading Kate's article about how she got started in researching her family's history, I thought I'd start there too. So this is the first in the series "About Me".
As I grew up I spent frequent time with my paternal grandparents as well as my step-mother's dad and step-mom. Nobody spoke of my step-mother's ancestry, and nobody asked. Her philosophy was "It doesn't matter where we came from. What matters is what we make of our own lives."
and John L. Margheim
While in my 40s, I moved away from my hometown and the close proximity to my grandparents and parents. My dad would write to me that he, my mom and his mother had joined the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) and were annually attending their conventions. This was the first time I knew that my dad was interested in his heritage. Upon one of my visits to my parents' home, Dad showed me photos that he obtained at the convention, as well as many that my Grandma Margheim had shared with him. I politely looked, commented at how nice that was, and dropped the subject.
I was divorced early in 1990 and in the summer of 1991 met my current husband Larry Jamison. Larry's ex-wife had been involved in researching their families' histories briefly in the late 1970s and early 1980s and Larry was interested in the stories of his heritage. But since I met Larry shortly after his 1991 divorce, interests that he and his ex-wife shared were still quite fresh in his mind and he spoke of them often. (That's not conducive to building an intimate relationship with another woman). As he (too often) told me of her successes in researching, I grew resentful and distanced myself from the subject. At one point, I told him I may grow gardens, can vegetables, sew clothing, and get involved in Church activities, but I'd NEVER do genealogy research and I didn't want to hear anymore about it!
Let me backtrack a week. It was the summer of 1992, and by that time I was also living in Colorado Springs, the town in which Larry was residing. Larry had a good friend who served as the Director of the Family History Center in Colorado Springs. He pleaded with me to accompany him to the Center and sit down at the computer with his friend Bonnie to see what information might be online about my family. I very reluctantly agreed to go.
|Milo (1883-1965) and |
Nannie (Becker) Flanders
You might have guessed. Bonnie brought up information about Milo and Nannie that had been submitted to FamilySearch by someone in California. I told Larry I didn't have any relatives in California. And I wasn't much interested in what Bonnie found since I was only in the Center to please Larry. Bonnie gave me a print-out of what she found and I took it home and put it away. For SEVEN YEARS!
|Ernie Margheim loved his computer and|
spent many hours researching and studying.
We bought our first computer about that same time so I brought the RootsMagic CD to my house and thought I would install it, ONLY to enter the information from a 4 generation pedigree chart that I had written in my son's baby book. Remember, I had vowed to NEVER do genealogy research.
I entered the names and dates for my son's adopted parents, grandparents and great grandparents into RootsMagic. And quickly found that there was no place to stop. His great grandparents' page had a tab at the bottom right that said "Parents". Uh-oh. I needed to add the names of their parents! I inquired of their identity from my Dad and entered that information. But for the information on my mother's grandparents, I had to search the internet. I was in luck. I found their ancestry reported on a "Family Tree Maker" site owned and managed by my second cousin Kate Keller, that "Genealogy Bug Kate" that I told you about in the second paragraph of this post.
|Phyllis Batchman Preece|
|Sharon Preece Bogh|