|Subject: re: Travelling for family history|
Hi Ziners, I am the family genealogist, started at the age of 13 and
pursue some aspect of it everyday; the computer has been such a boon
in that regard! Between our two families, my husband and I have
hardly ever taken a trip where some branch of the family didn't live
at some point, or come from. It has enriched otherwise boring parts
of the journey. To be traveling through Kentucky and know that your
GG Grandfather Louis Jefferson Clark drove a stage on the Zane Trace,
and came down here on a stop where he met your GG Grandmother, whose
villanous uncle left her on her plantation to be raised by the
slaves, rather than take her in when she was orphaned--well, that
makes the trip a little interesting!, and a little tiny town takes on
much significance for you.
Several years ago, my daughter was doing a semester in London. She had studied German and loves that country. I told her if she ever had time to get herself to Wernborn (near Frankfort), the home of her Zwermann ancestors--if you can get back far enough, all of those Zwermanns come from one of two tiny neighboring towns. She got there on some holiday, it was raining and most everything was shut down. She started taking photos in the old cemetery, but had to stop as almost every one of them was an allied family name--the whole joint was popping with relatives. But the high point came when she was wet, bedraggled, ready to leave, couldn't get the phone to work, and near tears thinking of the hike back if she had to walk. She flagged a couple down who were leaving their driveway, who took her in and helped her get a cab. When they asked what she was doing there, and she told them she was seeking the Zwermann ancestors, the wife pointed dramatically at her husband and said, "Der es eine Zwermann!" (I'm sure I butchered the spelling on that...). She said it was a hair-raising moment, and made the whole trip worthwhile. I still correspond with this man and trade genealogical information with him. My husband and I hope to stomp the same ground as many of our ancestors, eventually, especially in Antrim Ireland--there was a rift in the family when the Ulsterman married the Catholic, and I have been able to make contact with living relatives there--what a thrill! and I can't wait to see the farm that was my grandfather's home, and has been in the family for 8 generations that we know of. As well, his brother went to New Zeland, and I have been able to contact a living relative there.
Nancy in steamy Houston, Texas where we'll always be dewy....