Sunday, April 3, 2016

 Our family just gathered for a late Easter. As we all gathered I had one daughter who asked why would I look for more relatives, look what I already ave. ANOTHER thinks his is all in te past, so why. Me on the other hand wish someone before me would have shown an interest so that some records and photos might gave been saved.  Every family has secrets , some hidden stories, a member or two down the line who is spoken of in whispers. Speak of those people, learn from those mistakes and pass the stories on. Write down family recipes, stories and find strength in what others went through to get you to where you are now.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring brings more than showers

It has been a few months and I must apologize for being absent. I have been busy digging through sites and files looking to put the pieces of myself in order.
  What is new?  I have taken not one but two online genealogy courses. One of these classes is through our local library and the other through Strathclyde University in Scotland.  you see, I have made some great strides is finding where I really came from. I also took a very nice two hour class at the library where I learned a few things about using Google Search to be more effective.
   My recent discoveries are......drum roll please
 I found a cousin, not a 4th to 6th generation or twice removed but a real honest to goodness Rowan family cousin.  Was I thrilled?  Over the moon. We have messaged on Facebook and Ancestry, and hopefully later this year when she moves back to Wisconsin we can meet face to face.!  Then I also found a second cousin who's father was my Grandfather Rowans youngest brothers daughter.   Excited to learn of yet more mysterious family, that I knew nothing of.
  My joining some groups on Facebook also connected me with a lovely woman who found the marriage record of my Great Great Grandfather in Stirling, Scotland. It lists the name , place, date, names of both sets of parents as well as their occupations.  More surprises!

Now, the mystery is to find out where the parents came from, and fill in all the black spaces. Were we Irish catholic ?  Did Michael and his Bride come to Pennsylvania alone or did parents follow. What became of them?  So much to learn and so exciting.

My Mothers side is a bit one sided right now. All the hints and dna matches are on her fathers side. My Great Grandmother Augusta Kopp, who sailed for America in 1912, seems to be a mystery. Germans living in what was Prussia. kupies, Poland is stated on passenger list as her place of birth with her Father as Adolf kopp.  More mysteries but I am up to the task and love finding new bits and pieces.
  i found Revolutionary War soldiers, Civil War pensions papers, as well as family members killed or taken in Indian raids at Kerrs Creek, Virginia.
   So much more to learn, so until next time, be sure to ask your family about memories, dates and important family questions now. Write things down while you have a chance. Take a class or better yet get your Dna tested and join me on a wonderful journey, because as my Gram used to can you know where you are going if you don"t know where you came from!

Friday, January 15, 2016

A New Year, New Discoveries

They say the best place to start a story is the beginning. That is why my mission this year is so very important.
A little background on me.... I was born in Chicago and raised in the Chicago suburbank of Burbank. I had a typical suburban childhood, we walked to school, came in when the street lights cme on and attended Church regularly.  Our house was a new 3 bedroom ranch which over the years housed 2 parents , a Gramma, an Aunt and finally 5 kids. Family was #1.  A few things were unusual, I lived with my Gramma before my parents got married, I had very few baby pictures and I was the flower girl at their wedding.  Jump ahead to when I am 12 and am told I was adopted. Now this wasn't very troubling when I learned my Gramma was still my GRAMMA? As it turned out my mothers were sisters. One whole side of my family stayed the same. My Father would stay a mytery until I turned 40, in 1995.

I got married to my high school sweetheart and had 5 kids. The youngest was born with a major medical condition.  A full medical history was asked for, what could I do? I only knew half. My Uncle then called an old high school buddy who's sister had married my birth father's brother. Why was this a secret? Who knows. Her answer was , everyone is dead and we know nothing to share. There I had it, no chance of ever knowing all those things to put my personal puzzle all together.

Years passed and I was blessed with grandkids and making sure family was number 1, my 3 oldest kids were lucky enough to know my Great Grandmother, 5 generations. Was I smart enough to ask all the right questions and take notes, NO.

On my 4th birthday my Mom and her second husband gave me a large manila envelope, in it was information on my father. Donald Joseph Rowan, born 12 25 1928.  He was real, had a name and the even a cemetary name and date of death. My heart was filled with so much love that thry would find this info or me, but that was not all.
There were 2 names, June and Wilma along with phone numbers. He had a sister and thst sister in law from before. I couldn't wait to get home and call?

I dialed from my bedroom phone with shaking hands. Would Aunt June know who I was? Would she even want to talk after all this time? I did have a story to share with her, my birth mother had said , when I was a baby they went to visit this sister.  She had 5 boys, all older than me and said she would keep me if I've the chance.
The phone rang 4 times and then a sweet voice answered the phone.  Aunt June knew me, remembered the story and did her best to fill me in.

Her is where I will leave my stoy for today.......