"The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope.
Love of the past implies faith in the future."
-- Stephen Ambrose, 1936-2002
"The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he
will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate."
-- Bern Williams
"He that has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family must have been
begot by a flash of lightning!"
-- Thomas Fuller, 1608-61
I enjoy studying our family history because, like project management, it involves
working with people, solving mysteries, and a lot of variety. One day
you're on Ellis Island with your German great grandfather as he
fearfully embarks on a new life in a strange new land, and the the next
you're trying to confirm that your grandfather was indeed raised by his
aunt because his father was killed in a saloon gunfight in New Mexico.
Recently I was researching a distant cousin who was killed aboard the
USS Mullany during the battle of Okinawa. On April 6 1945, the
USS Mullany was struck by a Japanese kamikaze plane at 17:45. Before damage
control parties could remove all the wounded from the twisted metal and
exploding ammunition, the ship's depth charges exploded. The USS Mullany
eventually was able to control the fires, and heavily damaged, limped off
in the darkness on one shaft without radar for Pearl Harbor and
San Francisco, arriving May 29. Courage and determination
had saved the ship, but 21 of her crew were killed, nine missing,
and 36 wounded. Who needs to rent the Pearl Harbor DVD when you
can read accounts of like this of the bravery of your own family!
Some of the prominent family names that we are researching include
Allen, Armstrong, Bayer, Blake, Brown,
Draper, Israel, Keller, Keys, Kirby,
Gehring, Geiss, Rein, and Wagner.
If these names are part of your heritage as well, I would welcome an email
from you to explore if we are "kith or kin". Just drop an e-mail to
© COPYRIGHT 2009 ALL RIGHTS
Oprah Winfrey says, "Everyone has a
story". I agree. Some stories are intriguing, some exciting, and some
painful. The stories become even more fascinating when they are
interwoven with your own.
I have dabbled for a number of years curiously uncovering our family's
roots. My older brother has officially "knighted" me as
"Keeper Of The Family Archives".
Pursuing our ancestors,and documenting their life's story has been an
enjoyable hobby. It has led me through studies of geography, history,
politics, and science. It has also led to the discovery of many
wonderful new friends all over the country with whom I share
"a drop of common blood".