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Customer Adds 14,000 Names to His Family Tree *20-1-2000*

I am Hans Van Landschoot from Belgium. In 1950, my Uncle Leon started researching our family name. For the next 30 years, he painstakingly collected names and dates on thousands of index cards. In 1980, two days before my wedding, Uncle Leon passed away and was buried the day after my wedding. He did leave me a beautiful legacy: his lifework, which has become my own passion.

Hans Van Landschoot Family of Belgium

About five years ago, I started to enter all of Uncle Leon's data onto my computer, starting with the basic version of Family Tree Maker software. This process took me about four years. Later I upgraded the Family Tree Maker software to newer versions that included several Family Archive CDs. These turned out to be very helpful in tracing unknown family members, especially in the U.S.

Peter Landschoot, Belgium

Thanks to Uncle Leon, we knew that during the 1800s about 75 of our ancestors immigrated to the US and Canada for economic reasons. On several of the World Family Tree volumes our family name made a match. Using the FamilyFinder included with the Family Tree Maker software, I came across Van Landschoots mentioned in Uncle Leon's data, individuals on which he had limited information. One of them, Peter Landschoot (born in Belgium, 1823), even served in the American Civil War. That was a great surprise to me.

Via the Internet, I traced addresses and phone numbers and started contacting all Van Landschoots in the US. I also started my own Web page using FamilyTreeMaker.com, hoping that other Van Landschoots would contact me. To my amazement, this is exactly what happened. One of the World Family Tree contributors, Donna Landschoot from Port Huron, Michigan, responded to my letter. Donna turned out to be the great-great-granddaughter of Peter Landschoot, the Civil War Servant. Donna had been doing her own genealogical research for 20 years and was using Family Tree Maker 14,000 Names on My Family Tree with Help from World Family Tree software as well. This made it easy for us to merge our findings. When we did, we had a perfect fit!

Thanks to four other World Family Tree contributors I was able to add another 950 individuals to our family tree. In return, I sent them their Belgian ancestors all the way back to the 1600s. I now know I have family, not only on the North American continent, but also in other countries such as France and the Netherlands. By adding my research to the World Family Trees, it will be easier for other individuals to trace their roots in Belgium.

 

Thanks to four other World Family Tree contributors I was able to add another 950 individuals to our family tree.

Meanwhile, I have become hooked on genealogy! This research holds so much mystery and intrigue and, because of the Internet, is so much easier. Every day, my family tree keeps growing. I now know of five branches including 14,000 names! Maybe next year I will travel to the US to meet some of my faraway relatives. And some day, I hope to organize an intercontinental family reunion!

Hans Van Landschoot, Belgium

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Hans Van Landschoot's Web page with additional data, photos and marriage certificates.  

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