I started researching my family's roots seriously about three years ago, unfortunately, long after most of the key relatives were gone. Living in Florida, distance also hampers my research but I've managed to make several trips back to northeastern Indiana, each time taking my very own area guide - my 82 year old mother. While she's been away from the area for some 60 years, she has been indispensible both as a tour guide and area story teller. I couldn't have done it without her - Thanks Mom!
I invite you to check some of the names in my tree:
My dear husband refers to my research as "digging up dead people", I prefer to think of it
as connecting with the past. Both of my parents have roots in the small town of Wawaka in Noble
County, Indiana - my father was born there and moved with his family to Ohio when he was 2 years old. My mother was born in Goshen, Elkhart County, and her family moved to Wawaka before Mom was 2. When I began my "roots" search, I thought I had more information on my mother's family - Mom's family name was Jones (with connections to John Paul Jones), her father had always told his family that his mother was related to President William Henry Harrison - probably a cousin and we all assumed her maiden name was Harrison. I knew Mom's mother's maiden name was Hampton and her mother was a Dixon from Pennsylvania and father was a Hampton from England. As I searched and found nothing, I asked Mom if she thought any of her grandparents could be from somewhere other than Indiana - oh no she said, they had always been right around there in Noble County. Imagine her surprise (and mine) when I found that her father's mother wasn't a Harrison but a Shafer whose father was from Germany and that according to the census, both of her father's parents had been born in New York.
And then there was the information my Dad had given me about his family - his family name
was Teal and he said there just weren't any relatives in that line, Daddy always said his father was born in Burlingham England and his family had come to America with a family by the name of Dukes. His mother was a Frick whose father had come from Switzerland and she was one of 13 children
- Ford Frick (Commissioner of Baseball in the 60s) was his first cousin. More surprises,
his dad was born on his father's farm in LaGrange, Indiana and his mother's mother was a
Dukes! I've only found 10 Frick children so far and yes, Ford Frick really was his cousin.
About 10 years ago, Mom and I were in Wawaka to attend her Alumni Banquet and to visit her neices and nephews still in the area. Since she grew up there and there are still a lot of Fricks in the area, I asked Mom if she thought any of them were related to me - her reply was no, she didn't think they were related. Wrong again! They are all branches somewhere in my Tree. You just never know what you may find or where you may find it when you search for your roots. And they say ours is a Mobile Society - It's been going on for generations!!
Check out my tree and see if you belong on one of the
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