If you follow my daily blog and get the impression that all I am interested in is writing and cooking. Ah Ha! Think Again.
I have a rather tedious and time consuming hobby that I work on sporadically. Tracing my ancestral roots.
I have been doing this for the past 15 years give or take year. It was all pretty easy in the beginning. Talking to family members on both sides of my family. Getting them write everything down in their spare time as they remembered things. Names, dates, stories anything that would help me track down our lineage. In not time at all I had over 100 people in our combined family tree. Then it started to slow down. Things got harder and harder to research. I had to pull out the ol' thinking cap and really start analyzing data that I would find. Could this be a long lost Uncle or Aunt? Was there really a 35 year age difference between the husband and wife? As it turns out, there really was a large age cap. Men married young girls and I mean young. There was one person in my tree that married at 12 years old, but that was way back in the turn of the last century.
I have found Civil War soldiers on both the Confederate and Union sides. I have Spanish War Solders in the mix as well. There are more than a few preachers, ministers, a few bankers and a lot of farmers. LOL
About 2 years into researching I hit a major brick wall on my fathers side. I could not for the life of me find my Great Grandfather. that is until a months later down the line I found that quite a few census taking back in the day, spelled phonetically. so if it sounded like Smith it might have been spelled Smith, Smyth Smeth or any other way they thought was correct. then I found that our family name wasn't Case, it Was Casey. Once I connected the DOT, everything started to flow like a dam break.
I was able to trace my Great Grandfathers side (via his Mother) back to the year 67. that right 67. It was CRAZY!. That branch of my family was all over Europe! English, Irish, Scottish, German, French. you name it. It was awesome! Of course when you get back that far you can only really trace the males. Sometimes, depending on nobility you might get the females full name, but mostly just their first name. It was exhilarating!
then on my Mother's side. That's a whole other story. On my Mothers, Mothers side I can trace the tree back to the 1500's in French Basque, Spanish, Mexico the the U.S.. It's my Mothers, Fathers side that is my brick wall now and has been for many years. Not only did my Great Grandmother lie about her name coming into America, she came here twice. Once threw Ellis Island in New York and was turned away when she was 16. She came back again Threw Philadelphia when she was 20 yrs old and Lied that she was visiting a sister here.
I have been lucky enough to get actual copies of her and my Great Grandfathers (her husband) arrival papers into the U.S. It is something to behold when you see information or see the handwriting of an ancestor. Seeing where they are from and their parents names, or what they say they are anyway. I learned that although my Great Grandfather was Hungarian he was citizen of Italy and had to renounce the Prince of Italy before getting his U.S. Citizenship. I learned that he was a sword fighter in the Hungarian Army and a gardener. I also have a suspicion that he and my Great Grandmother were never married. He He He little rascals. Do I care? Not one little itzy teeny bit.
Of course it is not all flowers and roses when you research your ancestors either. I have found some down right tummy turning information as well. but I don't think I want to get into that right here. Some people are still alive and kicking and I don't want to get kicked. LOL
So you see I have a few passions other than my husband of 32 years. Writing, cooking and ancestry researching.