Last Easter, I was talking genealogy with my son-in-law Rob's grandmother and mother about genealogy and saving family information. Miaĉa, Romanian for grandmother, told me that there was some record at Ellis Island about her family and her husband's family when they emigrated from Romania. Sue, his mother, had paperwork about her parents, they'd been in Wisconsin, Florida and back to Wisconsin. I asked if they would mind if I did a bit of checking to see what I could find because I thought my granddaughter, Kristin, would appreciate knowing all this when she was older.
She, it seemed already was. After a long wait for my knee to heal, bend and straighten with a minimum of screaming, yelling and gnashing of teeth, I asked her if she would take a blank print out of a genealogy tree to Miaĉa and Sue and ask them to fill out what basic information they had.
Somewhere between Kris and her grandmother, my daughter, Sarah, got involved. The sheets are not filled out, but Sarah showed up on my doorstep yesterday, grinning ear to ear, with folders of photos of Kris's great grandparents, birth certificates and wedding certificates of her Romanian great grandparents. There was enough information to trace back four generations. We now know the cities that Kris's great grandparents came from in central Europe. This information is so precious, but there is more.
Sarah has been in contact with Miaĉa's daughter and has discovered more treasures that now are on their way to her as I write this.
Sarah had dutifully entered all the information she had onto Ancestry.com and is planning to put it on the family tree I have built in Roots.Magic. The photos and certificates are at another of my daughter, Stacy's house awaiting scanning. So, we can archive those after we attach them to the ancestry.com records.
Because of one question, my granddaughter and her grandchildren will have a record of half her family that might have otherwise slipped into oblivion.
As for me, I am tickled to death. The latest immigrant I can find in our family was the first member of the Brown family who emigrated from England just prior to the Civil War (more about him later on). I have never had a reason to check out the Ellis Island records, or discover an international connection earlier than the 1700's. Then there is all the confusion about where is Hungary, Austria-Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia. Why and when did all those borders change? Where was the family while all this was going on? Are there still family members in the old home town? Did you know that with Google, you can ask questions in English, have them translated into Romanian and then have the Romanian answers translated back into English?
Is this a great world, or what?
I think I may be a bit busy this summer.