by quite a lot! I’m still investigating by how much…
A few years ago, quite a few in fact, I started researching my family history, figuring out how to do genealogy research online, finding the resources and joining the forums. On my mother’s side, I had a wealth of anecdotes, stories, memories my mother told me of her childhood. I began to start writing it all down. My father had never told much about his family, what I knew was the little my mom told me. But as she got older, her memories weren’t always that reliable – especially about people she hadn’t seen since childhood, and since there were few to ask – all of my grandparents died before I was born – I tried to unearth facts here and there.
Then, on one of the forums researching the same names, I hooked up with a woman from Canada and we managed to figure out that my great grandfather was the older brother of her great grandfather. We shared information, she filled in a lot of gaps from the research she had already done, but we still had many questions. Then my computer crashed, and my contact list was gone, and I didn’t hear from her for a long time.
Three days ago, she found me on facebook! Turns out she also lost her contact list at some point, and had no idea how to reach me again. So she – in an inspired mood – looked on facebook. And she had found a relative of my great grandmother, who had a wealth of information about the rest of her family and didn’t know what had happened to her. I of course asked her to connect me up with this fellow…..
My great grandparents moved from Europe to the United States at the end of the 19th century, with one son. (I had evidence of another son, but he had disappeared by the time they went to the US.) My mother remembered her grandmother (who lived with them) being in touch with her relatives in Europe, but as a child she never paid much attention to stories and names of people who lived far away and “talked funny”. When WWII broke out, Rosa – my great grandmother – tried desperately to get permission to bring her family to the US, but by the time she finally managed to procure papers, her family had disappeared. Letters came back undelivered. They made some efforts to try and find them, but feared that they had perished in the holocaust. Much later, my mom and I tried to find anyone with Rosa’s family name in the holocaust records here in Israel, with no success.
Well, three days ago I found the European branch of the family! Or they found me. Or we found each other. The fellow I made contact with is my third cousin once removed – his great grandfather was the brother of my great great grandfather (Rosa’s father). Not only that, he has done extensive research into the family, and what he was missing was any information about what had happened to Rosa / the American branch. He has it all online, has added me to the mix and allowed me access to all the info, and in one fell swoop I’ve gained over 200 family members!
Some of the family is in the US now, some in England, some in Romania, some in Italy, some in Spain….and – to my delight – it turns out that a whole bunch of ’em are in Israel! I haven’t had enough time to really check this out yet, but I plan to soon, and I find it very, very exciting.
Meanwhile I’m rooting around trying to unearth some of my old records, so I can share them.
On the fiber front, I’ve cast on for the Dancing Crane stole KAL, and I love working with the mohair/silk. Soft and fine and slippery, knitting with it is fun! (Although the all-time most awesome yarn I’ve knit with has to be the Manos lace…)
The stole is knitted lengthwise. Casting on 300 stitches in laceweight mohair (held double, at least) was not as bad as I feared – and I used the cable cast-on for the first time and found it very easy, I don’t know why I’ve never used it before! Much easier than the knit on cast-on, although similar. But the rows are veeeeery long….
KAL deadline is mid-July, which is lucky since I’m juggling this with my seascape JAL and the aran vest.
So – going back to families – does your extended family interest you? How far back in your family do you know about? Do you have a genealogy nut in your clan who is recording it all?