Genealogy Wise

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Everyone needs a laugh once in a while. So here are my list of excuses as why I can't find my ancestors.


1. My ancestors were the original Cabbage Patch Kids.


2. They came from outer space.


3. They took the slow boat and haven't gotten here yet.


4. The captain of the ship was a man and wouldn't ask for directions.


5. I haven't found the rock they crawled out from under.


6. They were in a witness protection program.


7. All my ancestors had daughters and all my lines "daughtered out"


Feel free to add to these.



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WOW, Jim! I bet you care. Maybe you could give me some pointers. It appears that I might have some half uncles and/or aunts that I don't know about, but it's kind of a tender subject.
Who was your dad, Henry the 8th ? Sorry just had to say that :)
LOL! Naw, at least Henry divorced or beheaded his wives before remarrying.
Your ancestor was the one that fell out of the back of some nameless wagon and left in the middle of the prairie.
Love it! This gave me a good laugh. :)
Story handed down on my Fathers side and part of the reason I haven't got beyond my great grandfather the immigrant.
Note: They are German speaking Catholics from the former East Prussia. Beer drinking, stoic, women are chattel, children shouldn't be seen or heard types.
Story is that he never knew his grandfathers name because he was a drunk, and coming home from the inn late one snowy winters night, he fell asleep in a snowdrift and froze to death. Family was so mad at him for leaving a wife and several small children, that they refused to ever speak his name again.

I believe this is part of the belief that people die three times. Once when life leaves their body, once when they are buried and once when they are forgotten. That may be a reason people do genealogy or place a headstone so that people are not forgotten. But in your ancestor's case, the family wanted him to die the third time and looks like they have accomplished that. In my own grandfather's case, I am the only one who visits his grave regularly and places flowers there. He is buried with his first wife. The second wife didn't give him a tombstone.
I have come to the same conclusion. As an Architectural Designer I know that much or all of what I created will soon be demolished. What will remain of me when I am gone is the memories people have of me and the effects I have had on others. I think it is important that we each write about our own journeys through life as a legacy and a way to exist into the future. The only other common way is through children, which I never produced. I wonder how many family genealogists are childless. My father was an alcoholic and we moved often, leaving all our family mementos behind. This unrootedness is also a driving force. The third force for me is trying to connect living family. Modern fast paced life and families that grow, move away and loose touch means we are much more cut off from our extended families. We even lose entire branches. I am tying them back together. Found a 1st cousin the other day who had been looking since 2002 and thought she was the last of the line. I connected her to everyone else. People have less and less time to reconnect though, and less inclination. I often find more about living relatives from records, than I do from them.
Hi, Bill. Don't know if you're familiar with Edward T. Hall's work on architecture--I forget the name of it. But he also wrote another one called The Silent Language that described how cultures are different. I'm thinking you and the others have something there, about the Germans being hard--another great book about that is The Master Butchers' Singing Club by Louise Erdrich. When my mother read it, she wept, because she was mostly raised by (and forgive if I ruffle any feathers here, but I'm mostly half German myself) those Nebraska Krauts (said with mostly great affection). Life was so dang hard, especially when everything had to be "just so". They said my gggrandpa was the greatest barn builder in the state of Nebraska--when he was sober. That's part of why I am interested in genealogy. Rather than kvetch and moan about how hard life is, it's interesting to see WHY it's hard. My dad's people had it just as hard, but my other (also a carpenter) grandpa's favorite maxim? "Trim will cover a multitude of sins". Don't get me wrong--he was left fatherless at the age of eight, had to drop out of school to work in the family store, and had it very tough--I even found his surname written then ERASED!! on the 1900 census. WHY would they do that? He was living with a stepfather and his mom, and I think his step-siblings were favored--they were in school in their teens, and he'd dropped out at eight (as mentioned). But his life was always kind of jokey, fun, determined. What causes one person to kill themselves with drink, make others hate them so bad that they (as you guys say) let them die the third death? While the others take it easy? It becomes SO clear when you look at it in the long run, as we can with genealogy.
You hit a chord. My grandfather was the old attitude. He was the king of his house. My grandmother waited on him hand and foot. We all felt she was a slave, he just used her up. She died at 66, he at 86. He was an only child. I thought his mother was the one listed in the census until I found she was a stepmother just this year. I would like to find the reason they came over too. The family name is unusual, Czygan, and I'd like to make the connection to the old country. I found a website with a lot of people with that surname and their genealogy. They are in the right area, SE of Konigsburg, but I've made no real connection yet, but it must be them. Gonna have to do the paper trail work here in Detroit. One problem in Germany is that since the Nazi's used public records to round up people, such records are now very protected. You have to have permission from a person to get info on them.
Whoa, no kidding? I didn't know that. There are some pretty good web sites out there for Germany, Eastern Europe, etc. Let me see what I can find.

As for your grandpa--that's so sad. But I know a LOT of women who put up with that stuff, for what reasons I can't say. Maybe some are/were afraid. What a way to live, right?
So far, almost everything I see about Czygan genealogy has been put out by you:-) That's the U.S. sites, though. Will check the European ones tomorrow. I'm assuming you've done a surname search at They've got dozens of people from your surname, but don't know if they're the actual records, or if they've been sent in from church members (those can be difficult to filter out).



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