Slowly becoming a hobby…

I knew there was more than a grade to take into account for this class when my mom began telling all of my relatives that I would create our family tree. No pressure whatsoever. But in actuality, they were overjoyed when I signed up because they too had recently attempted to begin their research but by the second day of interim I already had more information than both my mother and my paternal grandmother combined. Of course, taking into account I also have the lazy days of interim to facilitate that.

After the first couple of generations though, I began realizing that Ancestry.com did not have all the answers. In fact, no place does, which is certainly a wake up call to many new “genies.” Before I began I thought that researching your family tree was pretty self-explanatory, but I now know it is far from it. I learned quickly that I needed to acquaint myself with new resources if I wanted to further my search. For example, one of my relatives, Salomon Klaus, came from Germany. Through Ancestry.com, I found a passenger list containing his name as well as an Isaac Klaus. I know that Salomon went from Hamburg to New York, but was he visiting? Or was that the year he immigrated? Was Isaac his brother? Or just another Klaus? I then googled German immigration during the year 1860 and sure enough I found out that Salomon Klaus at age 17 and his 15-year-old brother Isaac moved to New York on the ship Donau which actually sank in 1941!

I have had some minor successes thus far including finding pictures of further back generations online on find a grave (although they’re a tad bit creepy) as well as finding one of my ancestor’s world war two draft card. I am so amazed by how wide-spread my family is including New Orleans, Hungary, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Florida, Germany, France, Tennessee and New Jersey. Although it would be incredibly convenient to be able to pick up your family tree at a “drive thru window”, I have found that the process of searching has made each new discovery that much more worth while!

Obediah Bigley