Uncovering Family History

Hello all, I’m Thomas Brehmer and am a senior psychology major at Wofford College.  Starting Christmas 2012 I began the process of uncovering and tracing my family history through Ancestry.com and lots of help from my family.  Luckily the Brehmer side (dad’s side) has books with our family history traced all the way back through Germany, and many pictures as well.  I was able to find out that I have a great, great uncle that was a tank commander for Hitler, and have even discovered a picture of him wearing the swastika.  I found it very hard to believe that I came from a family of Nazi’s in Germany, but at the same time I found it really interesting.  What I find even more interesting about this is that according to 23andme I have Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, so this makes for a conflicting family history.  However, I am expecting to possibly find this from my mom’s side (Amick).  So far in my family tree on Ancestry.com I have 200+ relatives entered, and have only scratched the surface of who all I have found.  Fortunately, I have been given several books containing my families history from both the Amick (mom’s side) and Brehmer (dad’s side), so these should be a great help in my search.  Just based on what I have found on Ancestry.com, I have been able to trace some relatives back to the 1700s, but I had to stop because I didn’t want to go too far back yet before having other relatives from other sides of the family as well.  In addition to tracing my family history, I was also able to find a letter on Ancestry.com that was written by the surname “Worthington” who was my great, great, great, great… (?) grandmother.  It was a letter of condemnation from her family for running away and marrying who was by great, great, great, great… (?) grandfather long ago.  After reading this letter I was able to find out that she was disowned from the family for 20 years before she reaccepted by her parents and other family members.  I was shocked upon finding this letter, but understand that it was very socially unacceptable for “fornication” in earlier times.  I think finding family secrets like this are fascinating, and I can’t wait to see what else I uncover over the next few weeks!  So I will sign off this time by saying that I believe that I am in for quite a surprising ride this month as I uncover my own family history, and I look forward to all it has in store.