Thursday, August 15, 2013

Historical Center growing!

The roof is raised over the existing portion (with brick) and the addition is about doubled in size.

In side the second floor showing west end. The east end was the existing attic, but now has the roof raised to give better storage space. The dry wall is now installed and we painted primer on Tuesday evening. We plan to do finish coat on Saturday AM. Next week the flooring is scheduled to be installed and electrician will do his final tasks. So in about ten days we should be able to move into this portion of the building.

 This is the view of the property which includes the office trailer where we have functioned comfortably this summer. It is adequate, but the new office looks inviting!

This is the new visitor room with the office framed in northeast corner. We will actually have some elbow room! I love it!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The view from the 48th floor

Today is our 48th anniversary. And I reflect:
On our wedding day, my Uncle John F. Martin - who had been my employer for five years- came through the receiving line with his congratulations and best wishes. His additional comment remains with us today. He said, "remember every rainbow needs both sunshine and rain. I wish you many rainbows in life."
   In the past 48 years there have been lots of sunshine and some rainy days too. Many days included some of both! But we have survived 48 years sharing the joys and sorrows of life. There has been unexpected adventures, simple pleasures, moments of pure joy and the blessing of growing old together. We have not done it perfectly. There have been failures and regrets. We will probably fail again and again. But forgiveness and love go a long way in remaining committed to a best friend. We are not alike, but we both love the Lord and agree on the things that really matter!
  We are spending the day going to Ag Progress- his choice. We will get a free meal there courtesy of a seed corn company. May not sound romantic to the new bride. But after 48 years I am glad that he feels honored to take me along to introduce to his business buddies. And I know when I ask him to go along to a history meeting that is not quite his main interest, he obliges sometimes. And he just walked in the door with a bouquet of flowers, courtesy of his produce farmer family- which includes a lot of my favorite black eyed susans. (He mentioned to them some time or other that I like them).
We are ready to go for the Gold -just two years away. But that is up to our Commander-in-chief! If we don't make it to 50, we are blessed with what we have!

Why Genealogy?

I found this anonymously written article and will quote with a few adaptions of my own.
    We are the chosen. My feeling is that in each family there are some who seem to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them alive again. To tell the family story, and to feel that somehow those who went before are known. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts, but instead breathing life into those who have gone before.
    We can be the storytellers of our tribe. All tribes have the story tellers. We have been called to it. Those who have gone before cry out, "Tell our story!" So we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves in the middle of the story.
    How many graves have I stood before and cried? How many times have I whispered, "We are grateful for the  torch of faith you passed on to us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt a connection of family love? I cannot say.
    It goes beyond documenting facts. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever in weeds and indifference and saying, "I can't let this happen. These are bones of my bones and flesh as it were of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to appreciation for what our ancestors did and accomplished. How they contributed to what we are and have today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their enduring faith, and hope for the future. It goes to a deep appreciation for their understanding that they persevered for us, that we might have what we do and that we might remember them. So we do.
    With love and caring we scribe each fact of their existence, because we are part of them, and they are part of us. We tell the story of our families, because we are their family. It is up to us to answer the call and take our place in a long line of family story tellers. It is a call to young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones. That is why we do genealogy!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

PA German Names

    Since I work at a historical center I encounter many, many PA German surnames. It is quite fascinating to say the least.
    Only a German tongue would know that Page, Barge and Bertsch are one and the same surname. And since a German Zimmerman was a builder, the surname Carpenter has the same family roots as the Zimmerman.
    Then there are the spellings: Brubaker, Brubacker and Brubacher may have the same origin but they will let you know if they are the "h" or "ck" or "plain bak"variety. South of the border the Horst surname is pronounced the same as the Hurst in Pa. Then there are the Koons, Koens, Kuntz, Koontz and Kuhns with different spellings but same pronounciations. And don't assume you know how to spell the name Shaffer. It could also be Shaeffer, Shafer, or Sheaffer. Each one might tell you their spelling is the "correct one". Then there are names like Landis or Landes, Sherk or Shirk, Burkholder or Borkholder, Lawver or Lauver, Shelly or Shelley, and Cauffman or Kauffman. There are Kraybill, Graybill, Krahenbuhl, Greybill, Graybuhl families who all claim the same European ancestor. We try to sort out the Acker, Auker and Auckers in their family tree.
    We have the Peachy Beachys and Beachy Peacheys. We have the Stoltzfus and Stoltzfoos clans, the Joders and Yoders, the Webers and Weavers, the Widmers and Witmers, the Snider and Snyder families. There are Stouffer, Stauffer, and Stoufer surname family files.
    Be sure you have the correct spelling for the Myers, Meyers, Myer, and Meier friend when you search for their name in the phone book. The same advice applies for the Byler, Beiler and Beyler or for Fox and Fuchs or Musser and Mosser clans.
    When you are talking about PA German surnames it is not as simple as Miller or Jones!
    Yet, somehow our great God knows each one of us as a unique individual and he does not get mixed up with all our variations and pronunciations. And the genealogist does not have a boring life!