Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Branching Out - Searching Stepfather's Mueller Lines

     I'm a little swamped in genealogy at the moment. I've got some juicy bits and pieces from each of my lines that have popped up that I'm chomping at the bit to get to (and some interesting new info on Sune Bergman....)  I've got my husband's maternal line, and working on getting that verified so I can add it to the tree finally. And my step-dad has asked me if I'd look into his family's history and put something together for an upcoming family reunion. Of course I said yes!! :)

      I am finding I enjoy looking for other peoples' family members. And this in particular is good for me, because it's allowing me to research a new place... My home state of Wisconsin..... which I haven't been able to do yet, believe it or not. My mom came to Racine from Upper Michigan  in the late 60's-ear;y 70's I believe. My dad came to Racine from Illinois in the early 1960's.  Both of their fathers had come for work. Which is very ironic, considering these days Racine is #1 for unemployment in the state. Ah, how times change, right?

     So searching for my step-dad is allowing me to research close to home, which may give me the opportunity to try some day trips (which isn't always easy with 3 kids 5 years and under tagging along), and do some in person record searching, which I haven't been able to do yet. It's an experience I need, but have not had the chance to learn.

     His Mueller family are Washington County Germans, and even though half of my dad's family is German, this will broaden my research and experience with Germany/German culture/history, as the Mueller's are from a different area. They are also Roman Catholic Germans, which I had not encountered yet. You don't really find many Roman Catholic German churches where my German family settled. Everyone and their mother was Lutheran. So this is also something new to me.

    One thing I appreciate about genealogy is not only the fact that I get to learn about my family history, but I also learn about culture, customs, and history of different groups of people around the world. I love history, so this is a great bonus. It brings you beyond just dates and names. It helps you understand the roots of your ancestors, and see the bigger picture. The lives of our German farmers were completely different from those of our Lapland Swedish fisherman, which were different from those of our medieval English families. And their cultures and customs and national histories play a gigantic role in who they were and why they made the choices they did. So even though I may feel a little overwhelmed by adding a whole new family into my researching at the moment, I look forward to the experience it's going to give me and the things I will learn from it.

I'm a nerd.

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