Thursday, January 24, 2013

Catalyst for my family history research

I thought I would just take a few minutes and explain my reasons for searching for my family history.  I just started in May 2012.  In April 2012 my 17 year old son and I went on a school trip to France.  

We were touring the French countryside and we got to go to Omaha Beach where the Americans stormed the beaches  in the battle of Normandy.  We stood in the bunkers and on the coast, we walked through the museum and through the American Graveyard and read all the memorials.  As we were walking around my son had overheard people talking about their family members who had fought there.  He said to me, "Mom, it is such a shame that we are standing here and we know nothing about our family members and if they were here or not."  I then promised him we would do some research when we got home.

Well we got back and he was busy with baseball and I was busy so we didn't immediately do anything.  Then my daughter called me in early May and said,  "Mom I just signed up for, can you help me?"  Well that night I signed up for too.  And that was the start of my obsession.  My parents were older when I was born and they had both died quite a few years ago.  All of my aunts and uncles were gone too.  Luckily, about twenty years ago I had asked my mother to give me information for my Bible.  I had written down everything she could remember.  What a godsend that was!!  She had given me everything she could remember about my Dad's side of the family too!  My son and I spent the summer going to graveyards, courthouses, and libraries in between baseball games.  We photographed the main graveyard in our town and made memorials for all the people buried there.  That is an ongoing project because we have been trying to locate information to complete all the memorials.  We have put them on Billions Graves and Find A Grave.

By fall I had found first cousins from all over the country.  I had gotten my siblings involved.  We had a family reunion in October and had about 75 in attendance.  I didn't think that was bad for getting it together so quickly.  I had a cousin who brought her RV from Colorado clear to Indiana to attend.

This last year has been so much fun.  I have spent every free minute researching.  My son and I went on another trip to Europe this fall with his class.  Even though we haven't found any relatives we could corroborate that came from any particular areas there, we know that the Hoovers originated in Germany.  It felt great to stand in Germany and think maybe we were in the same area that our ancestors from several generations ago may have started out there.  

My daughter, my son, and I are truly hooked on finding all our family history.  I decided to do this blog to maybe find more relatives and to talk with other people in the genealogy community.  I hope to learn from other people and to maybe be of help to others.


  1. How wonderful that it's something your kids are interested in doing with you! My mom has always been very interested in family history (okay, family gossip!), and she is thrilled that I've gotten in to it now. She doesn't help with research very much, but she's always excited to hear the findings. And it's something that makes us feel closer since we live across the country from one another. :) You are lucky you have the research assistants!

  2. That's a fantastic reason to get all your important history down, where it won't be forgotten.

  3. How awesome that you and your children were spurred to do this together. Best of luck.

  4. Thanks Devon,
    It has been fun working having people to talk to about my research. If you mention it to some people they just look at you like your nuts.