Nurturing the Sapling

It’s been almost a year since I started with genealogy, and this first year has really gone all over the place for me. There were many times where it would have been nice to have a place to write about it, and that’s why I’ve started this blog.

Where has the first year taken me?

Starting out, I didn’t know anything about a small amount of my family. My mother’s brother and mother, and something about my grandfather being a step-grandfather. My father had a brother or brothers, and one of them (at least) had a couple of kids. That was it. This family tree was more like a family sapling, if you could even call it that.

I had known nothing about my maternal grandfather. My mother hadn’t seen him since she was a baby. Little did we know he’d passed away before I was born, and was buried in a cemetery a fifteen minute drive from where I grew up. (Naturally a trip to the cemetery was in order.)

Next was finding my grandfather’s nephew and nieces, and learning that his sister was still alive. This lead to connecting with previously unknown relatives online, as well as a trip to Arizona to meet with one of my grandfather’s nieces.

My one of grandfather’s brothers had died in the bombing at Pearl Harbor. I’ve now been to the site of the U.S. Arizona, and to the Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii where my granduncle is buried.

The family tree has grown rapidly, and I am not immune to making a big mistake along the way. I found the wrong George W. Fritz, a man from Germany, and that created a whole branch I had to remove once I found George’s marriage record stating his father was a man of another name, from Austria.

There are been brick walls galore. (Is it so much to ask to trace each branch to outside of the United States?)

I’ve spent probably more time than I should organizing and reorganizing files, until I’ve come up with an organization system I can work with.

I plan to write here about the people in my family tree, what I sometimes go through looking for more information on them, and tips on how I organize files and use the Gramps family tree software.

This is my blog on naturing my family tree beyond a sapling, and growing it—one leaf at time.

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