Sunday, August 24, 2008

By the kindness of strangers..

I have been thinking about a website and blog for myself. I am a graphics geek, what can I say. So I have been thinking and mulling over ideas and deciding, sort of, that I wanted my blog on my own website and so thought to figure that out but today… today the nicest thing was done for me so this seems the perfect day to start my blog no matter where it ends up.

A stranger.. someone who just happened to see a post of mine on a Michigan board, reading my frustration in finding a family that I feel should not be so hard to find and yet finding it impossible.. he found it within a day after I had been searching for the last 6 months! He sent me the following email:

Sharon: Lets start with why I do this genealogy for total strangers, such as yourself. It is a hobby/addiction. I rationalize, I suppose, that my “hobby” costs much less than other hunters and fishermen. Then also I have found my ancestors back to Charlemagne as a result of kind genealogists who helped along the way . . . none of them seeking recompense for same. I have to tell you it was and is a great pleasure to “payback” those people. I won’t go into my career, that being mundane for strangers, but a treasure for me and mine.

So here is the good news. Your sibling Leona did a family tree and you can find it if you have access to ancestry. com. (if not, let me know) in short, your line starts with John Stevens, 1887 Yugoslavia who came to Detroit in 1912,and had among others, Theodore J. Stevens 1913, Felix, 1916, Englebort,1918, Gabriel 1920, Mary were right about the Shufelt connection. Bernadine was a Sheufelt and born, if I remember a Magyar (or Hungarian) and john though born in Yugoslavia was Hungarian also. The tree includes a picture of your grandfather and Bernadine. (kind of unusual, but a gift from Leona eh.)

Let me know whether you have access to ancestry com or not. if not, don’t fret, I will get it for you.
Name withheld, Flint Mi

Today I am on top of the world. A few reasons, the most important, my people are out there. My Aunt and I have something in common by our interest in genealogy. Another, that all the recent months (and years) of frustration are replaced by a hunger and enthusiasm to know more and to find out more. Sending off an email to the owner of this family tree was a bit daunting. I have no idea what sort of relationship my estranged father had with them. I kept it basic, information and asking if she was who I was looking for. Underneath is a lot of excitment.. I have an Aunt who is out there! And there are more. For years I have wondered about this side of my family. My mother says she remembers them being a nice family. I feel a bit emotional since I have seen the names of my grandparents and great grandparents. I have wanted this day so long. This family has not seen me in 45 years or so, when I was 3, maybe a bit younger. Do they even know I have a sister?

I am eager to see where this chapter goes.

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