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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Update on Family History

I first post this on my Tumblr.  This is a follow up to that post.

So UPDATE on my family History:
I sort of hit a brick wall.  A few in fact.  One line, I can trace all the way back.  Or at least back, as far as, I feel like going,(as far as records go).  About Mayflower era is far as I feel like going though.  However, there are the distaff lines.  For those of you not familiar(ah, the old jokes are the best), Distaff means the female, matriarchal line.  That is the harder line to follow because, duh, different names.  I did hit gold because my family founded a town. This book had all the information. Then, because it was a small town and travel was limited, well, you can guess.  But if you go far back enough in anyone’s family tree it stops branching, especially if you have royal blood.  All those tales about mad kings and vampires came from genetic diseases and intermarrying.  My German relatives came from Ludwigs and Gepharts, Dauberman, Haufner, Wilcox, Day, REIFSNIDER and Winters and are surprisingly English and Welsh! The English and Welsh surnames are Glidwell Pennington, Colley, Wilson, King, Bennet and Woodhead, Kaye , Hill, Harrison, Sharpe, Foster. On the Swedish Side they are Polheumus, Schenck, Covenhaven, Moonfort.  Then on the side I KNEW was mixed, I traced back a couple of generations of one grandfather but the trouble I had was there was a father who named two of his sons the same first name with different initials after his father had done the same thing so there were potentially four Raymond Lunt’s of the same approximate age.  They also had all been born in Massachusetts. I cannot find a marriage certificate for his wife which according to my mom is Mabel Oakes?   Then I find a war Pension Paper which lists an alias as Charles W. Stoccard as an alias for a Charles W. Lunt.  Several spots on the paper look erased.  The birth place matches(Maine).  There is a family story that he changed his birth date so he could fight. However I did find other relatives to trace from HIS father’s line.
So from of the four lines I figured I had to trace, I had two dead end, one total shocker, then back to the begining. 
On the Polish side, I figured that I wouldn’t be able to get too far.  I knew that either my grandparents or Great-grandparents were literally off the boat, or once you hit the boat you’re kind of out of luck, especially with the language barrier.  I had had extreme luck with English records because they had taken Censuses as far back as 1841 and once the Protestants settled down Church records were pretty much left alone.  I did find what I believe to be a marriage license on my great-grandmother’s side.  You would think that it would be easy to trace polish names because of the uniqueness. Unfortunately, when my relatives arrived in this country they were not educated.  There were portion of Poland that were not as well off as the rest and still under the nominal control of Russia.  Also, until 13th century only the Noble families used last names.  Even as late as WWII, many families still didn’t use last names.  I did trace some of the one side although my Aunt has told me that she has the whole thing because a cousin went to Ellis Island and did it.  I know that there are a lot of Zalot’s out there. Hi, Family!  The Cisek’s were the interesting ones.  I found very little but I know my Grandfather had definitely changed his name for business.  I do know that at the time he was on the Forbe’s list for something.  He had a barrel business and managed a minor league baseball team.  He had the opportunity to play in the majors but turned it down because it didn’t pay enough.  He would have played around the same time as Babe Ruth.  I know he had gone by name along the lines of Shezzer or Ceazzer?  There was a story but somehow I managed to block it out. There are some Polish and Austrasia and Hungarian records available online translated.  The problem comes when translating Cyrillic to any Romance language.  Certain letters have no equivalencies.  Sorry, I went off on a tangent there, I like linguistics.  It’s amazing that one of the first things that we learn in a foreign language is curse words.  I may not speak many languages, but I can curse in about 6! 

So that is my update on my family tree.  I started out in one place and end up somewhere I didn’t really expect.  But isn’t that life?  You never end up where you start out to go but it’s where you needed to be.