They Came to America

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They Came to America


Behnke Family

Carlson Family

Hansen Family

Jacob Family

Mussell Family

Pertzsch Family

Petersen Family

Risch Family

Cemeteries I've Posted

Why the title?

          Why, you might be asking, did I choose to call my family history webpage 'They Came to America', when the conventional practice is to name the page after the family being researched? Well, Rootsweb offers only one free website to a customer, and it would not have been feasible to put eight or more surnames in the page title. They are, however, listed in the meta tag field and in the column to the left.

Why do I do genealogy?

          To me, genealogy is the study of particular individuals or particular family groups with a view toward discovering how their life choices were affected by the historical times and places in which they lived. Knowing that your ancestors lived through a particular era or historical event makes history relevant in a way that no classroom lecture or textbook can.  You'll probably come to the conclusion that your ancestors were braver, stronger and more resourceful than you ever imagined...and maybe--just maybe--they're out there somewhere, cheering you on to greater accomplishments, too!

          When I took up family genealogy in the 1970s, I didn't know whether I'd be able to penetrate the multi-generational amnesia of ancestral languages forgotten, old letters and documents discarded, contact lost with entire branches of the family tree. I attribute my success to a) my mother's phenomenal memory for names, relationships and family anecdotes b) my own background in history and library research methods and c) the ever-increasing accessibility of information via the internet.

          In just thirty years, I and my fellow family genealogists have traced our immigrant ancestors back to the European villages they left between 1862 and 1886. The next big step forward will be to locate distant living relatives on the other side of the Atlantic.


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© Copyright 2003-2012, Donna C. All rights reserved. Last revised 13 August 2012.