Who knew my mom would challenge me years ago with the statement "there are no Gunzendorfers left in the United States"? What's strange is that the Gunzendorfers are in my DAD'S family, not my mom's. But she threw out the challenge and being a good daughter, I decided to take the bait and prove her wrong. Who knew where it would lead?
About 7-8 years ago, I told my friend, Kerry about the challenge. Kerry and I have never met in person, but I feel like I've known her forever. We "met" on a HR board about 10 years ago and while she is an awesome HR professional, her passion has always been genealogy. So she did some quick research on the Gunzendorfers and sent me an e-mail. I still have that e-mail.
So here I am today. I started researching the Gunzendorfers about a year ago and have branched out in so many directions with the help of my partner-in-genealogy, Jan. I've learned that my 5th great grandfather on my mother's side, Ashbel Waller, served in the Revolutionary War. And his grandson, Emery Waller, (my 3rd great grandfather) served in the Civil War. I've learned that just like my grandmothers told me when we gave our daughter the middle name of Rebecca, both of their grandmothers really were named Rebecca (Steen and Waller). I've learned that my dad's family really are Jewish and that the Jews in California have been studied and researched - a lot. And while I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet, I've learned that there really might not be any Gunzendorfers left in the United States. Who knew Mom might be right?
I'll document as much as I can and, hopefully, one day my children and grandchildren will be glad that I did. And maybe, just maybe, I'll find someone out there who is researching my family and we can share information.
But most of all, I'll learn more about who I am and where I came from. I'll take it one step at a time and one relative at a time. And I'll document the journey as I go.
Who knew I'd find this so fascinating?