Sunday, March 20, 2016

Five years and counting

Photo by Marcus Quigmire

Time just continues to march on, no matter how hard we try to slow it down.  Which makes me reflect on the upcoming milestone in my life – the birth of this blog five years ago next week.  So many discoveries and new information added to my tree in five years which I want to sit back and reflect on.

First and foremost, I want to thank the Academy Kerry Scott for giving me that little push to start this endeavor.  Although we’ve never met in person, I’ve ‘known’ Kerry for close to 20 years in both my professional life as a Human Resources Manager and my ‘wannabe’ life as a genealogist.  If you want a good laugh click on her name and read some of her blog entries – trust me, you won’t be sorry.

Who knew I’d find so many ancestors and, thus, their descendants, who just happen to be my cousins?  On my mom’s side, there are several of us who have met virtually and have a ‘Waller Cousins’ facebook page so that we can share information.  Unfortunately, life gets in the way and our research time has been pushed aside for other activities but I know they are always there if I need to pick their brains.

My dad would have loved this journey I’m on.  He used to talk about his Gunzendorfer ancestors but try as he might, he just couldn’t get my attention.  I’m guessing I now know more about this side of the family than he ever did and, for that, I know he’d be happy.  Boy would he have been thrilled to know that I’ve not only re-connected with Gunzendorfer cousins but actually found a new one. 

My beautiful picture
Front row (in blue) Irene Gunzendorfer Sherwin
My grandmother’s first cousin
That’s me holding the dog – c. 1965

And on the Levy side, I have connected with cousins whom I’ve never met because our grandfathers (Sig and Herb) didn’t speak to each other later in their lives.  I like to think they’d be happy to know the feud has been lifted.

Levy Brothers Ben_Sig_Herb_Leon
Levy Brothers
Top row:  Ben and Sig
Bottom row:  Herb and Leon

In the last five years, a new leaf has been added to my tree – the birth of our fourth grandchild, who shares a middle name with my grandmother, Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy.  And five years has brought many changes to the older grandchildren – one a teenager, one closing in on the end of his elementary school career, and one about to finish kindergarten. 

Sadly, my mother has left us in the last five years.  I’m not sure she would have ever admitted it but I think she got a kick out of the information I’d pass along to her.  She either never knew much about her family or wanted to forget the details but each new tidbit seemed to pique her interest.  She especially seemed to like hearing about one of my favorite subjects, Emery Waller. I’m glad we were able to get his grave marked while my mother was still alive.  And finally, THANKFULLY, my mother remembered that she actually had a couple of photos of her father – had she not remembered that, I would have never been able to see the face of my grandfather.

Earle_Gerry 1937
Gerry and Earle Martin
c. 1939

Who knew how many people I’d meet because of my blog?  I love receiving comments and while I know I’ve been delinquent recently, I love to read others’ blogs and comment on what they’ve learned.  And facebook groups?  WOW!  Who knew there were so many of those?  I’ve learned about Fresno, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Monterey.  And every once in awhile, I’m able to contribute something that helps someone with their research.

Too much has happened in the world over the course of five years to wrap my head around it all.  Terrorism, royal weddings (and new leaves on their tree), massive storms, a new Pope, and, of course, deaths.  It really does remind me that we need to document what we can before it’s too late.

So with that I’ll start on the next five years of blogging.  One word and discovery at a time.  Thanks for following along with me!

Page 18 - Debi blowing out candles
My ‘real’ 5th birthday


  1. What a super duper recap of your 5 years. I'll be 5 in August. Hard to believe. I have met many new cousins online but we have not developed the kind of relationship you all enjoy. I'm jealous.

    1. For someone who has one, yes ONE, first cousin, I feel like I've hit the jackpot whenever I connect with a new cousin.

  2. And I'll "be five" later in April. I think we connected soon after both of us started our blogs. I hope to get inspired and do some more blogging. Keep up your good work!

    1. I have days where I just can't get into blogging. Other days I have so much to say. That's the best part about blogging - do it when you feel it.

  3. A very Happy 5th Blogiversary to you Debi!

  4. Happy Blogiversary! I really enjoy your blog and look forward to your tenth Blogiversary!

    1. 10 years seems so far away but I know it will be here in an instant! I enjoy your blog, too, but am so far behind :-(