Tag Archives: Roleke

52 Ancestors – #13 Christian Karl Roleke

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks. I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week 13 and my 13th post in this challenge.  Christian Karl Roleke, is my 3rd great-grandfather.  I guess I’m kind of cheating this week.  I picked an ancestor that I really haven’t researched and that I know very little about it.  I did so because I have been out-of-town all week, and didn’t really have the time this week to devote to a lengthy blog post.

Karl, which is the name I believe he went by, was mentioned in the article below because his son and my 2nd great-grandfather Wilhelm Roleke, was the mayor of Bethany, Missouri for 32 years and because of this I have found many articles about him.  This one just happened to mention his mother and father.

Karl Roleke in History of NW Missouri

Karl Roleke in History of NW Missouri

It basically states that his family was of the official class [whatever that means], he was born in the province of Hanover, Germany, he entered the army [what army??] at the age of 16 and when he met the requirements of his military service he was appointed to a position in civil service and later became a revenue officer [whatever that is]. He retired on a pension twenty years before his death in July of 1914. He was 85 years old when he died.

That small simple paragraph really gives me some good leads and quite a bit of information that I am very lucky to have found. However, it also shows me how little I understand German history, and I will really have to step up my skill set before I start trying to research German records. I’m sure the main barrier will be language and trying to decipher documents while researching. Also, what is the official class and what were the duties of a revenue officer?

I guess also my biggest fear is what happened to the Roleke’s that didn’t migrate to America before WWII? What was their role in WWII and do I want to know? I’m almost afraid to know, but I also realize whatever it is, it’s my history and I must pursue it and find out what happened to my family no matter my hesitation.

This is how I descend from Karl Roleke:

Karl Roleke to Me

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52 Ancestors – #6 William John Parks

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my grandfather, William “Bill” John Parks.  Known by everyone as Bill, but known to me and my brother as Daddy-O. Week six and my sixth post in the challenge.

Daddy O

Daddy O

That is how I remember him the most, so that is why I picked that picture to start out with.

My grandfather came into this world with a very rocky start. His mother died ten days after giving birth to him, which you can read all about that here on Sympathy Saturday – Helen Roleke Parks.  Born to John Triggs Parks, and Helen Roleke Parks, Daddy O was born on 5 Sep 1915 in Kansas City, Missouri.  His mother, a Dr. herself, was one of the very first women to have a C-Section, “a new and radical procedure” at the time, and she would not survive as the Dr. clipped her bowels during the surgery.

This is the earliest picture I have of Daddy O, and his grandfather, William Roleke is holding him.

William Roleke and Bill Parks

William Roleke and Bill Parks

According to my mother, before his father J.T. remarried Missie Sweatt, her father was raised by his father, an uncle and an aunt.  I found this to be supported by the 1920 census. Living with his Widowed father, J.T. Parks, his uncle Henry Parks, his aunt Mary Parks, and two cousins, Earle and Roy Mann.

1920 Census JT Parks Bill Henry Mary Earl and Roy Mann

1920 Census – Blackwell Ward 3, Kay, Oklahoma, JT Parks, Bill Parks, Henry Parks, Mary Parks, Roy Mann, Earle Mann.

My mother said for this time period, his main caregiver was his aunt Mary Moore Parks, whom never married.  Unfortunately, Mary would pass away in 1921.  This is a picture of Daddy O with his aunt Mary Parks.

Bill Parks and his Aunt Mary Parks

Bill Parks and his Aunt Mary Parks

Sometime before the 1930 census, his father married his stepmother, Missie C. Sweatt and she would go on to love him and raise him as her own. She and J.T. never had children of their own, so Daddy O was an only child.

In 1930, I find them living in Amarillo, Texas, Daddy O, J.T. and Missie as well as Karl Roleke, Daddy O’s maternal Uncle.

1930 Census, Amarillo, Texas.  JT, Missie and Bill Parks, with Karl Roleke.

1930 Census, Amarillo, Texas. JT, Missie and Bill Parks, with Karl Roleke.

J.T. was an oil man and at that time, so was Karl Roleke. According to my mother, sometime between the 1930 census, and when he married my grandmother in 1935, my Daddy O was so bad, Grandad Parks (J.T.) sent him to Roswell, New Mexico to the military school there. I have not sent off for the records or tried to research this, but I will do that one day.

Here are a couple of picture of my grandfather taken in the 1920′s or 1930′s.

Bill Parks

Bill Parks

J.T. and Bill Parks

J.T. and Bill Parks

William Roleke, and Bill Parks

William Roleke, and Bill Parks

Bill Parks

Bill Parks

Bill and J.T. Parks

Bill and J.T. Parks

They moved from Amarillo, to Miller Co., Arkansas and somehow Daddy O met my grandmother on a blind date, and they eloped two weeks later and you can read about that here on Ground Hog Day Elopement, and Wedding Wednesday – Bill and Mary Parks.

In 1940, they lived in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas on Granddad Parks’ farm, with J.T., Missie, Daddy O, Poo, and my mom, Mary Helen. You can read about this farm here, on The Old Barn is Gone.

1940 census JT, Missie, Bill, Mary V, Mary H Parks

1940 census Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas, JT, Missie, Bill, Mary V, Mary H Parks

After this they moved to downtown Texarkana, and lived in “The Big House” on 4th and Walnut. This is a picture of the house.

The Big House

The Big House, 4th and Walnut, Texarkana, Arkansas.

As you can see, there is a little house out to the side of the Big House, and this is where Daddy O and Poo lived. Most of the time, my mother stayed in the Big House, with Grandad and Nanny Parks.

During WWII, Daddy O enlisted much to the dismay of my grandmother. He joined the Army and went away for two years and you can read a little about that here, on P.S. Hang on to your pants cause here I come!  This is Daddy O during that time.

William John Parks

Bill Parks, 1944

After the war, my mother and grandmother went to the train station to pick him up, and they walked right past him and didn’t recognize him. He was very thin, his teeth had rotted out and he had been through pure “Hell”. He told my Dad some stories about his time in Japan, but I never heard them first hand. My Dad has a sword that Daddy O brought home, Daddy O said he got it off a dead Japanese solider.

Sword

Sword Daddy O brought home from Japan, WWII

That’s my mother holding the sword, it’s not a good picture, but you get the idea.

After the war, Daddy O and Poo settled into a good life. This photo is from 1955 and I love it. Poo, Daddy O, and Mom.

Mary, Bill and Mary Helen Parks

Mary, Bill and Mary Helen Parks, Christmas 1955

I love this picture, it was a vacation and there I was sitting right on his belly! Hugging him was like hugging a teddy bear!

Susie DaddyO John Dad Red Apple Inn June 10 1972

Susie DaddyO John Dad Red Apple Inn June 10 1972

Daddy O and Poo traveled quite a bit, they even went to Jamaica once. Daddy O drove a truck for East Motor Freight Co., in Texarkana, Arkansas and after he retired, they moved out to Millwood Lake in Ashdown, Arkansas and they lived there until he died. My brother and I visited many times.

This is Daddy O with my brother John.

DaddyO and John June1976

There was a Marina at Millwood Lake, and if you know me you know I am a picky eater, but Daddy O would give me a dime to eat everything on my plate, and then he would take me to the Marina, and I would get to get a bag full of candy for that dime. He always cooked me meatloaf because I would eat that. Oh, and BTW, he did all the cooking, he loved it. Anyway, this is him in the Marina.

Daddy O

Daddy O, Bill Parks.

Daddy O was very sick for a while before he died.  He was diabetic, and he had emphysema.  He was on oxygen and became very ill.  They were transporting him by ambulance in 1978 from Texarkana to Little Rock to the VA Hospital, when a big flood came up.  My grandmother and Aunt Dorothy were in the car behind them, but somehow they got separated.  The ambulance sat so long in water, it ran out of oxygen and had turned around and they took him back to Texarkana.

My Dad had to go and find Poo and Aunt Dorothy (Ball) Johnson and they were panicked. There were no cell phones at the time, and not knowing where they were was very scary. Their car had at times filled with water over their feet.  They were both a nervous wreck. Dad brought them home and by that time, Mom found Daddy O back in Texarkana.  After the weather settled down, they brought him up to the VA and I got to see him one more time before he died.  I remember being very scared about all the tubes they had in him.

I was only seven years old when he died, and I was devastated! This is me at seven years old, and do you notice the green plaid stool on the far right of the photo?

Susie

Susie, 1978.

The day Daddy O died, I remember laying on that stool and crying for what seemed like hours and hours. John stomped from the living room all the way up the stairs and stayed in his bedroom and wouldn’t come out. He was especially close to Daddy O and it was very hard for him, he was twelve years old.

I had the best grandparents a kid could ask for.

His passing was extremely hard on Poo, and she was never the same “Nonnie” I knew before he died. But, now they are together, no doubt, living it up and dancing down the streets of Gold.

Poo and DaddyO

Poo and DaddyO

Poo and Daddy O

Poo and Daddy O

This is how I descend from Daddy-O.

Daddy-O to Me

52 Ancestors – #2 Anna Schulze Roleke

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my 2nd-great grandmother, Anna Schulze Roleke. Week two and my second post in the challenge.

Anna Schultze Roleke

Anna Schultze Roleke

Anna Roleke, my 2nd great-grandmother was born December 10, 1862 in Berlin, Germany. She was the daughter of Gustaf and Sophie Schulze. Schultze or Schulze, I’ve seen it spelled both ways, so I’m not sure which way is actually correct.

She married Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm (William) Roleke on September 2, 1888.  I have not found a copy of this marriage record, yet.  A cool thing about my 2nd great-grandfather William Roleke being Mayor of Bethany, Missouri for 32 years,  is that their lives were well documented and I’ve been able to find a lot of information out about them through books, and newspaper articles.

So, I’ll back up a bit and tell you what I have learned about her mostly from her flowery obituary which I obtained from the Harrison County Genealogical Society, in Bethany, Missouri. I might also add that I wouldn’t have a photo of her at all if it weren’t for this obituary.

Anna Schultze Roleke Obituary

Anna Schultze Roleke Obituary

I learned that she was confirmed in the Lutheran Church in 1876 on a Palm Sunday, and lived a consistent Christian life until God in his infinite wisdom, called her to Him on the anniversary of her confirmation, on March 28, 1915.

Now, I’ve written about Anna’s death before on Sympathy Saturday – Helen Roleke Parks. Her daughter, Helen Parks, my great-grandmother died within six months of Anna, giving birth to my grandfather.  Her obituary speaks of her having a lingering illness of about four years. Helen’s obituary also speaks of a long illness.  Her death certificate says she died of cerebral hemorrhage, with mitral regurgitation contributory and mentions an illness of 3 weeks, and I can’t read it very well, but I suspect it to say acute nephritis.  I’ve never heard any family stories on what the lingering illness was.

Anna Schulze Roleke Death Cert

Anna Schulze Roleke Death Certificate

I’ve also written about how the Roleke’s were my first genealogy trip on My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s.  Shortly after this trip, I found Bill Jones.  Bill is the son of Kathryn Roleke Jones, my great grand-aunt and the daughter of Anna and William Roleke.  Bill lives a long way from me, so we have never met, but we have gotten to know each other through phone calls and emails and I’m so happy that I found him.

Anna’s obituary speaks of her graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in Berlin, with high honors.  So far I have not done any research in Germany on any of my ancestors, obviously because I will have to increase my skill set but I would like to find out about her schooling at some point.  This fact really intrigues me and I would love to learn more about it and see if I can learn more about her achievements from the academy.  Cousin Bill Jones actually has some of Anna’s sheets of music.

From her obituary, I learned that she left Germany in 1888.  I found that date to be incorrect as I found her in the New York Passenger lists, 1820-1957 on Ancestry.com.  She was shown to have departed from Hamburg, Germany in May of 1885 and arrived in New York on June 5, 1885 aboard the Steam Ship Bohemia.

Steam Ship Bohemia

Steam Ship Bohemia

Her obituary mentioned that by then end of the month of her arrival, she had made her home with her cousin, Herman Roleke in Bethany, Missouri. This was a little confusing to me because I knew Herman Roleke, was the cousin to William Roleke, but he’s her cousin too? A bit of panic set in, where my 2nd-great grandparents kissing cousins?

After researching this I found that Herman was the son of Joseph Frederich Roleke and Karoline Emilie Schulze. Karoline was Anna’s aunt, the sister of her father Gustaf Schulze. Joseph Roleke, the uncle of William, and brother to William’s father, Christian Roleke. Ummm, so does this make them kissing cousins??  ha ha

I also found in her obituary that her sister, Helene, was Mrs. Max Roleke. What? Oh my! I haven’t figured this relationship out yet, but it’s obvious the Roleke’s and Schulze’s had mad love for each other!

I found the Roleke family living in Bethany, Missouri on the 1900, and 1910 census. It shows William working as a Tailor, and you can see more about his tailor shop and the house they lived in on the post I mentioned above, My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s.

1900 Roleke census

1900 Roleke census

1910 Roleke census

1910 Roleke census

Bill Jones had this wonderful picture, that he sent to me and I have it framed and hanging on my wall.

Roleke Family House in Bethany Missouri. William, Anna, Helen and Kathryn on porch.

Roleke Family House in Bethany Missouri. William, Anna, Helen and Kathryn on porch.

Is this not the most awesome picture, ever? There are my 2nd-great grandparents, Anna and William Roleke, hanging out on the porch with my great-grandmother Helen, and Bill’s mother Kathryn. I love, love, love this picture.  I will forever be thankful to Bill for sending me this picture.

When Anna died, on the day of her burial, apparently the town of Bethany came to a screeching halt.  All the stores closed out of respect for the Mayor’s wife.  City officials were her pall bearers and they laid her to rest in the Miriam Cemetery, in Bethany, Missouri.  At the time the cemetery was called the Pythian cemetery.  You can see more about the family plot at the cemetery once again on the above mentioned post,  My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s.  However, this is her headstone.

Anna Schultze Roleke Headstone

Anna Schultze Roleke Headstone

My mother placed those flowers there. One thing we didn’t do on the trip to Bethany was visit the courthouse, if we had, I might have their marriage record at this point. Like I said, it was my first trip and boy was I green. If I had gone there, I would have had no clue what to look for anyway. I will go back one day though, especially since I know so much more about the family. My family, I’m proud to say!

Here’s my relationship to Anna.

Relationship from Susie to Anna Schulze Roleke

Relationship from Susie to Anna Schulze Roleke

As her headstone says, Aufs Wiedersehn.

My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s

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Hey there!  Yep, it’s me.  Still here.  I just had to take a break for a bit.  I had too much on my plate and other things had to come first.

Like 6th grade homework….  Uggghh!

Uggghh, is about all I can say about that on here, but the amount of homework sent home daily is redonk! Poor Knucklehead has no life outside of school.  So much for being a kid.

Anyway, between the chores, chickens, and homework, you can see priorities had to change a bit.  But, I think I have a good system down now and can spend some quality time with my Ancestors for a few hours each week while Knucklehead is at school.

Knock on wood, because I have said that before.

I have spent the last week or so, entering in information from a road trip I took back in October of 2008.  Yes, I realize that was five years ago.  I was such a newbie then that I didn’t even put information in a family tree.  I just collected it.  Now, I’m adding things to my tree and since I spent the last week or so going over the Roleke information, I thought I would share here with you all, my first genealogy road trip.  I have had several since then, but this was a really special trip because I got to share it with my Momma before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She, myself and my sister-in-law Addie loaded up in the car and drove to Bethany, Missouri.  What a treat this was.

Also, it was special because we just enjoyed the moment.  We took our time and whatever information I got was glorious and it didn’t matter if I didn’t find the one thing I was looking for because I wasn’t looking for anything specific.  We just wanted to see where our Ancestor’s live, and my Momma hoped to learn about her grandmother.

I thank God every time I think about this trip because if I had taken any other trip at that time, I would not be as hooked into my family history as I am now.  We found out so much stuff on that trip that it almost addicted me.  I just wanted to see what else I could find out, and when and how could I?

Ok, I know you are saying almost addicted?  Ok, I admit, I am addicted to it.  My children and grandchildren will thank me one day.

The reason we picked Bethany was because of one little news article clipped into my Momma’s baby book.  Here it is:

Roleke Trip to Arkansas

I guess Mother hadn’t spent much time looking in her baby book (I have told you before, but her baby book was in the pile of stuff my grandmother was going to throw away and I saved) because when I asked her about her great-grandfather William Roleke, being a Mayor, she had no clue. Her grandfather J.T. Parks, never talked about her grandmother’s family, the Roleke’s. It was too painful for him I guess, and he had remarried and put his life back together. You see my mother’s grandmother, Helen Roleke Parks died after giving birth to her father, Bill (William John) Parks. It was a very sad time for her Granddad Parks. In fact, he never once mentioned it to my mother, but his wife Missie, who my mother called Nanny, and loved so much was the one who finally told her.  My Momma was stunned.  She had always thought Nanny was her grandmother.  It didn’t change a thing for her and Nanny though.  Nanny was always so good to her.

After reading that clipping in my mother’s baby book, I started digging a little more through my grandmother’s things and I found a newspaper from Bethany with Helen Parks’ obit on the front page. You can read about that here, on my Sympathy Saturday – Helen Roleke Parks post.

A search of Google before we left let me know there was a road in Bethany, named Roleke. There was a park in Bethany named Roleke, and I could see on Google maps, in street view that the house William lived in, was still there.  I also knew that the Harrison County Genealogical Society was there in Bethany, and we planned our trip around when they would be open.

Loaded with where I needed to go and what I wanted to see, we took off.  After a 7 hour road trip, we made it to Bethany.

Mt. Vernon to Bethany

We checked into our hotel room and headed straight to the cemetery.  We were more than amazed at what we found at the Miriam Cemetery.

William Roleke Family Cemetery Plot

The family plot headstone was massive, and finally, here they were, my great-grandmother Helen Roleke Parks, and my 2nd great-grandfather, William Roleke and my 2nd great-grandmother, Anna Schultze Roleke.  I would later find out that Edith Morgan Roleke, also in the plot, was William’s 2nd wife.

This was pretty emotional for Momma.  Here she stood at the grave of her grandmother, her namesake, a woman she’d never met.  And she wept.  And then I wept.  I think Addie did too, but she can usually hold it together pretty good.  To show you the size of the headstone, here is me and Momma standing next to it.

Mom and Susie at William Roleke Plot Marker

This photo of Momma and Addie was from the next day, we had to go back and take one because I guess I was so emotional while there, I never thought of photos, Addie saved the day on that and I wanted a picture of Addie there too.

Mom and Addie William Roleke Plot Marker

We placed flowers, and spent quite a bit of time there.

Mom putting flowers Roleke Plot

If you will notice on the right side of the next photo, down the hill we found another plot of Roleke’s.  We put flowers beside the plot marker there as well.

William Roleke Plot

Come to find out, that plot belonged to the family of Herman Roleke.  Cousin to my William Roleke.  He came from Germany before William did, and William settled here in Bethany and started working with Herman at his Tailor Shop.

Here is the Herman Roleke Plot. There are 16 people buried in his plot, with 13 headstones.  At the time, I didn’t know who they were or how they connected, but I have since put the pieces together.

Herman Roleke Plot

After this, since it was pretty emotional, we decided to just see some sites around town and get a lay of the land.  We found Roleke road.  I thought at the time, that since William was Mayor of Bethany for 36 years, that Roleke road was named after him.  I’m not so sure as Herman was also a major pillar of the community and it could just as easily have been named for him.   Either way, I don’t care.  I’m happy and proud to say I’m related to either one of them and regardless of which one it was, the road is still named after my family.

Mom and Susie Roleke Drive

Thank you Addie, for taking these priceless pictures.  I actually have this photo in a frame. It marked such a special moment for me with my Mom, and Addie.  This trip was where my love for digging up family history really began.

Next we found Roleke Park.  I did not take good pictures.  This was my first time, what can I say.  Maybe I will get to go back one day and take more.  I think at the time, I thought they were good.  Ha Ha

Herman Roleke originally owned this land and built the park.  This is the spot where most of the scenes I have found on old postcards and in books is located.

Roleke Park

 

Here is the Pavilion where a plaque had been placed in honor of Herman Roleke.  Did I take a picture of the whole Pavilion?  No, no I did not.  Dumb.

Herman Roleke ParkI took a picture of a pretty little bridge though.

Roleke Park

Then we drove to where William’s house was.  I couldn’t believe the house was still there.

William Roleke House

I shyly knocked on the door, and even though this car was parked out front no one came to the door.  This being my first trip, not really sure of what I should or shouldn’t do.  We left, and didn’t go back by.

Now a days, knowing more about research and learning all that I have learned about that house – I would keep going back until someone came to the door.

William Roleke House

Then we went to the Harrison County Historical Society.  If I filled this page with nothing but nice things about the Society, it wouldn’t be enough.  They have really done the work there.  I made a copy of anything that had the name Roleke in it.

One of the best things I found was this obituary there that actually had a picture of Anna Roleke, my 2nd great-grandmother.  I had never seen her before, and still to this day have not found another picture of her, so this was worth the whole drive alone, and it was just one of many treasures we found that day.

Anna Schultze Roleke Obituary

 

Here is just one of the many things I found about Herman Roleke.

Herman Roleke house razed

 

Then the kind ladies at the Historical Society directed me to the Bethany Clipper office, the local newspaper where I found some information in books about William Roleke.  One thing about it, when you are Mayor of a town for 36 years, there is a lot of information out there about you.

I found out the Tailor shop used to be on the town square next to the Bethany Clipper.

roleke tailor shop

 

I wish I had taken this picture from the same angle, but I did not.  There again, I was a Newbie.

Bethany Missouri

 

Right across from this is of course the courthouse.  Did I go in the courthouse?  NO!  Like an idiot!!!   I thought I had found so much at the Historical Society what else could I possibly need, right?  Uggghh!  I wish I could go back and kick my former self.   We did find a lot though and the trip was worth it, and for a Newbie, I did pretty dang good.  So good it just took me a week to add all the stuff I got on this trip to my family tree.

If you have any Roleke relatives from the Bethany area, contact me.  I have put all the information on my ancestry.com and I will be glad to share it with you.

Also, I need to stress to you that if you are a newbie, like I was during this trip, always check the local historical society, I can’t even begin to tell you all the wonderful things I found there.  Plan your trip around this, trust me.

Next, check the courthouse.  Everyone is always talking about their AHA moments, I call that my DUH moment.  CHECK THE COURTHOUSE!!!

Check the local paper.  Would I have ever known William’s business was next door had I not??

Of course, check the cemeteries, all of them in the town if you have time.

Check the phone book, and call some local’s while you are there.  I tried this, but they all thought I was crazy.  Which is true.

Search out cousins!!  Some of the articles mentioned that my grandfather had a cousin Bill Jones.  I found him!!  Alive and well and living in Portland, Oregon!  And if you think alive and well isn’t a big deal, you haven’t been doing genealogy for very long.  Everyone you find is dead and gone!  Anyway, Bill and I talk often and he sent me some killer photos and get this, he sent me the actual certificates my great-grandmother received when she graduated from Osteopathy school.  Most importantly, he’s a link to my family and my history and I enjoy so much talking with him.  I hope to meet him one day.

And last, but not least, knock on doors, and wait for them to answer!  You never know what history they might know!

Who Do You Think You Are – is back! Tonight!

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I’m so excited about “Who Do You Think You Are” coming on tonight.  You can catch it on TLC, and here is a clip of what can be expected this season.

I think it’s really cool that they take the celebrities and help them with their family tree. However, you know what I think would be cooler? Doing a non-celebrity person, such as myself, *cough *cough.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoy the show and seeing what unfolds for these people. But I want them to help out people that can’t afford to follow the trail of the brickwall.  Let’s face it.  They can totally afford that journey without a TV show helping them.  Us Non-Celeb folks can’t just pick up and go to the place that holds the next clue, with a team of genealogist sitting in the library waiting to tell us what they have found.

Anywho, I can quit dreaming of that.

I’ll just keep plugging away at little by little and maybe before I die I will find out what my 2nd great-grandfather Francis Hereford Williams’ real name is and who the father of my 2nd great-grandfather John D. Parks is.

Maybe I’ll find out how us Higginbotham’s really descend from the Barbados Higginbotham’s.

Maybe I’ll find out how my 3rd great-grandfather Rev. John J. Triggs came from England sailing his own ship at the age of 17 and became a Methodist Circuit Rider and delivered the word all through the Indian Territories, and who were his parents back in England?

Maybe I could follow the trail of my German ancestors, the Roleke’s, back to Germany and find out what their role was during WWII.  Ok, maybe I don’t want to know that, but wait, I think I have to know!

Maybe I could find out about my Ball ancestors, and was the one born on the boat on the way to America from Ireland, really my 4th great-grandfather and what was his first name?

I could go on, but I’ll stop.  I know you all have the same list like I do, just different names and locations.

I am blessed enough to be able to go to Washington, DC on Aug 1st.  It will be my first trip and guess what I’m going to do?  I’m going to the National Archives, of course!  I’m going to see if I can find a clue to any of the above on my wish list!

I do have to admit, it would be great to have a team of genealogists waiting to help me, because realistically, I’m a little nervous about my first trip to the Archives.  Any of you ever been?  Got any tips?  I’m so afraid I’m going to get there and spin my wheels and come home empty handed.  I can’t afford to waste this opportunity.  I have to come home with the goods on at least one of my ancestors!

So, what about it?  If you showed up to the archives and the team from “Who Do You Think You Are” was there, and said “What do you want help with?  Where do we start?”  Which of your ancestors would you pick? Could you pick just one, or would you beg them to help with your whole wish list.

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