The women in our family tree


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There has always been an expression in our family about the [Strong German Family Name]* Women in our family. It has something to do with us being stubborn, some might say. However, I prefer to think of it as strong-willed and intelligent. 

The first woman in our family tree to come to the United States and marry into that name was my great-grandma, Marianne (see in the red jacket). I remember going to her cottage on a lake, picking fresh berries and drinking the most amazing-tasting and cold well-water I had ever had (funny what memories stay with us). She was a beautiful woman with a huge heart. I’m sure, however, my grandpa (her son) would think of her more as one of those strong women. After all, according to my research, she had 7 siblings. There isn’t much wiggle room with a family that big!

Strong family women

l to r: my grandmother (daughter-in-law to), my great-grandmother, my sister, me, my mom

My great-grandmother and my great-grandfather came to the US via New York from Germany in the 1930s-1940s. It is so cool to be able to pull up their information and see immigration cards, naturalization records and even passenger lists from the boats that got them here. It’s amazing that it was less than 100 years ago and yet it was such a different time!

Even though my grandmother doesn’t share that same last name by birth, she fits the bill perfectly to carry the name by marriage. Maybe it’s because she has quite a few younger siblings?

strong women

l to r: N, my mom, baby E, I, me, my grandma

My mom had that last name for quite a bit of her life. She’s definitely lived up to the standards of those strong women! And she still is!


l to r: E, me (with B in the tum), I, my grandma, my grandpa (son of my great-grandma above), N

Of course, yes, I live up to those standards as well. And all of the men in the family know the expression well! Get us all together and it will be uttered or grumbled under clenched  teeth at least a couple times a day!

In addition to learning about our strong women, I found it interesting that E’s name pops up quite a few times in branches of our family tree. We had no idea when we were picking out her name that it would have such strong family roots.

Since I started my account, I haven’t closed the tab out on my computer. New hints keep popping up and I’m having a fun time learning more about my family! Also, I’m keeping this on hand for when the girls get older. I felt like every year in school I was recreating my family tree and having to find the information all over again! This will definitely give them a place to start!

*Sure, if people dig hard enough, you’ll find that family name. But, I’m not sure my grandparents and family want it out there, so I’m not including it.

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What is something interesting you have learned about your family?


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  1. I need to check out Ancestry. I have seen the commercials a million times and have been interested, but haven’t actually done anything about looking into my history yet.

  2. I’ve used to look up my husband’s family. He knows little about them, and through the site he found out his dad had a much older brother that lived in California!

  3. Is it bad that I just hope to get any good info from you? For some reason Family Tree stuff doesn’t interest me in the least. I wonder if I started clicking around if I would change my tune.

  4. My husband and I did a family tree project for my Mom’s family reunion many years ago. We used some research done by other family members but I think if we had used we may have found some information that may have been missed. I’m going to look into it so I’ll be ready for the next reunion.

  5. I have been on many a times. It became an obsession. I did find long fast family in Italy. The site is awesome! I am glad you learned so much.

  6. I’ve been so curious about! I was adopted when I was younger so it intrigues me to see what it actually knows!

  7. I’ve never used but have always wanted to – it would be fun to find long lost members of my family…. thanks for the prod to do it!

  8. Both of my parents have used lately to fill in some missing pieces that the didn’t know. My mom and her sister wrote a book on their family history. Dad’s side is more of a mystery, but we’ve traced back to a small village around what was Slovakia.

  9. That is really cool that you were able to pull immigration cards. So much history to search and discover. I’ve never thought to do that but my sister has and she’s even traveled places to find more family info.

  10. I’m related to Shakespeare, I only have confederate soldiers for relatives (not a SINGLE union guy!!), and I’m also related to Thomas Graves, who was a mason that hung out with John Smith (and therefore Pocahontas!). I love genealogy!

  11. Yes! Strong women. We have them in my family too. Strong German women, as a matter of fact. Yes, we may be a bit stubborn (pig-headed was a word I’d heard growing up 😉 ) but we get stuff DONE! 😉
    Love all the pictures!

  12. What great pictures to have. I love those “through the years” pics like this.

    We have one of 5 generations of women in it. I’m the last one in it and I’m like 5 months old at the time. Priceless to me. We’re all on the sofa and in order.

    This is really neat stuff especially when you get ready to pass the pics down to your girls.

  13. my mom got into this at one point, but then she stopped.. not sure why…
    i would love to learn about marcs family – but that wont happen

  14. I love knowing about my family tree and background. I am thankful that my parents have kept the Czech heritage alive in our family. It’s so great to be able to know where you came from…

  15. My Mom has traced our family quite aways back. Interesting what she has found. Our family both sides is mostly German. My Mom has been able to trace back to the late 1700’s. She’s pretty much at a point that she needs to go to Germany.

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