Us, a few years ago.
A Little About Us
After many long years
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We've been dead so long here
on the hill that nobody remembers us.
Can you believe that?
One hundred years or so, and nobody knows that we lived.
But we lived. Yes, indeed! Just like you are living now; eating and
sleeping and breathing and working and loving.
We were Germans, most of us, and we came to this place
when it was rough and wild. We hacked the stumps off the land and
we dug the soil with our hands to plant things.
We were farmers, and we came across wild seas and dark wilderness
to grow things here.
We came when we were young and strong and looking
for a place to think our own thoughts.
We worked and we helped pull the claws out of this wild country.
We were proud of that.
And there are more of us; but our markers are gone so nobody will
ever again know who we were.
(a poem by Paul Stokes, excerpted from the 1972 Milwaukee
We Are Trying, Grampa
We hope this site helps revive the memories of forgotten
and instills within family members a better understanding
of our common heritage and intertwined history.
In our world of disjoint families and far flung careers, we are
in particular need of a sense of family -- from which
can flow individual purpose and direction.
Hi, come on in! You can throw your coat and stuff on the couch over there.
If you have the
time, sit a bit and prop your feet. There's hot cider and
cups on the counter. Fixin's for tea and coffee too -- and I think there's
some beer in the 'fridge, out in the garage.
if you don't know everyone. .... Mike? He was here before.
He might be wandering around one of the other rooms.
I gotta go now.
I think somebody else just came in. Oh, by the way, there're
oatmeal cookies in the second drawer down -- and throw another chunk on
the fire or open the damper if you need more heat. Turn on some music if you like.
OK everyone, listen
up, if you would. You can stay here and reminisce as long as
you like, but if you remember any good family stories, be sure to jot 'em down on
the pad over there. The young'ens haven't heard them yet.
When you're ready
to walk around, you'll find a brief overview of our family in the
next room. In the other rooms on this floor are displays on the family's eight main
branches -- with maps of where they came from (and went), a few pictures, and a
little history -- dates, names, places, a few skeletons -- that sort of stuff. Mary's
families are in the rooms to the right. Andy's are down the hall. Up the stairs and to the
left you'll find a little info on three hundred and eight of our direct and "step" ancestors.
If you really want
the scoop, though, the details are in the files in the basement.
There are about eight thousand people down there -- well, maybe just the spirits of
most of them. Andy's kin tend to mill around by the far end, while Mary's mostly
congregate near the steps -- just push your way through. Over two hundred pictures
will let you glimpse what they -- and we -- looked like. A thousand pages or so of notes
might help us learn of them -- and perhaps, from them, as well. Over eight hundred
references guard against our losing track of them again.
Browse as long
as you like. There's a copy machine next to the water heater.
the lights when you come back up. If you find any mistakes, please let us know.
On the way out,
there are some brochures of other places you might want to visit.
to add directions to your favorite place, if you care to leave it.
OK then! Right
this way, if you please. >>>> [Door] I'll get you
started, but then you're
on your own. .... Sure. You can take your cup with you.