As I feared, I find nothing unusual or remarkable in my family’s history. The most interesting tidbit is Great Grandma and her first husband had to get married and my grandma was born less than the normal 9 m0nths after their wedding. I wonder what that house was like in 1920? I’m sure plenty of people knew that the Olson’s had to get married, and I’m sure grandma learned that pretty early.
Some of my ancestors owned acres of land in Wisconsin that they farmed, but for how long, I don’t know yet, but I don’t think they owned much after the Depression. Two started and owned their own businesses which lasted less than two generations. I only know one great Grandpa owned a bakery, but it wasn’t around after he retired. I assume it was sold. Another great grandpa also started a butcher shop in the 1890s, and owned several parcels of large plots of land in town. His oldest son took over the business when he retired, by his youngest son, my grandpa A, did not seem to share in what was likely a lucrative business. Instead, I presume, he raised his 10 kids in semi poverty and had his wife work, so he could live his dream as a musician. Grandpa A was a musician of extraordinary skill (according to Dad), but I find almost no record of where he played, except that he was a bugular in WWI.
I’m not completely finished, I’ve just reached the end of phase one. Phase two will be to trace their home country ancestry in Germany and Poland, and I don’t think I have that skill yet. I’ll work on H’s family for a bit, he’s got famous people in his family so a lot of the work has already been done. I just need to verify my records. Since one line of his family goes back to 1640 in the Barbados. Now that’s what I call interesting ancestors.
I’m bummed that I didn’t discover any major surprises, but I’m sure that’s the norm. We can’t all be related to someone from the Mayflower. However, I feel more connected to people in general since doing this genealogy, so in a way I feel more connected to my family. I’ve started a fictionalized version of how I think their lives might have played out, based on what I know and what I’ve discovered. I’m excited about writing again. After three years I’m practically in shock. So forgive me if I am away for a couple days while I get this roughed out.