During National Family History Month (October), I listed five ways I planned to celebrate it. Here is a summary of what I accomplished.
1. Sort out information I discovered and follow up on family stories I recorded during my trip to Slovakia this summer.
I noted three of my favorite stories: 1) My great-grandmother missed my grandfather so much when he left for America that she wanted another baby. Her son Andrej was born supposedly 20 years to the day from my grandfather’s birthday, January 1, although the birth was recorded January 2nd); 2) My grandmother and grandfather knew each other when they were growing up in Slovakia and my grandmother had a crush on my grandfather. They were married in 1915 after they both arrived in America at different times; 3) The tenacity of my great-grandfather and his brothers to ensure that they got the land they were promised by the feudal Lord. I am still digging for documents and other proof to validate various aspects of these stories.
2. Spend some time catching up with living relatives (via phone calls, visits, Skype).
I visited my aunt and uncle in Texas; I skype regularly with my cousin, Renata. I also connect with many of my cousins via Facebook.
3. Re-organize my family history files and binders.
I’ve started this project, but alas, it seems to be never ending.
4. Explore my great-grandfather’s stays in America (he was supposedly a so-called “bird of
passage” who came to America at least twice to earn money and return back home to
Slovakia). Search immigration, census, and other records for documentation.
Found passenger lists documenting at least two arrivals.
5. Work on a multimedia tribute (presentation) honoring my immigrant grandparents.
Finished this project and showed the presentation at the CGSI meeting 10/30/10.
I enjoyed Family History Month and hope to keep the momentum going so I can tackle more specific tasks in the coming months.