Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Family Ties

A couple of days ago I got a phone call from a "long lost" relative.  Well, not so lost really, more like long, or just distant, I guess.  One of my hobbies, on again and off again, for the last 15 years or so has been working our family tree.  I am hardly even an amateur genealogist, but I find it interesting when I come across new names.  It all began years and years ago with a handwritten tree that was made by my aunt with more or less immediate family members on one side of the family.  I started with a family tree program that I got when I bought my first computer and have just been adding on ever since.  With the ever growing list of resources via the internet and adding in Kris's side of the family I have slowly gathered 600+ names in our tree.

Late last year when I had some time, I decided to start searching down some of the dead branches of the family tree and managed to find the name of a cousin of my grandfather.  This was a name that was on the original handwritten tree, but had been one of those branches that never went anywhere because I could never find anything.  I was searching it again, and I forget what i managed to put into Google this time around but it churned up an old obituary from 2010.  Her husband had died but the obituary listed her maiden name, Hahn.  it said they were longtime residents Menomonee Falls, and I thought the name looked familiar for some reason.  I asked Sarah if she knew the last name, and she said, "oh yeah, that's Evan's last name".  So after a little bit of digging it turns out that this cousin of my grandfather is actually the great grandmother of one of her friends (who now turns out to be a cousin, albeit distant, 4th cousins).

I had asked Sarah to ask her friend if he could get his great-grandma's address for me since I thought it would be interesting to possibly meet her.  Well that never happened, but I was able to find an address for her right here in the Falls, so I ended up writing a short letter and about a week later now, I get a call from her.  She was so excited to find out that there were Hahns living right near her.  We only talked for a few minutes; she was rushed and I didn't want to keep her, but she did invite me to come over and offered to show me all kinds of old family photos.  Unfortunately, we're a little bit swamped as well getting ready for graduation, but as soon as things settle down a little bit, I'll be calling her back to set something up.  How exciting to find new family members!