The Journey Continues, birthdays and things

Bonnie Wilson Preisler

When I say “the journey continues” I mean the one that began in Switzerland when Ulrich Huffstutter was born 27 May 1731.  In a few days that will be 282 years ago.  WOW. The glow from the candles on his cake must be visible from outer space. Just in time for this occasion a surprise birthday present arrived.  Call it the fickle finger of fate or whatever but a  descendant left a “Comment” with some family info on the website and  Ray forwarded it to me. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

As the above photo shows Ulrich’s Journey continues. Let me introduce you to the newest Daughter of Ulrich, Bonnie Wilson Preisler.  Just like me she is a descendant of Susannah Huffstutter and we are second cousins.  We have not seen or heard from each other for 65 years.  That deserves another WOW.

Bonnie says she was fooling around on her computer and decided to Google her Dad’s name.  Whaa Laa what should pop up but The Huffstutter Family website with his family group sheet.  Now this is something Ray and I love to hear since our purpose is to provide “all things Huffstutter” to the world at large. Bonnie noticed we did not have complete info on her family so sent a little comment about it.  And there you have it.  The journey had gone full circle back to Ulrich.

Now for the rest of the story. Bonnie and I were born in the same year, three months and a few miles apart.  As far back as I can remember there has been a photo in the album my mother made of my childhood and on the back is noted “Connie and Bonnie 14 months”.  That cryptic memo means the picture was taken when I was 14 months old and Bonnie 1 year old.  Making a quick phone call to my mom filled in the additional info that the photo was taken on Bonnie’s first birthday.  WOW and WOW.  The journey had gone full circle back to me.

Bonnie and I have reconnected.   We are friends on Facebook, Pinterest and “like” many of the same things. The journey continues.




Persistence pays

What a fall this has been. Two items I have been diligently hoping to acquire for my family tree files suddenly fell in my lap. First an “unrelated to me” researcher from IN located a tombstone in KY for my gr, gr, gr grandfather and photographed it for me. This unbelievable kind act was followed up a week or so later by a photo of the tombstone for another gr gr gr grandfather from a very remote cemetery. That photo was also shared by an “unrelated to me” person who risked all sorts of vines, weeds, poison ivy and snakes to acquire it. All of this generousness renews my faith in humanity and the basic goodness of people. Both tombstones I had been looking for since the 1970’s. Yep, September was a landmark month for me!

Historians, what do they do really?


Trying to get a handle on the everyday lives of my ancestors it is easy draw conclusions about them based on the few scraps of “documents” that have survived in court houses and government filing cabinets.  But is that the real story?  How many spins can be deduced from those dry, yellowing pieces of paper?  Here is a favorite quote that states succinctly how little we really know.

About “historians”, family or otherwise:

“Their greatest crime is that they presume to know what happened, how things come about, when they have only what the past chose to leave behind-for the most part, they think what they are meant to think and it’s a rare one that sees what really happened, behind the smoke screen of artifacts and paper.”   Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber