Approximately 98 percent of my numerous relatives live in Indiana. The Indy Monthly article asks "How Hoosier are you?" I always knew the answer was: very; however, I never knew what I was besides Hoosier. Sure, I knew that I had German and Irish ancestry like every other white person living in the U.S. but everything else was very vague. Sometimes I would be told I had ancestors from Czechoslavakia, other times Yugoslavia, still others England or Austria. In high school, my Spanish teacher informed me that I was actually Slovenian. (She grew up down the street from my grandpa in a heavily Slavic area.) Even though borders in Eastern Europe have been crazy for years, I wanted concrete answers.
|Allen County Public Library genealogical center|
|The library handout wasn't quite this elementary, but it was close|
Every time I would make a discovery I felt strangely accomplished. It was like putting together a never-ending puzzle that involved a lot of dead ends and parsing of old documents. This may not sound like fun, but it was to me.
|Volumes in the Genealogical Center|
|Some of my great-great aunts and uncles standing in front of my great-great grandfather's grocery store|
|Example of 1930 U.S. Census sheet|
Researching family history has an odd draw. I'm not sure if its appeal lies in the challenge, the discovery your roots, or comfort in knowing future generations may remember and search for you just as you search for long-dead relatives. Whatever the reason, myself and others will continue to trace family relations with the resources of the Allen County Public Library's genealogical center.