About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Mom's mom's mom's mom

In honor of mother's day, I am responding to Randy Seaver's challenge to identify my matrilineal line. This is fairly easy for me as these special people dwell in my heart and their identities are noted in my mind (but I do have to check the pedigree to get the exact dates for all the events).

My mother was Virginia Marie Johnson Wilcox, b: 24 August 1911, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; d: 24 June 1994, Evanston, Cook, Illinois

A significant time in her life: She essentially single-handedly cleaned out 4 homes of relatives when they either died or were no longer able to live in their houses; she handled every detail and kept meticulous records of all the items and experiences, aided by the fact that she kept a daily diary for most of her adult life (the last entry was 4 days before her unexpected death and 1 day before she slipped into a coma).

Her mother was

Emma Marie Hollander Johnson, b: 9 August 1873, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; d: 10 September 1964, Glenview, Cook, Illinois

A significant time in her life: When her father lost his sight, Emma maintained the records of the family home and the business, orchestrating the necessary tasks to supervise the building of a new house, shortly after losing her fiance to death.

Her mother was

Caroline (Carrie) Maria Trapschuh Hollander, b: 16 December 1844, Belin, Bohemia, Austria; d: Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A significant time in her life: After meeting her future husband, saying "goodbye" to him as he went off to serve in the Civil War. He returned to her and they made a life together, but she ended up nursing him after he went blind in later life.

Her mother was

Maria (Mary) Theresa Knoetgen Trapschuh, b: 23 February 1816, Bohemia, Austria; d: 18 April 1899, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A significant time in her life: Leaving Bohemia and her family in Teplitz to make a life in America with her husband, a cabinet maker, and children; the voyage lasted nearly 3 months and the passengers on the small whaling brig had to resort to eating potato peelings to stay alive. Though she watched the burial at sea of many fellow passengers, Mary lost none of her 5 children that also made the trip (3 more were born in America).

The mitochondrial DNA has clarified that my roots lie in the Czech Republic (no surprise there). What the DNA does not show: the strength that these women possessed and, hopefully, passed on to me.

1 comment:

  1. This is so wonderful that you have all those photos to go with your matrilineal line. I am jealous.

    Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!