Since today is December 12, 2012 — and I haven’t posted for a while — here are twelve things, genealogical and otherwise, that I have learned in this past year.
1. I learned what happened to my grandmother’s Uncle Herman.
2. I learned where all of my ancestors and relatives were living in the United States in 1940.
3. I learned that my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Smetana Miller, actually immigrated to this country and lived here for 22 years before she died in 1944 in New Jersey.
4. I learned the names of two sets of sixth great-grandparents: Jan Pluta and Agnieszka Kramarska and Jan Redłowski and Józefa Lichańska. They were named on the 1820 marriage record of their children, Bartłomiej Ludwik Pluta and Helena Franciszka Redłowska. The father of the groom was a shoemaker, and the father of the bride was a cloth merchant who actually signed the marriage record and gave me the oldest signature in my ancestral collection!
5. I learned quite a few death dates of Polish ancestors thanks to online records at Geneteka.
6. I learned what my great-grandmother looked like.
7. I learned a bit more about my grandfather’s missing sister and the man she married…I just haven’t blogged about it yet.
8. I learned I’m Scandinavian. Well, 46% of my DNA is… That means that my Bavarian ancestors and perhaps a few of the Poles once came from farther north. No wonder I can’t stand the cold – we’ve been heading south for thousands of years.
9. I learned that my father’s uncle had a daughter we didn’t know about. I was able to put her in touch with her half-sister, and they both learned a bit more about their father.
10. I learned once again that hanging out with other genealogists in a lot of fun (Slavapalooza ’12 was held in Philadelphia in late April).
11. I learned that sometimes you have to put social media, blogging, and the computer away and get out there and cultivate relationships in person. I was more social this year with dinners, dates, happy hours, and fun times with family and friends. When I wound up in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, my closest friends were by my side. It’s good to have friends that have known you since you were a teenager – they won’t let you get away with anything, they will make you laugh, and they will take care of you when you need it!
12. I learned to let go of negativity and find things to enjoy about life every day. I don’t have a single thing I ever really wanted in life and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.