Unashamed, I confess that I have been bawling my eyes out!! I love every word of Smiles and Tears Throughout the Years; Memoirs of Arthena I. Shoup . I never met many of the individuals she talks about but I “know” them from documentation in Frantz Families–Kith & Kin. I didn’t grow up in Ohio but (“doing family history”) I visited the area. I’ve visited those farms, and cemeteries. The families were so tight-knit; there was love and concern for grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighbors. (My family experience was an exact opposite.)
“I was born in the wrong generation; I was born in the wrong family.” I embrace the simple lifestyle of my Old German Baptist Brethren ancestors and collateral lines. In my mind’s eye, I can see myself in plain garb and prayer covering. “Torn between two worlds.” I’ve loved the computer–and the Internet–and the modern electronics that simplify documenting family history. Old German Baptist Brethren cousins do not have the Internet, or television. Their love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the principles of Holy Writ, resonate in their lives. No shallow Christianity there!!
God, my Heavenly Father, ordained my exact time on this earth. I have been blessed to learn of my “roots” in the Old German Baptist Brethren, and Mennonite, faith. It was indeed a miracle that I went from “no knowledge,” in 1989, to publication of Frantz Families–Kith & Kin in 1996. Three-thousand one-hundred eighty pages, in three volumes. There was much more information available but I rushed to publish while I was alive and capable. (Others had planned to publish… but died… and their research gathered dust.)
The fact that I have boxes of correspondence, and research material, is testimony to the fact that there was enough material for volume four and five. Why did I stop documenting the families in a genealogy software program? My computer “crashed” and the backups were corrupted (1996). I could not restore the fifty-thousand names and sources; I was devastated!! I did not want to start over, one-by-one.
With tears in my eyes, I express gratitude for this foray into history; thankfulness for the health to approach the scanning project (at eighty-two years of age); and appreciation for twenty-first century (modest) understanding of computers and scanners. I’m exactly where my Heavenly Father wants me!
That said, time to go back to the scanning project?! Back to adding information to “the library.”