Down “Memory Lane”

The other day, I wrote about a “change of pace.”  That didn’t last very long because I was drawn back to documenting family (yesterday) when I received this story via email: Deadliest Place in America. My family tree is devoted to “Dunkard Brethren,” Old German Baptist Brethren, Church of the Brethren, et al. As I read the story, I recognized names and then the moment when I exclaimed: “Cousin Daniel Cripe.”  For more than nine hours, I expanded documentation of his (and my) extended family members. I added one-hundred-fifty-five family members but many more to add. I finally forced myself to go to bed at 12:35 AM.


As I documented… I reflected on the family I have known (by name) for more than thirty years. Some of Daniel’s extended family moved to Southern California and settled near LaVerne. I listed those relatives in my publication titled LaVerne Evergreen Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions. For the record, I didn’t know they were relatives (in 1988) but the Brethren Church family surnames have lingered in my brain.

Then documentation took me to Illinois and a name caught my attention: “Oh, he married my Traxler cousin.” That reminded me of a hard-to-believe experience. In 2004, I was traveling in my mini-motorhome, from Lancaster, California, to Ohio, for an Old German Baptist Brethren Annual Meeting. I would start driving at daylight and then stop for coffee (and stretch my legs) at about ten o’clock. I chose McDonald’s because I could get “Senior coffee.” I picked up a newspaper laying on the table and glanced through it. My eye caught the obituary of my cousin Rosemary Traxler. Long story short: I spent time in the community; I went to the viewing that evening and the funeral the next day. I had an opportunity to visit with the family. (My genealogy travels have included several “hard-to-believe” experiences.) ~~~~ I have been exceedingly blessed documenting family since 1987. Believe it or not, I knew nothing of my ancestry prior to that time. ~~~~


All day on the extended family of Daniel Albert Crist–a continuation of yesterday’s experience. It’s almost 10:00 PM and I’m heading to bed. Extreme mental gymnastics today!! Seventy-three individuals added to the database–and many “merges” with folks already in my database. It took time to create the following chart. There isn’t enough information about this fourth cousin’s parents and I tried to understand the extended families.


Why do I do what I do?? Because there are too many careless errors in Ancestry Member Family Trees. I question whether other folks spend two days on one family (and the extended family). I shake my head in disbelief when I do my comparison with other Member Family Trees.

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