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redsmetz
02-12-2010, 02:00 PM
I watched the first episode of the PBS series "Faces of America" in which a historian traces the families of "12 talented Americans." Among those taking part of Stephen Colbert, Meryl Streep, Mario Batali, Eva Longoria, Yo Yo Ma, and a host of others. It was fascinating to watch and I still have to catch up with the second show which was this week. It was interesting in the opening segment for these folks to learn things about their families that that hadn't know.

I began tracing my genealogy when I was in college back in the 70's. When I began, I actually traced down from my great-grandfather's family and meeting folks who were also descended from that family. Through that I've learned more details about that line.

With the advent of the Internet, it's made it a bit simpler to broaden the search. Back in 2000, I tracked down relatives still living in Germany who were just my dad's second cousins. I didn't even know we had relatives that close there. In fact, one cousin and her husband still live on the farm where my great grandmother grew up and has been in the family since the 1600's. Her brother came here and visited in 2001 and it was amazing that he carried himself much like my dad was, even though the families hadn't had physical contact in 120 years.

On my dad's other side, we found relatives with the same last name (Metz) who we're related to, but through a mother's line (two Metzes married two sisters in the related family). So they're named Metz but so far, we don't know whether we're also related through that line. Another person in that village mailed me a copy of a late 1800's photo taken by a studio in Northside of three young women. One looked exactly like my dad's aunt, although she would have been born around then. I made copies and sent pictures to other folks that I'd met and one guy called me from Florida. He said he didn't know who the girl in the middle was (the one who looked like my dad's aunt), but the other two were his grandmother and her sister. And this family had had this picture for 100 years. She also sent a booklet for the family's village celebrating their 1100th year anniversary. Yikes! That's a long time.

anyway, check out this series. It looks like it will be fascinating.