Everyone should know what a doppelgänger is...hopefully. If not, here is a general definition of what a doppelgänger is: a look-alike or a double of a living person, mainly thought of a harbinger of evil, that is considered to be a paranormal phenomenon.
While I was doing my research on the FILIPEK line one day, I found some family photos of the original FILIPEK family. I was so excited that I had found some old photos of my ancestors! I was filled with butterflies, knowing that I finally found out what my family from Czechoslovakia looked like. I did not know what to think! I was quick to save the pictures to a flash drive that way I would have them to look at later.
Later that night, I went through the pictures that I saved to my flash drive to take a closer look at my ancestors. Then, that is when I noticed the doppelgänger...
Here is the conversation that I had with my mom that night:
"Hey Mom! Come over here and look at this!"
"Yeah, what's up?"
"Who does this look like to you?"
I couldn't believe it! I found his doppelgänger! Not only does this show I had the right family, but there were be two more sets of doppelgängers within my family.
Now, time to reveal my family member (right picture) who is the doppelgänger of the man in the picture above to the left, who is Josef FILIPEK (one of my 2nd-great uncles): my own father!!!
I showed the picture to my father, and asked him who Josef looked like and he said, "I don't know." I then told him that both myself and my mom said that Josef looked like him. He then said, "Okay, I can see a resemblance."
Now like I said earlier, there were two more sets of doppelgängers that would pop up during my research. Here are those pictures:
First set of pictures: my Uncle Preston FILIPEK and my biological grandfather Raymond FILIPEK
Second set of pictures: myself and my mom, Linda DEBE
You will never know if you have doppelgängers in your family until you find picture of the ancestors and compare them to your current living family.
Now that I am a new genealogist, I wanted to do more with my family history. Since my mom was doing her side of the family for the past 30+ years, I needed to do my father's family.
Ever since my grandmother became apart of my life, I found out that my father came from my grandmother's first marriage. But I didn't know much about that family history, so I started digging. My first task was to gather basic information from my grandmother about the family. She told me that her first husband, Raymond FILIPEK, was my biological grandfather. My grandmother gave me as much information as she could about Raymond's family and her parents. I had my first lead: find out more about the FILIPEK family.
I had no idea where to start, so with the help of my mom, she showed me how to use Ancestry. I searched for Raymond FILIPEK, and of course the US census came up first (the latest one, 1940s). My eyes grew with excitement, as I had just found my grandfather. I compared the information that my grandmother gave and the census record, and was convinced this was him. I followed the family name back to a John FILIPEK, who immigrated to the US from Czechoslovakia. This John FILIPEK was my triple great-grandfather. I was excited that I had start to my family tree.
I continued doing family research on the FILIPEK name, finding mostly census records, and writing down the information I found. I also gathered information on the wives and their families, that married into the FILIPEK family. I kept my family tree written down on paper and everything was written in pencil, which smudges very easily. Then one day my mom introduced me to a family tree program called Legacy. She was using it for her family tree and was a part of a Facebook group called Genealogy Do-Over. She learned how to properly source the documents and information she had on her family and decided to show me. Knowing that I now had a proper family tree program to use, it would be easier to do my family research on a computer rather than on paper.
I started learning how to source the census records, since those were really the only records that I had. I also learned the biggest reason for my country lifestyle growing up: my father's family were farmers and lived in a small town just like me.
Seeing now that I started my family tree, I needed to find other records to prove that I had the right people...and then next chapter of my research came to light.
I am an amateur/novice genealogist, that is just going through life while doing family research. I was "bit" by the genealogy bug at young age by my mom. Once I was bit, there was no turning back.