Now that I have learned what microfilm is, I was intrigued by what this new life of being a genealogist would be like. I would ask my mom if we go to library again to do more research on the microfilm machines. So, almost every Saturday, we would head to the Charlotte Public Library to look up people in the obituaries of the newspaper that relatives had requested. I enjoyed helping my mom with her research for looking up requests for family members who were not in the Charlotte area.
Let me take you on a journey to my first genealogy road trip with my mom...where I experienced my first encounter...
Back in 2010, after my first year of high school, my mom and I went on a road trip to the North (Ohio and then to Niagara Falls). Our first stop was to a small town in Ohio named Massillon. There we researched my mom's family who has settled in the town many years ago when they first arrived to America. We made the discovery that my mother's triple great-grandfather, Jacob Debe, was one of the founders of the local church, who also helped build that same church. I helped my mom with her research on the family as best as I could. I managed to learn German for a matter of a day to help decipher a German church record from the same church that was built by Jacob Debe. We spent what seemed like a whole week in the local library doing research on the family.
While during our research in Massillon, we went looking for our ancestor in Massillon City Cemetery, where we passed a massive Gothic-inspired looking church. I had never seen a church like that ever before until this trip. When we finally got the cemetery, we went to the section that Jacob and his wife were suppose to be, and spent most of the afternoon looking for Jacob and his wife...no luck. I was getting cold and wanted to get my jacket from the truck, and my mom was getting a little frustrated at her triple great-grandfather. She shouted out "Alright, Jacob! Where the hell are you?? I've been looking for you and cannot seem to find you. So stand up and show yourself to me!" My mom then started walking to the truck, and when we turned around to continue looking for Jacob, I came across to older headstones...there he was, Jacob and his wife. We had managed to park in front of the graves without noticing it.
This was an encounter that I've never experienced before; having the dead literally stand up in front of you at their grave. No matter what you believe, I believed that as new found genealogist, that we have to power to call out to find our ancestors.
On the final morning of our stay in Massillon, we wanted to get a picture of the massive church, which we learned was St. Mary's Catholic Church. We pulled over and got our pictures and then we were off for Niagara Falls.
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.