started this genealogy years ago, I spent many hours to get to a
certain point. When I began to think about the Browns, who came from
Germany, then got a few names from the Mormon Library, I was really
curious. I only had the history and remembrance of my father and his
family. I had heard my father talk about Ohio, and I even
corresponded with one of his aunts. I timidly said something to
Julie about going to Ohio to visit some of them. She took it up
right away, and in October 1996, we flew to Columbus, Ohio, rented a
car, and that was the beginning of a wonderful trip. We went to
Westerville, Ohio, and had dinner with the Macke's, who had been to
one of our reunions in Branson in 1993. She was from the Gries side.
Had a large china cabinet that Val had made! I asked her if she
would sell it. She said her son might not like that. Ha
From there, it was just one surprise after another,
meeting a cousin that was 91, owned the largest certified seed
company in Ohio, and rode his bike to work every day!! But the most
interesting was finding pictures, papers, etc. at the Rutherford B.
Hayes Presidential Library in Freemont, OH. I asked questions and
got to go up into the "attic" and they found a box marked BROWN!
They left us alone with a copier, and though the print was light, it
was a real find. I found lots of material there.
Then we went to the orphanage that Valentine Braun and
his wife, Anna Margaretha had cared for, and his dying in 1895. Same
thing there: The two clerks were just ready to take their boss to
lunch. They also gave me a box of papers, etc., and said they would
return after lunch.
We were so happy and felt like kids in a candy store. I
sorted out many things. When they returned, I asked if I could go
copy them and bring them back. "Oh, just take them home, copy them,
and return them. They aren't really that important anymore, but they
are just part of the archives, and we are required to keep them."
I got pictures of the few pieces of the original orphanage furniture
was there when Valentine ran it. It blew away in a blizzard soon
after Valentine died.
That was the first trip that Julie endured, but it was
not to be the last. If ever God sent a perfect daughter into the
world, Julie would get the gold star! She watches over me, is caring
and loving, but she does not smother me. I love her very much! I
couldn't do all this without her support. Thanks, Julie
I want to thank the most important people that supplied
me with information: Barbara Thompson in Colorado; Janet Emery-Hays
in MO; Nancy Hamilton in TX, my Aunt Mary's diary that Nancy printed
off for me; stories and diaries handed down and found in old boxes,
Of course there were the libraries, books and the
"confounding" computer, which I am beginning to really love.
I will always remember the steps I took on the soil
that my ancestors walked, Tombstones that spoke to me as patriots,
presidents, preachers, soldiers, pilgrims, trail blazers, and all MY
ancestors. There are many, and I will go back for more some day.
I really hope you all enjoy this endeavor. I could live
another 25 years at least before I got all the history I am missing.
I hope you will remember this and add to it for your kin in the
years to come.
I couldn't have done this without Emory Lewis who is
doing all the editing and entering it all on the Web. Please
remember to thank him, too.
My relatives are very important to me, and I love you