When I 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." Amazing!!
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, etc
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 all. Bobbie