Sunday, 23 October 2011

Exciting progress on "the other side" of the family: Mauritz & Becher

For many years, Dad and I have worked on the Smith family tree. We have also researched Mom's Lockerbie family as well, although she's never been as interested as we've been. Thankfully, a few others in that family had done a ton of work on the Lockerbie and May histories, so we had a head start.

We've always had our hands full with the Smiths etc., so I have also not made a major effort to seek out information about the Taylor/Becher branch of the family. This may be of interest to our boys one day, however, as it is Doug's family history. I accepted the low-hanging fruit as I could get it, through family conversations and Ancestry, and thought maybe someone in one of those families would be interested enough to do the serious research.

I remembered a few weeks ago that the Taylors and Browns came from Ontario, so I set out to make a list of the records I need to pursue when Dad and I go to Toronto to visit the provincial archives next spring. That got me thinking about the "in-law" trees, and I took a look at the big gap in our larger tree. The Mauritz and Becher families are quite sparsely populated, so I emailed Auntie Elly (my mother-in-law's sister) to ask if she had any new information.

We had a wonderful family celebration yesterday, and I mentioned to my mother-in-law, Carol, that I had sent a note to Elly, and explained that I really would like to fill in more of her family history for the sake of our children. Carol remembered that Elly had given her a package of information recently, and wondered if I'd like to read it over. Oh my goodness, what a gift!! I scanned the information quickly, and asked if I could borrow it for awhile, as I'd like to make a copy.

This morning I sat down to read it more carefully, and realized there are details of at least 2 new generations of the Mauritz family, and some very interesting stories about life in Romania and the surrounding area. There are also maps, and an explanation of where the family migrated to, and why they moved so much.

Next I began to read a document called "Recalling the Past: A Return to the Hartl Homestead," which was written in July 1994. I have not yet quite sorted out the connection, but it includes some members of the Becher family. I truly hope we have more information about Leopold Becher's history, as we really don't know anything about his past, or his parents. At first glance, there doesn't appear to be much, but I will take some time to check more thoroughly soon.

I hope to hear from Auntie Elly at some point, as I am guessing she has a wealth of knowledge, and she may be inclined to share with me. Fingers crossed!

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