I have always had an interest in genealogy, well maybe not always, but definitely since the early age of 9 when my mother’s family published a book on the family history. It mostly chronicled the journey of the Kress family from a small town near Fulda, Germany to Medford, Wisconsin in the 1880s. The book also contained stories of the descendants of Â Conrad and Eva Kress up to the (then) present time. As a child I was fascinated by the book.
Years later, after some research, I reached out to a gentleman who was the cousin of my Grandma Martin. Through him, I found out that some of my father’s side of the family had come to the United States prior to the American Revolution.
Then last summer, I sat down and looked up a few things and stumbled upon the Iowa GenWeb Project. Volunteers in the state of Iowa are taking time to upload information about families who had settled in Iowa in the 1800 and 1900s, and it is a great treasure. I knew my grandmother on my father’s side was from Iowa and that my mother’s mother was also born in Iowa, but I didn’t know that her family had been in Iowa for a very long time.
Taking information I learned on the IA GenWeb Project page and doing a bit of google searching, I discovered a site called Find A Grave.Â Â (Disclaimer, I knew about it for a few years, but I thought it was only for people who were famous.) Â Through Find A Grave, I was able to find the cemeteries where my ancestors on my mother’s mother’s side were buried. Â The siteÂ has a pretty neat feature where, if available, a bit of a family tree is posted as well as an obituary.
One of the things I found most interesting is that some of my ancestors were not Catholic.Â Since all of my grandparents on both sides were Catholic, when did the conversion happen? I’m hoping to be able to piece a bit more of our history together, on both sides of the family in the future and maybe do a tour of the areas they lived in.