Friday, September 9, 2016

The End of the Line

Art Journal collage, 2016
I recently began working on my family history/genealogy.  It's a project that I'll spend time on over the next months, at least.  I have to pace myself because I can't sit at the computer for long periods of time; it's simply too hard on my back.

My grandparents were all Eastern European ~ Russian, Romanian, Austrian, Hungarian.  The former two countries, my paternals; the latter, my maternals.  Thus far I've been able to find more info about my dad's family than my mom's.

I'm working with FamilySearch.org, which is a free service of the LDS, where Ancestry.com is their paid service.  I'll go as far as I'm able before I have to subscribe.  Thus far I've been able to find the answer to many of my initial queries.

Like that my maiden name, Berk, was shortened from Berkovitz by my Grandpa Ben.  And at about the same time, Grandpa's brother Joe changed Berkovitz to Burkhart.  I'd been wondering how my dad wound up with Burkhart cousins, which I remember from when I was a little girl in the 1950s.  Now I know.

Grandpa Benny and my Grandma Sara both came from large families, huge in Grandpa's case, with something like 10 siblings.  It's interesting to me that Ben and Sara only had one child, my dad.  I've been wondering why that might have been, but of course I'll never know for sure.  My ultimate quest here is to find out whether I have any 3rd or 4th cousins and if I can find them. 

Although I've spent more time so far on my dad's side, my initial search into my mom's side of the family turned up a couple siblings in my Grandpa George's family.  I actually only have, or had, one first cousin, my mom's brother Sidney's son, Michael.  He would be my age.  Haven't found him yet, dead or alive.

I can say this about these two families ~ on my dad's side, the families were large and appear to be, from what I've been able to tell thus far, cohesive.  I haven't yet turned up any evidence of divorce.  Whereas on my mom's side, the families were smaller and divorce featured from generation to generation, at least going back three generations.  Sometimes lately I've wondered to what degree many of the life issues I've dealt with were due to my parents' divorce when I was a preteen, alone or in concert with my NPD mother.  Divorce is a shattering experience for kids, at least it was when my parents were divorced in the early 1960s before "everybody" got divorced.  They say divorce runs in families; they're right.  I was divorced twice as was my brother.

At any rate, I am the end of the line for the Berk clan, at least my dad's spur.  No kids for me, and my brother had a daughter who never identified as Jewish anyhow.  So this is it.

In other news, my sinus surgery is scheduled for next Thursday, September 15.  I'm sure everything will be fine, the procedure I mean, but I'm still a tad nervous.  So glad it's just an outpatient thing, although it will be done at the hospital.  I don't like hospitals.

I'm slowly working on my new stitching piece but I only last night got a handle on where it might be going.  In general this isn't being a hugely creative period for me.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for reading. 

7 comments:

Meg Weaves said...

Best of luck with your sinuses. Will be thinking about you on the 15th. Hope you post more about your genealogy - most interesting stuff.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Glad you have been able to trace your families as far as you have. I have a complete breakdown on my dad's side, but none on my mom's... just know they came here from Scotland via Canada.
I will keep you in my thoughts on Thursday, and hope that the outcome is that your sinus problems go away for good!

jenclair said...

Family histories are so interesting, and I'm glad you are enjoying the research. Some members of my family have done some extensive research, which didn't interest me at the time, but I now have the benefit of their work. Looking a census data and seeing who was in a household during certain years can explain a lot.

Sandra Rude said...

I will be thinking of you on Thursday. I hope this procedure will help with the ongoing sinus problems.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I'll send healing thoughts on your sinus day.
The last of a line...in so many ways I too am the last leaf on the tree...(tom waits barroom song). I googled a cousin and found out he had died a couple of years ago...even large families thin out to one brave leaf!
Lovely collage!

Merna said...

Connie, I have a similar background as a Berkowitz! All the best for a comfortable and speedy recovery.

frazzledsugarplummum said...

I have been recently working on my family genealogy as well. I did some years ago but life and lack of funds and lack of information at that stage meant I really only got so far. Coming back to it after seven years and finding much more available in way of electronic records has been an enormous help. I have been able to flesh out what information I had. Some mysteries still remain. In that time frame other distant relatives had done their own searching and family tree attempts and by combining all this new information I have a marvelous selection of information and what is beginning to look like a fat family tree. I have also discovered where other's records are incorrect or incomplete. I have found these sources to be extremely useful: RootsWeb,Google in entering any and every combination of names with any possible fact,Government records, Church and cemetery records on line,other family trees mainly discovered through digging through google pages,Family Search, shipping files, passenger lists, museum records,state archives, military records. My parents never divorced but Mum left home after my sister died and went to live with cousins and returned to the workforce in her own business. She would make an appearance after I went to boarding school sometimes when I brought other girls home for long weekends. When my father was able to purchase a home near her work place and then ill health forced her to give up work she moved back home. I agree with your observation about life issues being influenced by this separation of family. I have been divorced twice and just havent got around to the third. All the best with your research. It is tedious for the neck and back. Take care and good luck in your searching.