Who is Dreamcatcher?

Catch Dreamcatcher here.

This is what she wrote on her blog if it ever disappears.

Wading Into the Gene Pool

My father was an immigrant from Denmark. My mother’s ancestry is French-Canadian and Anishinaabe (aka Ojibwe or Chippewa). While I was growing up, both of them often talked about their childhood and their families. I was their only child; I soaked it all up like a sponge.

Well, I grew up. I went to college and then on to graduate school at Berkeley in the rebellious sixties. I met a guy, we fell in love, then we rebelled against the rebellion by getting married. We had kids; eventually we became grandparents. That was when I realized that someday, my grandchildren would want to know about their family history. I also realized that I was the only one around with enough information to get started, with training in general research techniques, and with enough free time to devote to the pursuit of elusive ancestors.
 
So I took the plunge.
 
From the first, and at the same time, I was researching both my mother’s family and my father’s family in Denmark. And of course, in order to pass on all or their heritage to my future descendants, I was also trying to find out everything possible about my husband’s family, who were Jews with origins in Poland and what is now Ukraine.
 
My husband’s extended family cooperated splendidly, providing me with oral history as well as photos, documents, and specific information as to names and approximate dates, so I was able to make reasonable progress there.
 

My dad had already passed away before I began, and I had lost touch with my Danish cousins, but I still remembered what he’d told me, and I had much of his documentation and had actually known my grandparents and their other children and grandchildren. I didn’t know a lot of Danish, but since Danish is related to German and I had studied that language in college, I was able to make good progress on my Danish ancestry.

My mother’s ancestry was another story. Mom was more than willing to pitch in and help with her side of the family, digging out old photos and documents, dredging up memories, and calling other relatives who might have additional information. Meanwhile, I prowled the Internet and read books on how to do genealogical research and wished that I had a brother or sister to help out.


If only that cousin who had worked out a family tree for my paternal grandfather had died without sharing any of it . . . Well, you have to play the cards you’re dealt. I was going to have to work it out for myself.

 

This blog is about my quest to discover my French-Canadian ancestors.Ten years ago, internet genealogy was just starting to gear up into the monster it is today. There were some family trees on ancestry.com and rootsweb.com (which were separate entities then); there were some surname and locality message boards and mailing lists; some of the US censuses were online; and a few genealogical organizations (such as GenWeb) had websites with helpful information; that was about it. Even the Ellis Island website wasn’t up yet. I would have to do most of my research with microfilms.It took me six long months to work up the nerve to go down to the local Family History Center and start ordering microfilms. I know that sounds a little strange, but I’ve always been the kind of person who has to rehearse what I’m going to say before I call the pharmacy to order a refill on a prescription. Even then, I concentrated first on getting and saving documentary proof of everything that we all thought we knew.Why do I collect and save every bit of documentation that I can find? Well, the first reason is that we don’t always know what we think we know. Without a DNA test, the identity of your own father is a matter of faith.

 
The second reason is that my college and graduate training in English and history had taught me to mine documents for every scrap of information, including hidden agendas and general trustworthiness.Later on I discovered a third reason to have a digital copy or a photocopy of every document: every time I ran into a brick wall and didn’t know what to do next, I could go back and re-examine the records I’d already found, to see what I might have missed the first time. This is especially useful when I’m dealing with antique handwriting, damaged documents, and documents written in a foreign language: l usually discover something I missed the first time around.
 
Believe me, in those first couple of years, I missed a lot, especially working my mother’s side of the family. I knew the names my immigrant French-Canadians used in the United States, of course. What I didn’t know was the original names they’d had before they crossed the border. Without those, I would never be able to find them in Quebec and take the family lines farther back.
 
 Dreamcatcher
 
Who am I?

 

Dreamcatcher has stopped writing since 2012. She has not reply to any of my comments or anyone’s else for that matter.

Quite strange…

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