My Family Ancestry

For the most part my family ancestry is a mystery to me. Having missed the opportunity to ask my father about his side of the family and then also having missed the chance to later ask my mother, I found myself feeling lost and unable to tell my own daughter much about our family or those who were in it.

This fact as much as anything else led me to build and launch this site and to develop the Family StoryKeeper program. I found that I was not alone in my ignorance of family history or traditions.

I'll start with what I do know and hopefully begin to preserve at least that much.

I was the fifth of six children, 3 boys and 3 girls. My parents, James Edward and kathryn Louise (Hinman) were both born and raised in Illinois. They hailed from the Bloomington / Normal part of the state in what is traditionally farm country. It was said though not confirmed that my father was one of 13 children and that our grandfather (Stack) was a large farmer in the area. Rumored that it was so large that it was originally pledged as the backing to start an insurance company called "State Farm". As the story goes, my grandfather grew disenchanted having the farm tied up in something like an insurance company so he parted ways and instead invested heavily in the commodity markets just before the great crash of 1929. After the crash my father who was in his early twenties left the family and the farm to find his fortune in Appleton, Wisconsin. He became the 'black sheep' of the family and never once to my knowledge ever spoke to any of his siblings or his parents.

My mother's side of the family, the Hinmans were much more familiar to me as they would stay with us for 4 months of each year and then spend another four months with their other daughter and her family in Arizona, and the last 4 months with their son and his family in Florida. Earl and Gwendolyn were their names and my grandfather had served in WWI and kept a diary. He also had done an extensive search of his side of the family and that of my grandmother's side. My grandmother was a DAR and while I was young I chanced to read some of this history.

Way back at the birth of our nation my ancestors were called "Atwater" and they later moved west to help homestead what is now Illinois. One of those ancestors was scalped by indians on the family homestead.

Perhaps there will come a time when I have the drive to research these facts further but forr now I am going to do all that I can to document the things I do know, and those experiences I had growing up. Things about my brothers and sisters, about where we grew up and the things that helped to shape my life so that my daughter will know the things about me that I never knew about my own family.

My Greatest Achievement


Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment