Book of Me: What do you want to be doing that you are currently not?

What do you want to be doing that you are currently not?

I would like to be retired from by day to day job.  I would like to be on a property in the country with my husband.  I would like to be in my home office, chasing the threads of family history, while I listen to the sound of my husband working on his classic Chevy in the garage.  I would like to have my dogs curled up at my feet, snug in a warm house.  i would lie to be planning my next road trip around the U.S., visiting the towns and counties where our families came from.

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Genealogy is an amazing community!

I connected with a cousin in the Netherlands about 3 years ago, via genealogieonline.com, Johanna.  She is the 2nd great-granddaughter of my 3rd great-grandfather, Walter, which makes us 4th cousins, 1x removed.  She sent me three photographs that I am so excited to have, mostly because one of them in particular is a photo of Christiane Nullmeyer, who is my 3rd great-grandmother.  She died young, probably during childbirth.  For years, I had no knowledge of her, thinking that my 3rd great-grandfather’s 3rd wife, Kate Dulk, was my actual ancestor.  I know very little information about her, so having actual photographic proof of her is AMAZING!

I am so grateful for being able to find cousins online, who have been willing to share information.  And now for the photographs!

The Noteboom Family, right to left: Johanna (Honey), Walter, Dorothea, Anna, Geraldine (between her parents), Christiane, Walter Jr. From the collection of cousin Johanna, used with her permission

The Noteboom Family, right to left:
Johanna (Honey), Walter, Dorothea, Anna, Geraldine (between her parents), Christiane, Walter Jr.
From the collection of cousin Johanna, used with her permission

The date of this photo is unknown, but based on the apparent ages of the children, I would place this photo c. 1895.  Give or take a year or so, I would say Anna was 13, Dorothea – 12, Walter – 11, Johanna – 10, Geraldine – 6.

The Noteboom Family, right to left: Kate, Johanna, Dorothea, Geraldine, Walter Jr., and Walter. c. 1905 From the collection of cousin Johanna, used with her permission

The Noteboom Family, right to left:
Kate, Johanna, Dorothea, Geraldine, Walter Jr., and Walter.
c. 1905
From the collection of cousin Johanna, used with her permission

The date of this photo is c. 1905.  Anna is not present in this photo, which is not surprising.  She was estranged from her family from 1901 to 1906 because of her marriage to Francis Theodore.  She reconciled with them after his disappearance.

From left to right: Kate, Walter, his niece Gessina, his sister Anna. From the collection of cousin Johanna, used with her permission

From left to right:
Kate, Walter, his niece Gessina, his sister Anna.
From the collection of cousin Johanna, used with her permission

I also don’t know the date of this photo, but since Walter and Kate are pictured with his family who still lived in the Netherlands, I suspect this is from 1913.  I have a passenger list from a trip they took to Europe in the fall of 1913, shortly before he died.  Gessina is the daughter of his sister Elizabeth, who had passed away in 1878.

Book of Me: Who inspires you?

Who inspires you?

I have to admit, I’m struggling with this one a little bit.  I’ve never been one to idolize others.  I don’t have favorite actors, athletes, etc. I’ve have admiration for people who have been a part of my life at various times – teachers, colleagues, bosses, etc.  But I’m not sure I would say anyone continues to inspire me.  Is that strange? Maybe…

I would say more that I’m inspired by my goals and the work that I do – not by people.

I am inspired by mine and my husband’s long-term goals for our life together. We have very specific plans about what we want to have happen over the next 5, 10, 15 years.  We work together to gain the things we need (money, time, experience, access, contacts, etc.) to be able to reach those goals.  Our combined dedication to our future is the thing that probably most inspires me in my daily actions and the choices I make each day.

Inspiration for my work comes from the work itself.  I look for opportunities to find passion about the work that I do, whether it’s my professional work or my personal hobbies.  I cannot do work that I don’t find some reason to care about – it just is not in my nature to be disaffected about my work.  If I cannot find inspiration in the work itself, I will do what I need to do to get it done, but it will be only what is needed, not anything more.

I don’t know if this makes sense to others – but I cannot really find inspiration in others.  Humans are to fallible.  I find inspiration in relationships, causes, goals and shared experiences.

Book of Me: What do you enjoy?

What do you enjoy?

I enjoy a good mystery – from watching crime shows on t.v., to reading a thrilling mystery novel, to hunting down missing members of my family tree.  The hobbies I enjoy most all seem to have mystery in common.  I suppose it goes to my enjoyment of solving a good puzzle because I also enjoy logic problems and Sudoku.

Every problem has a solution, and I like to find the answers to them.

When it comes to genealogy in particular, I can be quite dedicated to my search when I’m on the hunt of a missing ancestor.  My husband would tell you I get obsessed, tunnel-visioned, overly focused.  He’s a true genealogy-widow at times.  I feel like my family history is my real life mystery to solve and it satisfies for me the desire to case a good mystery to solve.

I’ve found a couple of “interesting” things in my family tree, some of which I have yet to share with my extended family because they are the skeletons in the family closet.  They were mysteries I didn’t know needed solving until I found the answers.  In other cases, I’ve solved the origins of the first family who came from Ireland, which was a brick wall for years and years.  I still have couple of mysteries that I don’t know if I will ever be able to solve – the cases of the missing fathers – two men who both went “missing” within a couple of years of each other, leaving their wives to raise their children alone.  One supposedly died in a fall of the ferry in NY harbor, and one likely walked away to never be seen or heard from again.

So, for me, I enjoy the hunt for answers to questions about my past and to the world around me.

Book of Me: What do you look like?

What do you look like?

I look like my mother, but with my father’s coloring. The more I age, the more my face morphs into hers.  At times it’s unsettling to look in the mirror or at a photo because her face jumps out of me.  It’s especially apparent when looking at me in profile.

When my mom passed away almost 19 years ago now, I didn’t see the resemblance quite as readily.  I always thought I looked more like my father’s side of the family, but maybe that’s because my hair/eye coloring dominates my appearance.  But as I watch myself age, it’s in the smaller details that she shines through in my features.

  • The shape of my nose
  • The roundness of my face
  • The way my eyebrows arch
  • The height of my forehead
  • The shape of my chin
  • The height of my cheekbones

It’s haunting to look at a picture of myself and see someone I miss so dearly looking back at me.