No, we’re not pregnant.
I’ve been tinkering with genealogy off and on for probably a dozen years. My dad accomplished a tremendous amount of work in thirty years doing things the old-fashioned way. He’d have been stunned with the information available online now. When he first got online, it was with a 1200 baud modem, and that cost about $40 a month, I seem to recall. Plus long distance charges. I know he never saw a personal website, but I feel fairly certain he’d approve of the way I’m displaying his research and our family history.
I keep a family history online for a number of reasons. If I’m doing research at a library, I’m almost certain to have internet access. I’m more likely to have access than I am to have my laptop with me. Keeping it online makes it easier to collaborate with other members of my family since they’ll be able to see what I’ve got, and make corrections and additions to their records or mine as needed.
I also do it so people who happen to be researching the same families can find me. My dad accomplished a lot, but there are still branches of the tree that have no leaves, as it were. For example, a couple of weeks ago I got an email from someone with information about my great-great-great maternal grandmother. He’s almost certainly related, but we haven’t quite figured out where or how yet. It will certainly be interesting to track that one down.
My great-grandfather John Carl Mueller came from a family of eight, born between 1839 and 1854. My grandfather Robert Mueller visited John Carl’s brother Philipp in New Jersey in 1912, on Robert’s honeymoon. My dad wrote:
Henry Mueller, or “Uncle Henry,” was living in Newark, N. J., when Robert and Leona Mayer Mueller visited them during their wedding trip in the fall of 1912. A picture taken at that time apparently shows the three daughters of Henry and his wife. There are or were letters exchanged between the Henry Muellers and the Robert Muellers around the time of the visit. One of the letters is dated “Newark, N. J. Dec. 2, 1912,” and is signed by a Maude Mueller, one of Henry’s daughters. No further address in Newark is given, and all contact with this branch of the family has been lost for many years.
Today I heard from Philipp’s great-great-granddaughter. Philipp had 7 children, and he lived with his brother August, whom my dad’s family also lost contact with.
It’s an odd swirl of feelings when something like this happens. I’m thrilled to make contact with someone new, especially when they seem to have lots of information that I don’t. But it’s bittersweet when I think about everything that both families missed out on: Births. Weddings. Firsts. Victories. Defeats. Funerals.
Joy is doubled when it’s shared, and heartbreak is halved when others bear the burden. I hope as descendants of Johann Heinrich Mueller and Susanna Gertrude Wenzel rediscover each other, they can reunite to share those burdens and joys.
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
- Commenting badge.
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:
Join our exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” — where community members are encouraged to discuss the issues of the week, get story ideas, meet other members and get known for their ideas? To get the call-in information, either join as a member or wait until you get a post published with us. Here are some examples of what we talk about on the calls.
Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas.
While you’re at it, get connected with our social media:
However, you engage with The Good Men Project—you can help lead this conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Join us!
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
Originally published on Bob Mueller