Tuesday, June 4, 2013

BlogHer and Family Roots

BlogHer is an online blogging community of women (and a few men). Each month they choose a topic with writing prompts to engage their community in writing a blog post each day. This month the theme is Roots. Since that is a topic near and dear to my heart, I decided to participate in my first ever NaBloPoMo, which stands for National Blog Posting Month. Thanks to my friend and fellow writer Linda Austin for making me aware of NaBloPoMo.

Yesterday's prompt was asking how far you can go back in your family tree. Since I am a day late and a dollar short on that one, I will simply state that I have been doing genealogical research since 1989. I can trace part of my dad's family back to the late 1700s in Germany and England and the 1770s in Virginia. My mom's family I have back to 1796 in Ireland and the early 1700s in Germany.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Today we have been asked to go back three generations and talk about where our family lived. This would mean discussing my grandparents. Both my maternal (Michael Crusham and Mary Metz Crusham) and fraternal (Joseph Kubler and Lillian Hungler Kubler) grandparents were born in Cincinnati, Ohio and lived in that city their entire lives. Cincinnati was founded in 1788 but was not incorporated as a city until 1819. Sitting on the banks of the Ohio River, some of the city's nicknames include Porkopolis (due to the herds of pigs in the streets when it was the country's chief hog packing center), Queen of the West (so-called by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and the City of Seven Hills (because it is surrounded by seven hills).

My family tree consist mainly of folks from Germany and Ireland. German immigrants were drawn to Cincinnati in search of new opportunities, landing jobs as butchers, bakers, brewers or tailors. By the 1850s they had made themselves at home in their new country as evidenced by the appearance of German newspapers and the fact that German was now spoken at church services and in the church school classrooms. The Irish immigrants, on the other hand, came to Cincinnati because the city offered jobs working on the riverfront, digging the canals and constructing the railroads. Both sets of immigrants were heavily discriminated against by the citizens of Cincinnati. "No Irish need apply" signs were prominent in the city. My family survived, if not thrived, despite the discrimination, and except for our one branch of the tree nearly all the descendants still call the area home today.

Joe & Lillian Kubler

Michael & Mary Crusham


Linda Austin said...

Hi Kim, very interesting commentary! Glad you're joining me in this. So how did you get your German ancestors? Did you have to get anything translated?

Mrs. Wryly said...

Very well written piece about your roots! BRAVO!

Love the photos of the grandparents!

Kim Wolterman said...

Linda, with my German ancestors on my mom's side I am lucky in that two of my cousins have been researching the Metz family. I will be visiting the ancestral town this fall when I go to Germany! I have not had to translate any records so far, which is good as I do not speak German.

Mrs. Wryly, thanks for the comments!

Anonymous said...

I am glad to follow yet another saga thanks to NaBloPoMo on the topic of our roots! I find it fascinating to discover history through the emotional recollection that writers and bloggers can share.

Thank you for your great post!

Kim Wolterman said...

otir, thanks for the follow. I am enjoying your blog posts as well!