Sunday, October 21, 2007

Franz, not Frank!

I have just made a major discovery about my grandpa, a man who I love dearly, but who passed away when I was in high school. I really miss him a lot, so when my sister-in-law offered to do a little research about him, I was excited. You see, Betsy is really into genealogy and has been lobbying me to join her in her passion for years. I would love to, but until now, have been reluctant because I have no idea where to start. Who knew all it would take to motivate me was one little discovery. My grandpa's name was really Franz, not Frank.

He came to the US from Austria during the Depression and was quite reticent about his past. He never spoke German, and typically spoke very little about his home country. He believed that once you came here, you were an American and should learn English and do your best to fit in. Admirable attitude, but it has left a dearth of information about our heritage. I so wish I had been wiser in my youth and had asked more questions. Anyway, when Betsy actually found my grandpa's immigration records, I was so excited I could barely sleep. And finding out that his name was not actually Frank (I know some of you may wonder how I could possibly NOT have guessed that his name would have been Franz in German. I don't know why I never thought of it. Perhaps because aside from his bull-headedness and German accent, he was 100% American...I don't know) has made me more determined to find out more about him and my other ancestors...with the help of Betsy of course, because I still really don't know what I am doing. But, really if anyone can learn how to do research, it should be a girl with an English Lit. degree, right?

1 comment:

Amy Jane said...

I have but one word: COOL!