Digging for Roots

It seems to come in waves and another wave hit while my parents were here last month for Dane's wedding. The desire to find my roots.

Both my dad and father are extensive root diggers. My father has traced our roots back to (probably) the Mayflower. There is just a small gap with a question mark but other than that it's all verified. My dad, whose roots aren't actually MY roots, has enough information that nearly every Hawaiian he meets, he can find the link that connects them. Being in a small pond it's easier to find the connections.

So while my parents were visiting my dad was attempting to access certain websites with difficulty. Somehow it was determined that he could access them via a library, so Rick gave him his library information.

Once I saw what he was doing I decided to jump in. We were looking up documents that included names of our family members. Ship registers, border crossing documentations, Ellis Island ship offloading registration, censuses, etc. The easiest to access, most readily available stuff didn't help much, it only yielded information we already knew. Then I got into some more obscure documents and started to find puzzle pieces that had always been missing.

For example, we always knew that my grandparents were born in this country but both spent time in their youth living in Hungary. The story was that they'd been stuck there due to the war. In actuality my grandmother was there from 1921 - 1926, not during any war. My grandfather returned to the states in June 1929 on the ship S.S. President Roosevelt. We weren't able to find when or how he left but the return was, also, not during or immediately after the war.

Another story my mother always heard from her mother is that they traveled on the Queen Mary. Unfortunately the RSS Queen Mary took its maiden voyage in 1936, while my grandmother was having babies. So it wasn't possible for her to have traveled on that ship.

We found ship manifests listing a variety of Sziroveczes during the early 20th century, mainly 1907-1908. That would be Grampa's parents and siblings. One manifest I found listed the passengers Andras (Andrew) and Karoly (Carl) Szirovecz. We had already found Andras on a previous ship so wondered how much going back and forth was taking place. Then further on the document we saw it referring to her - this was actually Grampa's mother (Maria) and brother coming over, before Grampa was born.  Apparently married women traveled under the husband's name! This ship docked in March of 1907 and Grampa was born July of 1908.

While this is not a lot of new information it did clear up a few things.  The family came from Hungary, not Czechoslovakia.  They (likely) weren't in Europe during the war.  And Granny never sailed on the Queen Mary.

Next month the 1940 census will be available and more questions may be answered.  But it's going the wrong direction - to add to our line we need to go back further...  Maybe a trip to Hungary is in order!


Let's go back to early December (now you see the picture wiggle and get all dreamy-like as we go back in time...)

December 4ish Dane moves home. Rick's stuff gets moved into the shop, where it should have been to begin with, it's only being stored, we need the room for a, um, room. Not storage. So Dane's home, our food bill doubles and the cooking and laundry is also multiplied. Amazing how one more person makes such a difference.

The next weekend I take shots of the couple to put in their wedding invitations and the wedding work begins. 2 weeks later the paper is all purchased and the construction party is held.

Right around this same time Rick and I visited his parents to give them an anniversary gift and find out that Arla is having back trouble. 2 days later the family discovers that her back is in very bad shape and a panic sets in. She is using canes and walkers to get around but manages to do some recovering over the next couple months.

That holiday in late December turns out to be a beautiful day and we visit the empty Seattle and take some interesting pictures. Most of the people that we ran into were the homeless that aren't usually as noticeable.

January 6th our next family member arrives, Taylor Sue Sizemore, daughter of Denny and Heather and sister to Hunter.

Mid January we finally get some winter weather, some snow and then - STORMAGEDDON!!! A nearly 4 day power outage, roads closed, Rick even stayed home from work.

Now comes February. I have the events for the month marked on the calendar and there's a dot on nearly every day of the month! This is gonna be a busy month! Let's start with my 2 day Circuit Assembly in Puyallup on the 4 - 5 weekend (Superbowl wknd).

Rick's nephew wed on the 11th in a pretty evening event in Burien. It was just right, not too crowded, comfortable venue, enough food, etc.

Tuesday the 14th my parents arrived from Hawaii and that day Dane moved into his new house in Enumclaw. I started the day by cleaning out his room, rearranged the furniture and made it into a guest room. Just before leaving for the airport I drove down to Denny's house to get some of Uncle Eugene's paintings to hang. Turned out real nice! My parents are here now for 2 weeks. We had a nice visit but it's difficult for adult children and their parents to live together. We all did our part to keep the peace and make it pleasant.

The 18th is the big event - finally. We had a photo session down at Neely Mansion at 2PM. Mr Wonderful proves himself to be just as we all remember him when approached by my dad. Then the reception was being set up and the wedding was getting ready. Some last minute touches to the bride's dress to remove some mud from the photo shoot. Dane and I got to start the procession down the aisle of the Kingdom hall at 6:07. The wedding itself goes smoothly. The reception has glitches but overall it also went well. The kids get off to their honeymoon. The gifts are all arranged at their new house for them to open upon their return. We're all relieved it's over!

The folks do some visiting over the next week, get to see some friends from previous congregations. We tried to squeeze in a ferry ride but every time we tried someone ended up not feeling well. Saturday we had our BIG family dinner at Kevin and Shirley's house. Again, everything went smoothly. It was as chaotic as I figured it would be with the 3 active little boys trapped inside together on a cold winter day. But we had a nice meal and got some nice pictures to remember our event.

Tuesday the 28th the folks headed back to Kauai, Rachyl drove them to the airport for their 9:20AM flight, since it was nearly on her way to work. Once home they discovered that their house had been invaded by mice! Time to get out the poison and find how they're getting in!

So here we are today, March 3rd.  And what did we do?  Well, I had some housework to do.  Rick needed a haircut.  I took back more wedding stuff we didn't use.  Took some pictures of her son's wedding over to Rick's sister, Denise's place.  Overall a pretty relaxing day considering what we've had for the last couple months.


About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.