Thursday, April 2, 2009

From Just a Name to a Whole Family

When I first began researching our family history my first brick wall was my own grandfather. Both my mother and her brother knew nothing about him other than he came from Hungary and had a least one brother. They did not know their grandparents names or the names of his siblings. Andrew Bauman came to the United States in 1929 through Canada, started his family here, and never talked of his past to his children. My first bit of success came when I received a copy of his marriage application from New York City. On it he revealed his parents. This was the first time my mother heard the names of her paternal grandparents:
Frank Bauman and Susanna Grosz.
The second bit of luck came when I located a copy of his Passport application. Here he discloses the town of his birth.

B. Oszlop, Hungary, also known as Bakonyoszlop in the county of Veszprem, Hungary.
Bakonyoszlop is a village located in the Bakony Mountains in Hungary.

Being fairly new to genealogy I can tell you I was quite excited.
It was at this time that I made my first visit to a local Family History Center. There I found a volunteer who was familiar with Hungary and the records available. It was also there that I learned the ways of the microfilm reader, practiced patience, developed a sore shoulder, and learned to decipher what I thought was unreadable handwriting. It all paid off. The LDS had microfilmed the church records for Bakonyoszlop, and a I was able to put together Andrew Bauman's whole family and then some. This was my first big project in researching my family history and the feeling I got when accomplishing this was indescribable. I've have had many other aha moments since then, but the first is always the most memorable ;-)

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