Current mood:excitedI have been more on Facebook lately than here. Sorry I haven't updated much lately. I have done searches on Facebook and MySpace for Lebeter and more recently for Leifeste. I am finding relatives that my husband didn't know he had and some that I have not seen since I was young and living in Texas. I have found 2 Lebeter brothers that came from England to America in the early 1800s. I need to find out how many brothers (and sisters) were in the family and how many came to America (and when they came over).
I've been buying a lot of the McD's Sweet Tea lately. It reminds me of the tea we had at family reunions. We had the huge stoneware "barrels" that we mixed the tea in (no sodas). We usually had 2 of sweet tea, and one with unsweetened. I haven't been to a Leifeste family reunion since 1980, 29 yrs ago when I went with my now exhusband and first son (age 7). My younger son, now 15, barely remembers his last trip to Texas in 1997 (age 3). I drove my Mom's big car (1983 Chevy Caprice Classic) out here to Washington. She was having some eye trouble and didn't want to drive a big car anymore. We had over 500 people at the 1980 reunion. That was the year we published a big book about the Leifeste family. In one of my moves (AZ to WA), a box of books came open and I lost mine. One of the few old photos I have is of Great- Grandpa Henry Oliver Brockman and Great-Grandma Victoria Helen Polk. She was a little short woman that worked as a midwife. He was over 6' but walked with a limp. He arrived in Texas after the Civil War so it was thought to be a war injury, but he never talked about it. We are distantly related to President Polk who was Irish (ancestors came from France to Scotland, then later to Ireland).
My son showed me a new feature of Google Earth. You take the little person figure and place it on a location and you can look around and see what would be on that street. Some areas haven't been photographed yet (My Dad's home in Naestved, Denmark and Great-great Grandpa Leifeste's hometown in Germany before they emigrated to Texas in early 1800s). Exploring Mason, Texas, I felt like I was walking or driving around the courthouse square.
There are several websites for our family genealogy in addition to the info on the genealogy sites (Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, myfamily.com, Kindred Konnections' MyTrees.com, MyHeritage.com, WorldVitalRecords, FamilyLink.com, etc.). I plan to join Ancestry.com for 3 months so I can do some serious research this summer. To join for a year is over $100, a bit high when you are living on a V.A. disability pension. Texas has also put up sites for many counties. The Mason, TX county site has information and photos on many small graveyards. I was able to get the dates and full names for many relatives that I had been searching for. I know that My Great-great grandpa came over with several brothers. They all married and most had about 8 or more kids. Those kids had kids and they had kids, etc. That is a lot of cousins. My grandmother was one of 7 sisters. All the grandkids would play together. We always called each other 3rd cousins, but were probably second cousins once removed or something. All I know is that those boys were like brothers to me and I miss them. I always assumed our kids would grow up playing with each other, but so much of our family has scattered in the wind to the 4 corners of the world. I hope I can make it back to Texas next year for the next family reunion. I want my son to see how big our family really is and feel what its like to be surrounded by people that really care about you because you're family.