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Sunday, March 17, 2013

On The Road Again

I haven't given up on my blog, no, it's just that sometimes life interferes.  The past year has been a difficult one for reasons I don't feel comfortable going into right now.  There have been changes, the loss of a grandchild, the addition of a new daughter in law.  God gives but He just as easily takes away.  My husband, Allen and I just watched the movie, "The Life of Pi" in which Pi said that is in times of tremendous stress that your faith is strengthened.  I would agree.  A fine movie if you haven't seen it.  

Well, here it is, 2013 and having done a lot more work on my paternal ancestral roots, Emily and I are preparing to travel to the town of Wilkes Barre, Pa.   I have made some wonderful contacts there - thanks to Facebook, the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, the Luzerne Historical Society, the Good Shepherd Church and Find a Grave.  Now we are ready to visit the home of Jacob Stoebener, my GGGrandfather, the home of his daughter, Elisabeth Stoebener Lentz, and her daughter, Mary Lentz Protz....my fathers mother.  Wilkes Barre was the town to which my fathers father  immigrated from Bremen, Germany in 1905.  He met and married Mary there at St. Paul's German Evangelical Church where Rev. Louis Lindenstruth preached his sermons in German and Mary and several of her siblings sang in the choir.   The old church still stands at the corner of North and Main only it has been re-named Good Shepherd Lutheran.  The archivist there, Adrienne French, preserves the old records.  The records are also at the NEPGS where Roseann Kebles keeps watch and Joan Cavanaugh armed with her new camera hovers angelically over the Hollenback Cemetery taking headstone photographs for Find a Grave.  I can hardly wait to meet these wonderful women who have contributed so much to the discovery and preservation of my families history.

How does one prepare for a genealogical journey?  Well, having taken one already, I can say that we learned some things to help us with this next one.  First, my research documents are in a binder and I have a list of documents that are missing.  Documents most likely to be uncovered on our trip are highlighted along with notes on the places most likely to give us access.  Next, a good street map of the town.....it wasn't easy locating such a map.  The Internet maps had only small sections and Triple A sent a driving map but it was not detailed enough.  It was the Chamber of Commerce that sent me a decent street map of the area and I immediately highlighted the streets and roads we would be looking for.   Unfortunately, there seems to be more than one of every street so I'm not sure how we will figure out which of the streets apply to us.  The next item on my agenda was to write everyone there that has helped me to tell them when I would be arriving and to set up luncheon dates, etc.  I particularly want to thank, in person, people who have gotten documents for me or taken photos.  I also asked for recommendations on a hotel as not knowing the area, I want to make sure we stay in a reasonably safe location that is still close in proximity to areas we want to tour.  All that done, I ordered a few books about the town and have been reading to gain knowledge of the towns historical significance.  I have sketched out a rough schedule that covers our trip from arrival in Philadelphia on the 25th to our departure from the same airport on the 30th.
Before leaving South Carolina, I will message people I've connected with living in the W/B area and ask them to give me some idea of the weather they are expecting that week.  That will help me decide what to pack besides an umbrella and some good walking shoes.  My camera, my IPAD, my sunglasses and the re-charger cords I will need will be put into my carry-on bag so they are readily available.
The rooms are booked, the car is rented, the maps are marked.....let's go to Wilkes Barre!

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