This e-book has stories from old-timers like my Dad and my Grandpa Friesen - genealogies of all of Dad's ancestors as far back as I've found them. The furtherest is the DeVeer line that goes back 11 generations to a Jan DeVeer born in 1521.
Are you researching your Friesen, DeVeer, Spents, Giesbrechts, Warkentins, or Hiedebrechts? You may very well find some help in this book.
You may, of course, print out the e-book and bind it yourself. See how to print and bind this eBook in several quite economical ways. You may contact me if you have questions.
Grandpa's Stories is 287 pages and is $20.00 and quick to download.
When I wrote A Godly Inheritance to honour Gr'ma Kroeker, who was Mom's mother, and as Dad saw how hard I'd worked on confirming and collecting all that data on the families, not only of our ancestors, and Mom's siblings and their children and grandchildren, but then her cousins to the second and third degree, I sensed that Dad felt rather left out.
I decided to keep a notebook handly at the table, and while we ate, also for a while afterward, I pumped Dad for stories he could remember of his childhood and growing up years, his country school, his jobs, and his relatives. Dad was a bit reluctant at first, but as he got warmed up with his story-telling it got better and better.
However, I wasn't expecting it to become as big a book as A Godly Inheritance became. I visualized it as just... a booklet ... a handful of folded pages like the church phone directories I used to make every January in our church in Ontario. I thought I should include some ancestor charts at the back of it. But I didn't want to take a lot of time for research.
Christmas was coming so I did a short run of these small folded and stapled booklets, giving some to Dad and another box full to my nephew Jasel, as he seemed to have a strong entrepreneural streak.
Neither of them seemed very keen on those booklets , and I began to feel guilty. I had not worked at that hard enough. I should have done the necessary research.
Ah. I knew what to do. Dad's Aunt Helen Spenst (his mother's youngest sister) had married his cousin David Friesen.
I respectfully called her Aunt Helen, and I knew that while I was still in high school she had written two family history books with lots of genealogy in them. Kith & Kin I was about the Friesen line. Her Kith & Kin II was about the long Spent and deVeer lines. Dad had not bought copies when she was sending letters to offer copies for sale while I was in high school, but I had seen these book in Ontario. Uncle Bill in Toronto, had them, and Aunt Jean had them too. So I wrote to Aunt Helen, (now in her 90s), and explained that I was researching Dad's side of the family, and I wondered if she had any copies of her Kith & Kin books left.
She phoned me and blessed me for showing an interest! But she had no extra copies. Just her own, where she had added many notes over the intervening 30 years. Aunt Helen offered to send and loan them to me so I could take out what information I wanted and then send the books back to her. Wow! What an offer! Of course, I accepted!
By that time I had a small DOS computer - (Remember those? Yellow text on black backgrounds?) I'd discovered that I could install a Shareware program called Brothers Keeper for free and enter all kinds of genealogy data, and it would print it out for me in various ways. So when Aunt Helen's books arrived I spent many long evenings keying all that information into the database, including her margin notes!
Mom died in 1997. Dad just needed my company (and cooking and cleaning of course), so I had more free time and as I had my sister Elsie's office desk in the living room, I could bang away on the computer while Dad snoozed in his recliner. So by 2005 I was able to do a printout of a much improved 200 page book, and because Elsie had left me her cerlox binding machines when she moved to B.C. I felt I had a much more professional-looking book to offer people. I still called it Grandpa's Stories and Dad bragged to visitors that I had found far more relatives and ancestors for his side of the family than I had for Mom's. Which was true. The deVeer/Fehr line goes back 11 generations to a Jan deVeer born in 1521.
Guess what! Now in 2021 I have updated and added even more to the genealogies. Every branch is researched as far back as the GRANDMA database goes, and it is updated and puts out a new digital (and DVD) edition every two years. I have the latest edition that I'm aware of, and it has over 2 million Mennonites in it. Of course, those who married Mennonites are in there too!
This e-book is a genealogist's dream or heartbeat! It goes back to the earliest in each of these lines; Abraham von Riesen, DeVeers (most took the Fehr pronounciation and spelling when they emigrated to North America), Spents, Giesbrechts, Warkentins, and Hiedebrechts. For most of those I have included 8 generations from the earliest ancestor, but for the DeVeers it is 11 generations, and yet, I did not include all the youngest generations - as that increases the breadeth and depth almost out of control. If I print out my own full ancestor chart in a collapsed format (not including all their descendants' names) I can now go back 15 generations!
Grandpa's Stories is 287 pages and you can have a copy for $20.00
P.S. In case you need this; I have a page on this site, How to Make Print Copies of e-Books
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One
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© 2004-2023 Ruth Marlene Friesen
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada