I'm still working on our family history although it is starting to slow down and get harder. What a kick it is to find how where my family came from. On my Dad's side, with a name like Strader, I've always known we came from Germany, but family "legend" has always said that the first Strader came over in the 1800's to work in the breweries in Missouri, and that is completely wrong. I was amazed to find out that the earliest Strader I could track down was William, Hans Wilhelm, Strader who was born in Rotterdam, which was part of the Lowlands, not Germany. He was born in 1710 and died in Sussex County New Jersey in 1784. So much for family history, not German at all, though there are German parts to the family. Through my Father's maternal Grandmother Ellen Wyant I was able to trace back about 4 more generations to Peter Wyant who was born in 1763 in Germany and died in Virginia in 1838.
On my Mother's side I've been greatly helped by a newly found 3rd cousin Monica who has shared family photos and stories with me. My only memory of my Great Grandmother Lizzie is of a very old woman, but thanks to my cousin I now have a picture of her as a young mother with her children, including my Grandmother Pearl who I'd never seen a picture of as a child!
And through my cousin I've been able to trace both the Irish branch of the family and the Cherokee Indian branch. I've always known we were Cherokee for my Grandmother and Great Grandmother are on the Dawes Roll, that's a list of all the Cherokee Indians in the early 1900's in Oklahoma, the Federal Government made this list up so they would be able to give land to the Indians as Oklahoma became a state, and so the tribe could keep track. But it was so interesting to trace the history back and find where one of my ancestors had married an Indian woman named Susannah Senicooie in Georgia before the Cherokees were forced to move to Oklahoma.
Who knows what I'll discover next.