Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Renewed Interest in 2005

In 2005, my cousin Marlene sent me a letter and wondered if I had any updates to my 1987 research. She was especially interested in my great grandparents, Patrick and Louisa Ryan. I wrote a short summary for what I knew about each individual. Then I wrote the story of my father's life and sent it to my brother for input. Since I had the paid research on my great great grandfather, James Kemps, I wrote that narrative next. I took an on-line genealogy course provided by the maker of my notebook computer. Then, I found a good deal on Family Tree Maker 2005, so I upgraded. It came with a free one-year subscription to To get the most out of my free year, I began to search for everyone on both sides of my tree and both sides of my wife's tree. I printed and downloaded as much as I could find. After a couple of months, I upgraded the subscription and searched more. I used their OneWorldTree and found information about the McClurken's, that other researcher had provided. Then I cancelled the upgrade but it turns out that it also cancels the rest of your free year. I complained to no avail. My local library provides home access to Heritage Quest but it does not provide everyname look-up and seems incomplete. I used it for quite a while with limited results. I also made several trips to the library and used My interst waned with the effort.

2002 Activity

Kemps Dairy Products are sold in the Chicagoland Area and people would frequently ask me if I was related. My grandfather's brother, William Henry Kemps, had started the company but I did not know much about him. In 2002, his grandson Bill Kemps was planning a trip to Chicago and we planned to meet. I inquired about William Henry and Bill provided his recollections in a series of emails. Bill's cousin, Wayne, generously sent me a CD of pictures related to William Henry's life.

Searching in 1993 and 1999

In late 1993, I started again. I looked up my father's cousin, Worth Kemps, and wrote him a letter. He and his family were the only other persons named Kemps that were clearly related to me. He called me on his 80th birthday and I taped the conversation. He sent me his family information and I sent him a copy of all my research. I continue to exchange Christmas Cards and family updates with his wife and one son.

In 1999, I bought a copy of Family Tree Maker. I proceeded to load it up with all the information that I had collected. I also went to Rosehill Cemetery and found my grandfather's grave.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Searching for my ancestors

This is the story of my journey into the past, my family history. It began on a family trip to Galena, Illinois about 35 years ago. I asked my mother and father about their parents and grandparents and wrote it all down. An uncle, Athur Andersen, had documented the birthdates of the members of my mother's family. This was the start.

My father died in 1984 and my mother died in 1985. I felt cut off from my past so I started my search.. I ordered death certificates and wrote to the Oakdale Cemetery for burial information. I paid a genealogist in Philadelphia $40 to find out more. And I ordered a book that was advertised to be a history of the Kemps Family. It was fairly useless and provided a list of many people named Kemps who were not related. I contacted my father's cousin, Richard Kirkpatrick, and I wrote to the Kemps Dairy. I sent copies of all of my research to my brother and my cousin Charles.