Memorial Weekend Meandering

A few updates on the ancestral research front. So, this weekend seems a good time for a stream-of-consciousness post about some of the discoveries.

The more I research my family history, the more I realize how often my assumptions are WRONG.  For example,  I assumed that, since I located the whereabouts of my maternal grandfather and several of his siblings,  there was nothing more to discover there.

But, I kept seeing cousin matches on Ancestry, Gedmatch, and 23andMe that were obviously from my Grandfather Ott’s side. These people–living in New York, New Jersey and even in Canada–had me scratching my head.  I knew of all the progeny of my grandfather and his siblings and couldn’t determine how these cousins fit into the jigsaw puzzle.

Long story short: thanks to one very-well documented family tree with matching ancestral names, I learned that my 2nd great-grandmother, Anna Ott, had a brother who immigrated to the USA at the turn of the 20th century.  This brother, Martin, his wife, and his nine children settled in New Jersey and they were fruitful and multiplied, providing lots of cousins for me to discover 100-plus years later.

It was thrilling seeing a photo of my 2nd great-grandmother’s brother!

Here’s Karl Martin Ott, my 3rd gr-uncle with his wife, Julianne.  I’m guessing the photo was taken in the early 1900s.

karl martin ott

And here is Karl Martin’s grand/great nephew, my grandfather, Fritz Ott (photo circa 1978)

fred ott kitchen

And, there is a bit of a family resemblance. Having this info about Karl Martin gives me hope that I might, one day, see a photo of his sister, my 2nd gr-grandmother, Anna! I’ll let you know when that happens.

Note to self:  Don’t assume you have found everything just because one branch has seemed to grow cold. Instead, be on the lookout for records of “side-relatives.” They might not be direct ancestors, but discovering them is like uncovering buried treasure.




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