My roots are important to me and no, I’m not talking about my hair!

Trueman & Carrie – my dad’s parents

I wish I had asked more questions of my grandparents when they were
alive. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my teenage self to pay more
attention to their stories, and their wisdom, and to appreciate their presence
in my life.

I’d spend more time in the kitchen with my Grandma, she made the best borscht, pierogi, cabbage rolls, and donuts in town.

The man in the picture (Trueman & Carrie) is her 1st husband, my dad’s father. He died at the age of 34, my dad was only 2 years old.

My grandma remarried when my dad was 13, Art was an amazing man. He was the grandfather I knew and loved deeply.

I’d ask him for one of his famous squeeze-the-life-out-of-you hugs and ask about his life in Poland and his parents, his dad died in a Russian concentration camp in 1917.

I’d ask my Dad’s brother, who loved history as much as I do, where he kept all the information he gathered on the family over the years. He passed away in 2011. We are still looking for these papers.

I’d ask my Pop-Pop to whistle one more tune and I’d ask my NeeNee about the time she was invited to England for a visit with the Queen.

I’d ask them about their parents and their grandparents.

The older I get, the more faint the memories are.

My father-in-law is the toddler. Circa 1933

Both of my husband’s parents are now gone. His mom passed away in 2005 and his dad in 2011, our children were mere babies at the time. I wonder what they’ll remember about their grandparents when they reach my age?

It is unfortunate but families often dissipate after death. That’s what happened with my mother-in-law’s family. I fear her family history will one day be completely lost to us. I am grateful to have met Dave’s grandma, Gwendolyn before she passed in 1998.

Thankfully my father-in-law’s side is an active part of our lives and together we are working on filling in some of the blanks. It’s been a bit difficult as they didn’t talk much about their life in Poland/Ukraine/Russia – stories have taken a unique turn with each branch of the family tree. I do know that Polik “Paul” immigrated to Canada in 1929 to prepare a place for his family and in 1931 Lubrow “Luba” along with 3 little ones made their trek to their new home in Manitoba. My father-in-law was born just over 9 months later… 🙂

With the older generation beginning to forget and passing away… I feel there is an urgency to get the answers to my questions. I want to know where I come from! I want to have it written down and well documented for my children and for their children.

In the last little while, I’ve become obsessed with filling in the leaves on my family tree. Last week I joined Ancestry.ca and quite literally spent over 12 hours one day following the trails of my family line and my husband’s line. It’s been like putting together a massive puzzle – I am loving it!

Julius & Carrie

I found distant relatives who were also looking to complete their family
trees. We were able to share pictures, documents and proper birth dates
and locations. Within 24 hours parts of my tree were in full

Every few minutes I’d call my Dad to say I’d found someone else from his father’s side. Then I’d call my Mom with the name of another family member from her mother’s side! I was close to tears, I couldn’t contain my excitement.

My dad’s 2nd cousin in Minnesota, a lady whom he has never met nor even knew existed before this weekend, shared with me a picture we had never seen before… his paternal grandparents (Julius & Carrie) on their wedding day.

This was a very exciting moment for us.

All this time we thought my sister looked like my dad’s mom but nope… she and her youngest daughter are a spitting image of our paternal great-grandmother!


Thanks to this newfound family member, I was able to find my dad’s paternal side all the way back to Norway & Sweden in the 1700s.

I feel like I’m finishing the story my Grandpa Trueman didn’t have the time to tell.

In my search, I also found my mom’s maternal side dating back to Queen Victoria’s reign and my husband’s mom’s paternal side going back quite a few generations.

Susannah Byron 1829-1903

Let me introduce you to my children’s Great-Great-Great Grandmother on their father’s maternal side…. Susannah Byron 1829-1903.

Questions still remain about our Ukrainian roots. Nothing seems to exist online at all.

When Dave’s paternal grandparents immigrated to Canada, names were changed, documents were lost and conversations about life in Eastern Europe are scarce.

When my Great-Grandparents came to Canada, they’d left an area later destroyed by the Nazis during WWII, including extended family members who perished in concentration camps during the war.

I’ve been interviewing those in our family who may have details that could help unearth details about this part of our history.

Family is important to me.

Families provide a setting for much of the growth we experience in our life.

Knowing my family history provides me with a sense of belonging. It’s a part of understanding who I am and where I come from. 

I can’t wait to find the rest of the pieces to my family’s puzzle!

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.


*This is no way an advertisement for Ancestry, paid or unpaid. It is the site I purchased a subscription on. I looked at another site and found this one easiest to navigate. Finding my family has been something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I’m glad I bite the bullet and did it.


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. Welcome to the Genealogy Junkie Club! I'm now also volunteering to transcribe documents on-line for Ancestry and Family Search LDS being so grateful for the all the time people have spent scanning and transcribing to bring us all this amazing info. Love the puzzle visualization, so true.

    1. Thanks Alison and yes, I too am extremely grateful for all their hard work!! 😀

  2. I am the same, I wish I had asked my grandparents more questions. I did think about doing it when I was a teen and I did ask a few. However, I was too shy to pry any further. Then, my grandpa passed away when I was 18 and my grandma's memory was slipping away. This is on my father's side. I barely know anything about my mom's family. I tried asking her mom but she didn't know too much.

    That is so awesome you traced your family roots into the 1700s! And wow, a family member was invited to visit the Queen. What a story that would have been! I love the show Who Do You Think You Are. I hope they bring it back for another season.

    A few years ago I got on a kick to learn more about my family tree. So, that I could have something to leave for my kids after I am gone. I didn't get very far. History was lost. I have been thinking of signing up to Ancestry. I might just have to give it a go!

    1. My "Big" idea is to be able to put it all into a booklet for the family for Christmas. 🙂

  3. I love working on my family tree! It is really fascinating to see where we've come from, and every lead is a huge excitement. I had taken a few years off from the search, but I'm trying to get back to it now. One of my goals for this year!

    1. Each time I found someone new, it drove me to continue. It's very addicting. 🙂 It's a great goal to have for this year Deb. 🙂

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