Well I recently learned that my father, his grandparents, Aunts and Cousins spent several years in a DP (Displaced Persons) Camp in Germany at the end of WW2 ! From 1944 to 1951 most were in the Resenburg, Ganghofosiedlung DP Camp , just outside of Bavaria Germany.This was a lightning strike shock to me! I always knew it took several years for them to emigrate from Ukraine to America but it was just today that I realized why it took so long! Wow, My ftaher spent much of his childhood in a Camp, with fences, Gaurd Towers, etc….. Mind Blown !
In my research to learn more about the DP Camp I discovered that through the ITS you can request and receive the camp records of family members. It takes some time as they receive thousands of requests each month, however I think the wait will be worth it. The ITS is the “International Tracing Service” that has records of most people in the camps (DP and otherwise) during and after the wars. It is a free service and I am thankful they exist to help families reconnect and/or discover more about their family, in my case my father and his grandparents.
I also connected with a person through the Ukrainian Genealogy FB Group whose mother and Family was in the same camp as my family during the same time! She identified some of the people in the pictures I shared with her which was amazing! Meeting someone, even online, whose family was in the same DP camp during the same period and learning more of their lives their is priceless! I encourage others to investigate this are if your family or ancestors emigrated during or just after the WW……
I am very excited and looking forward to the information and leads I will get from the records of the camp. I am also very thankful for those who pointed me in the directions to discover and pursue these leads!
You never know what you will discover in your family history research, but I can tell you, Learning your family history, where they came from, what they lived through and how they survived is an indescribable feeling!
Happy hunting and I will continue to update my family history pages here and make posts as I learn more!
I love going to thrift stores and second hand shops. I love books and I am always amazed when I find a book with pictures in them, personal family pictures that someone likely put in the book for safekeeping. Newspaper clippings and obituary notices as well. Sometimes I even come across genealogy of a family.
Often when one is tasked with going through a recently deceased persons home, books and other things are just donated without taking the time to flip through and check for those little bits of family history. The one going through the belongings may not be interested in preserving the history, however someone in the family might be. There are also genealogical sections in most libraries that would certainly accept any family history found.
When I come across something of the sort, I add the item to public online sites such as wiki tree and other sites with my info the case a relative discovers it.
I would encourage everyone to be conscious of the importance of family history during those times and either gift it to the family historian, public library or genealogical organization that could preserve and provide the information to future family researchers.
I became the family historian back in 1990 when I lost my father abruptly. He was 49 and I had never thought to talk to him much about family history. So I started doing family research and talking to the older family members. The elders of the family are dwindling and soon my generation will be the elders…. So before I lose my memories or research I am going to put them online for future generations to discover.
In my years I have learned a few things that we should do, even if you aren’t the family historian, but for those that might be.
1. Write names, dates, places on those old pictures. For digital pictures, name or tag them with person name, date, etc.
2. Donate those old family bibles to the local genealogical society out library instead of throwing them out as the often contain a great deal of family history.
3. Provide accurate names and days in obituary notices. Provide parents names, where they worked, clubs, etc. This all helps paint the picture for the history of the family.
4. For those that are the historians talk to your family members, ask them about the times past, record the memories before they are gone and can’t talk them
The saddest thing is to be the last one of your generation and thinking that no one will have your memories to pass on. Tell your stories, write them down. Leave bread crumbs of who you are and who your family was. In this way your memories will live on through generations.