The Internet never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been online since 1992 and still remember the first time an Australian website popped up in my search effort–something I never expected to happen from my little computer tucked away in a upstairs bedroom in Westland, Michigan. And that was more than a decade ago.
Now, I found out I have relatives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin thanks to the Internet and my mother-in-law Virginia Braun.
Virginia is the nicest lady you could ever meet and a genealogical wiz on the Internet. A week or so ago Virginia emailed me saying she had found a four-year-old posting on one of the genealogy sites she monitors from someone looking for information. The request said simply, “Peter and Julius Jankowski Michigan.” Virginia, who knew a bit of my family history, asked if she could contact the person who posted the request. I assented wondering if the seeker was a rich relative or perhaps some unknown offspring of my grandpappy (who was the wandering type, according to my father).
Anyway, almost immediately Virginia got an answer from Linda who had posted the message and who had about given up hope of getting an answer. Linda, as it turns out is the granddaughter of Julius’s sister Alice. I guess that makes Linda my cousin, although I never met her and barely remember her grandmother.
Linda and I talked on the phone and I provided what little information and photos I had of Julius and connected her with another cousin who was able to supply even more information.
Since there first email, Linda and my mother-in-law have delved deeper into the history of Julius. Though I still don’t know much more about him, I did find out that he passed away in 1964, which was well after I was born. I never did meet him as my father and he were estranged.
It’s nice to know that I have a nice cousin in Sheboygan if I ever get up that way. It all makes me wonder if I have any other relatives out there. If so, my mother-in-law will ferret them out. I wonder if I could just have her search for the rich ones?