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Please tell us about your search. Names? How far back are you? Where? What are your greatest discoveries? What are your biggest problems?

The main names I'm searching are: Schmidt, Burzynski, Hedler, Hoffman, Broeren, Lemanski, Crowley, and Fredrickson. There are a list of others dating to much older ancestors (or distant relatives) as well. I have one line back to the 1200's, one to the 1700's, and the rest in the 1800's. I have all of my great-great-grandparents accounted for and after that it depends on the line. I'm currently mainly looking at family settling in Wisconsin (some apparently coming through the St. Lawrence seaway and taking trains from Vermont to Green Bay and Milwaukee). Past that they hail from Germany, Poland, Ireland, Sweden, and Holland. The greatest or most interesting discoveries are a relative who was lost on the Titanic, German nobility, Irish kings, and a Civil War hero. So far no "black-sheep", but I know there have to be some secrets out there somewhere. It has been wonderful to see other family members get interested in my work, and to have them pulling out old photos, artifacts and stories. The biggest problems I've had are the different spellings and changes in spellings of names (I still have relatives changing their spelling today!). Also, the changing of borders in Germany/Poland/Prussia/etc. has made things difficult. I'm told the wars could have also caused many documents to be burned or hidden elsewhere, and that could prove to be another problem - but I haven't encountered it yet. This is a hobby I truly enjoy, and I think it is so important for a family to know their roots (so much that I sometimes have trouble believing genealogy is just a hobby). So, that's pretty much my story.

Also, thank you to everyone at TMF for being so welcoming. :)

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