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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tannas

A Most Appreciated Random Act of Kindness

For the past week, I have been fighting a terrible chest cold and feeling miserable, unable to accomplish much of anything.  And then…I received a thick envelope in the mail.  YES, the MAIL.  Something personal.  In this age of rapid everything, getting something special via mail is exciting.  I still like to write notes and receive them.  So now for the special gift.

I’ve written before about being absolutely addicted to my genealogy.  My dear cousin, Betty Shorner, delivered to me my family line from me all the way back to 1704 to my ancestors from Germany.  My great grandmother, on my mother’s side, was German.  But when I did my DNA, it only showed I was 11 percent Western European (which, of course, includes Germany.)

I knew my great-grandmother Ruth Katherine Hessler Wade.  She was a fine woman, a hard worker all of her life and a joy to her grandchildren.  Her first husband, however, from the stories told, was quite a character…a gambler and philanderer.  But Great Grandma loved him to her dying day.

Not only was this a tenth generation gift, but there were stories told of many of the people, funny stories, sad stories of losing children, fires destroying homes, and some funny things about “stubbornness” that seemed to run in the Hessler family.

I learned most of the Hessler family settled in Indiana and were farmers.  They were honorable men and women, hard workers, and well-respected in the community.

The early Hesslers were centered in the village of Kromback  near Frankfurt, Germany.  I cannot wait to add all this information to my personal family tree.  In the reading I was especially intrigued by one name.  Elviretta Lucretia Churchill  (otherwise known as “Ella.”) Her name certainly sounds Italian.

And I am going to research further into the Churchill line.  Since I came out 60 % pure British (I guess that’s why I’m so fascinated with British Royalty), I remember my grandmother saying there was proof we were cousins probably 7 times removed to good old Winston…a hero of mine.

So far, even by joining the Fratarcangeli website in Italy, no Fratarcangeli family has come forth from my grandfather’s line.  But I shall never give up.

Thank you, cousin Betty.  It’s a gift I treasure!  God bless you always.

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