Two heads of cabbage and why I write Knapp Notes

I began writing Knapp Notes in 2010 with four goals:

  1. To teach myself WordPress. For those of you that don’t know, I am a writer by trade. And for writers, blogs are where we shine nowadays.
  2. To share my genealogy research with other members of the family. But I didn’t just want to share a bunch of names, dates, events and places. I wanted to use my writing skill to tell people’s stories. It’s my way of ensuring our ancestors aren’t forgotten and their stories lost.
  3. Use Knapp Notes to communicate with other members of the Knapp clan about the reunions. I know we have Facebook, but blogs can do some things easier than FB can. And it is something I can control – FB can get a little cluttered.
  4. Re-establish connections with far-flung members of the extended Knapp-Kline family.  And with this goal, I believe Knapp Notes has been wildly successful. I have had many wonderful conversations with people who are distantly (and not so distantly) related across the United States. And even a few in the old country (Germany)!

It is goal #4 that brings me to the topic of this post.

I mentioned in my last post some conversations with a relative who is traveling here from Nebraska this week to do genealogy research on the May/Kline connections. Catherine is hoping to locate and photograph the May family homesteads while she is in Portage County.

Also this week, Michael Wise, who lives in Leesburg, Georgia, contacted me about sharing his family research with us. And judging from what he told me, I believe there is a disc loaded with family photos, stories and documentation wending its way north to us as I write this.

One of the most tantalizing aspects of Mike’s research is that he has recorded family stories as well as facts, events and dates. That is what makes our ancestors come alive right before our eyes. Receiving a cache of family stories is a priceless treasure to a genealogist. Stories are passed down by word of mouth and seldom recorded. So this is a real gem!

Here is one example which Mike shared with me during one of our email conversations:

A genealogist told me years ago that family histories are more than just dates of births, weddings, and deaths, she suggested that we interview older relatives and document their stories on tape or write them down and not to waste time to set up an interview because they are getting older every day. Family stories add color and depth to a family history and future generations can then see that our ancestors were not just immigrants who worked hard and died young.

I will leave with this little story of John Adam Knapp.

Now you already know that John Adam had all daughters, except for one son who died at about 19. Two of John’s daughters married Wise brothers. John J. Wise married Mary Knapp and Barney Wise married Rosina Knapp.

Another Wise brother, Joseph, wanted to marry Margaret Knapp and old John Adam put his foot down and said “NO !” “Two heads of cabbage from the same patch are enough.” Margaret never married and Joseph married Mary Anne Andes who lived just across the road from cousin Margaret.

Auf wieder sehen,

Michael Wise

See what I mean? I knew that John Adam Knapp had a son who died young, and the rest of his children were girls. And I also knew that two of his daughters married Wise brothers. And I knew the one daughter never married.

What I didn’t know was the rest of the story about WHY she never married.

And to have captured the exact phrase old John Adam used to object to the proposed marriage, well, that’s just priceless!

Thanks, Mike! I can’t wait to open the mailbox and see your disc when it arrives.

Stay tuned for more great stuff from Mike via Knapp Notes in the near future, folks!

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This entry was posted in Andes, Antes, Anthes, Family History, Kline/Cline/Klein, Knapp, Portage County, Stories, Wise and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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