I have been working on my own family's genealogy for the past 20 years. It is still a work in progress as I find it is never-ending. I got my start from my mother and her sisters.
For my purposes, I do not stop at the bloodline, because I am also interested in what lies in the branches of my family tree. I find this to be extremely fascinating.
The old saying "kissing cousins" is so true in my family and I find in most others as well. But I also found that there is a reason for this close kinship. When the choices for a husband or wife were fewer and/or too distant, selecting from the cousins was the alternative. Yet, this was nothing new really. This intermarrying had been in practice for what seems to have been forever. In today's society, it has all but disappeared.
I was the one in history class who told my teacher -- "I will never need to know anything about history!". Of course, now I find it fascinating.
At the time I was only interested in Theatre, Music, and Dance. However, I know now that history is good to know for those fields of study as well.
History is more than just learning dates of events. It is about learning the why and the reasoning behind actions. Looking into the past to see what the people of those times were dreaming of about the future. What they did, what they created and invented for the future. Most significant is the fact that most items and clothing were not created for the pleasure of the people, but for the needs that they had.
I have had several clients who were not so interested, so they said until I showed them some results. Then the tables turned and they wanted to know more. So I did some research for them and presented to them what I had found. Helping them to remember some forgotten family members and verification of their Indian heritage. For more testimonials click here.
I look forward to helping others (like you) reach back into their past to find their family history.
The name H.A.W.K.S is derived from the main families of my lineage. Hightower is my mother's mother's paternal side; Whittenburg is my mother's mother's maternal side; Kern is my mother's father's paternal side and Gunter is my mothers' father's maternal side.
So the acronym H.A.W.K.S is derived this way - Hightower And Whittenburg, Kern'S.
The family dubbed our family reunions as the H.A.W.K.S family reunions. My mother never wanted to leave anyone out and would try to keep in touch with as many relatives as she could. We have family sprawled all over the U.S., as do most people these days.
The Hightower line started out in Virginia then moved to North Carolina then to Missouri. My line of Hightower's settled in or near Niangua, Missouri, just outside of Marshfield, Missouri.
The Whittenburg side started out in Germany, came to America and went almost straight to North Carolina. They then ventured up to Tennessee, with a sideline to Georgia and then on into Missouri.
The Kern's side also started out in Germany. Konrad arrived in America in 1852. His children were the first generation born in America. He was married by 1857, so it took him less than 5 years to get to the Blue Springs area, just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. He had 1 son, from his first marriage to Emery Smith, who moved to Colorado around 1900 and then later in life moved to Montana.
The Hightower's were the first in Montana with two brothers, son's of Joshua Hightower (brother to Thomas, my 2nd great grandfather) first one arriving in Montana before 1889 and the other about 20 years later.
But the vast majority of each line stayed in Missouri.