Welte Family History Research

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For over 40 years, I have been researching my family history. Now that I'm retired, I can devote more time and effort into more research, compilation, and organization of that work! Over the past 12 years, I have been very fortunate in teaching genealogy classes, along with my computer experience, at Blackhawk Technical College. I've also created a business - "Field of Genes" - a "Ride-N-Seek" experience to help other families find their own ancestors.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

52 Ancestors: #18 He Could Dance! A Heartfelt Choice Made By Mom - Beryl Swanson Welte

I always wondered why my mom chose my dad as the person she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. They did a pretty good job of it because they were together for over 56 years. Her immediate answer was that, "He Could Dance!" (Click 'here' to view a song I dedicated to their love of dancing)

She told me that during the war years, she went with several male friends, but she always went back to her favorite guy in uniform, my dad, Irving. He was in the Marine Wing Service Squadron Nine, 9th MAW, FMF and he was discharged from the Marine Corps on October 15, 1945, one month after World War II ended. This picture was taken in Minneapolis in January of 1945. My mother’s parents really liked my dad and that helped make up her mind as to the person she wanted to marry.

She told me that at least one of the military men she dated went on to become a millionaire in California. However, he, and others that she went out with, were not very good dancers, so she stopped dating them.

Mom and her brother, Wendell
Minneapolis, MN abt. 1944
Another time she told her nephew, John, that she was sick and couldn’t go out with her date that night because she heard that my dad, Irving, was in town. The other gentleman came to the front door with a dozen roses as he was concerned that she was very sick. However, at the same time, Irving rang the doorbell at the back door for their date that night. My mom thought quick and told her nephew to answer the front door and to tell her date that she was too sick to come to the door. Her date gave my nephew the roses and he proceeded to ask her what he should do with the bouquet. She said for him to take them down to the basement! He asked her, “Why are you wanting me to take these beautiful roses down to the basement?” She demanded that he do so and he took the roses down the basement stairs without any more questions.

In the meantime, my dad was at the back door and she was very glad to see him. They went out that night and had a great time dancing! That is why I am here today and why I say, “The rest is history!”
Mom and Dad dancing in Norway
July 1983

Thursday, May 1, 2014

52 Ancestors: #17 Our Life's Passion Made Known To Us All

I never went to my high school prom because I was never asked. My mother never went to her senior prom because many of her male friends had already enlisted in World War II by the spring of 1943. School officials thought it would be best not to go through with the prom not only because of the shortage of young men, but also because it was a very sad time with the war effort going on in Europe, Italy, and the South Pacific.

Austin and his Great-Grandmother, Delores
I came across a story on Facebook of a high school senior in Ohio who took his 89-year-old great-grandmother to his senior prom. In the early 1940s, she was not able to go because money was hard to come by. He helped make it a special night for her as they danced to a special song by Frank Sinatra, a song which had been sung to her by her late husband.

The high school senior also remarked:

      “I respect my elders greatly. They have a great influence on my life.
      To be able to sit down and talk to them and learn from them and
      their experiences is a great thing.”

He gave me hope that there are others who feel like we do and the need to glean what we can from the older generation because they, too, will be gone someday. The same thing will happen to us so it is our responsibility to tell our stories and to thank our lucky stars that we are here to help others discover who they are! What a wonderful way to pass on life’s passion for knowing why we are here and who we will affect in our lifetime.