As someone who has a full-time job, a house and marital obligations, often I have to resort to lazy genealogy which amounts to plugging names and places into Google and seeing what comes up. As Google continues to add websites, digital books and more, these results change over time and are becoming more useful.
While I was googling for Wasungen–the hometown in Germany of my 2nd GGF Theodore Koch–I didn’t find anything on him, or his parents and Wasungen. So I turned to simply searching for Wasungen and found results for a website created by a certain family with historic roots in Wasungen and the surrounding area. They had done lots and lots of research, held a reunion and connected with people domestically and in Germany. So as a “shot in the dark” I emailed the person listed as the contact on the site. He replied.
It is so nice when someone who doesn’t know me, and in this case doesn’t even have a distant relation, responds to an email out of the blue about family history. Scott not only emailed me back, but explained so much about the family history project he and others with the same surname had undertaken. And he provided me with three people to contact: a professional genealogist (USA), an amateur family history buff (Germany) and the historian for Wasungen, Germany.
I am holding out on contacting the genealogist simply because there will be fees and hourly rates involved. However, I have already reached out to the other two, receiving a prompt response from one, in which he referenced the other.
thanks for the message. I speak with Mrs. Ute Gerlach . She is in the History-Club the expert on genealogy. We search in the church records and contact you again.
We have 20 people named Koch, who have emigrated. Today there are also same “Koch” in Wasungen. Maybe we can find the descendants of “your Koch”!
In addition to the above message, he included five photos of Wasungen. Such kindness!
Of course every time my phone indicates a new email, I’m hoping its the next response from these friendly folks in Germany who are willing to dig through old church records for information on my ancestors. Maybe they will find something, maybe they won’t, but it is inspiring to know that people are willing to help strangers connect the dots without a thought about charging a fee.
More to come as they dig!