Over Christmas break, my brother and I took a road trip to Amsterdam, New York. Both sides of my paternal grandfather's family settled there after coming to the states from Ukraine and Poland around 1900. When my grandfather died four years ago, I realized that we knew very little about him and his family. After three years of searching, I successfully contacted cousins of his that were still living in New York. I was determined to visit them.
The last day of our trip was December 21, 2012. The plan was to visit Long Island National Cemetery where my grandfather's father is buried. The hype about the world ending was hard to ignore while traveling into New York City to visit a cemetery, and the obscene amount of tolls and traffic made our nerves worse. But we couldn't have been happier to find our great-grandfather Theodore York buried next to his wife Helen Gertrude Zierak.
The trip to New York was the culmination of a few miraculous events, including finding my great-grandfather's baptismal record from Ukraine, finding my grandfather's cousins, and discovering that my great-great-grandfather went by both Elias and Alexander. After years of research I could fill this blog with stories -- and I'm just getting started.