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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Family Reunions Then and Now Using

Grandma's Family Picnics

If my grandmother, Florence Schwemm Pahlke, was alive she would be the family genealogist. Grandma was the center of our family. All family dinners, holidays and birthdays were coordinated and hosted by her.

Every summer there was a Schwemm Family Picnic. I do not know if Grandma organized it on her own, but she definitely seemed in charge. It was the one time of the year when her children's families and her brothers' families would get to together. I was surprised, later in life, to find out that Uncle Emil and Aunt Mae were not my uncle and aunt, but Grandma's cousins!

The only evidence I have of these picnics are six poloroid photos my mom and dad took at one picnic. The first picture is of Aunt Mabel, Grandma, cousin Eddie and cousin Butch. In the second picture we have Grandpa in the middle and I'm leaning against Uncle Emil.

Schwemm Family Reunion -

Remembering how much Grandma loved family gatherings I wanted to honor her memory, but how?

Using FindaGrave I was able to bring grandma's family together even though they are buried all around the state of Illinois. I have created memorials for her parents, grandparents and siblings. Once done I was able to 'connect' them so they are all accessible from their father Fred Schwemm's memorial.

Fred Schwemm

Fred Schwemm's parents were Joseph and Julia Emme Schwemm. He was married twice, first to Alice Pierce then after her death to Emma Rethmeier (my great grandmother) and had a total of seven children. I now have a family tree created on Fred's memorial page that other relatives and researchers can access.

What is nice is that these are live links that will take the user to their memorials. If I click on Fred's father Joseph Schwemm I bring up his memorial page and all of Fred's siblings!

While it may not be a family reunion or picnic like grandma had, it is a way to connect her family and remember those summer days at Langendorf Park in Barrington.

Take Care,
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