Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Trip is On

Hey! Hi there blog followers! This is the initial post in the blog Bruce and I will maintain throughout our trip around the Midwest to visit our relatives (Mencers and Nickersons mostly) and research and catalog our genealogy!

Beginning Saturday, June 27th., we leave Muskegon via the Cross Lake Ferry to Wisconsin!

We invite you to follow us, comment, criticize, encourage and anything else you think would help us complete our quest (which incidently is sub titled "Wild Hogs Too")


  1. When I was 12 years old I came home from school and told my dad that my buddy Dave Smith had told me that his ancestors had come over on the Mayflower.

    My dad replied, "Boy, when your friends tell you their ancestors came over on the Mayflower, you tell them yours were here to meet them."

    Forty years later I am still trying to prove that fact.

    Join us as we begin our Ancestry Trek to discover more information, dig up more facts, photograph more historical sites relating to our family and along the way we will be meeting with some living relatives that we have never met before.

    Follow these two old guys as we go wandering across the midwest US of A asking people "Are you my cousin?"

  2. What a worthy pursuit! I am cheering for you both and praying for safe travels. Enjoy the journey...Kristin

  3. OK...Going back to the story about the American Indian heritage. As interesting as that story was to me it was actually 20 years later that I decided to do anything about it. It was not just the story of my American Indian ancestors but an inspiration from my wife Diane.

    Early in our marriage she had shown me her family tree that she had put together when she was in school. I was amazed. First because she knew the names of not just her grandparents, but great grandparents as well. Secondly, because she had more than just names. She had birth dates, death dates, spouses, children, cities and in some case countries that these folks lived in. And stories...real, fact filled stories like her grandfather who came to America by himself and then went back to Italy to bring his wife to America to start a family.

    I was blown away by the details. I was also very jealous.

  4. Hi to all who may be following. Today I arrived in Muskegon, Michigan and tomorrow we leave to meet our cousin Don Nickerson in Wisconsin...

    I was thinking about what I wrote earlier this week about the detail that I had found in my wife's family tree. That is what motivated me to start genealogy research in the first place. She knew all these people and facts and stories about them and I knew...well, next to nothing.

    I knew my paternal grandparents were named William Franklin Mencer and Anna Pearl Wells. I knew there children's names. I knew nothing about either one of their parents.

    I knew my maternal grandparents were named Archie Curtis Nickerson and Catherine Taylor. I knew some of their children's names. I knew that Archie's dad was Nehemiah Nickerson.

    That was pretty much it.

    I know a whole lot more and I won't bore you now with the details but I did learn some interesting things that even my parents didn't tell me. For instance, my maternal grandfather was named Archie Curtis Nickerson, but all his life he was known as Curtis. His wife, my grandmother, according to my mom was Catherine Taylor. Actually her name was Ellen. Ellen Catherine Taylor.

    I found out that my paternal grandfather had been married once before he married my grandmother and that his wife abandoned him. I learned that my father had been married before he married my mom. Had a son named Earl Raymond Mencer, Jr, who died less than a month after his first birthday.

    I have learned a lot and tomorrow we start an adventure to hopefully find out even more. I will post tomorrow some of the things we hope to discover or verify.

  5. WOW! What a great first day. We left at 10:15 from Muskegon, Michigan aboard the Lake Express Ferry to cross Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. First time I have ever been on a ferry that traveled that far, that fast. Cruising speed was 35 mph, which is fast on water. It was a beautiful sunny day and a very enjoyable trip. The best part of this day though was yet to come.

    My brother and I had the opportunity to meet a cousin of ours, Don Nickerson. He and his lovely wife Barb drove an hour and a half to come to Milwaukee to meet relatives they had never met before. What a wonderful, friendly couple they are. We had lunch (thanks again you two!) and talked about family and shared relations, stories about what we have learned while studying genealogy and just had a great time. We traded some information and took some pictures and just had a tremendous afternoon.

    Don's great grandfather James Lewis Nickerson was the younger brother of my great grandfather Nehemiah Nickerson.

    Then we drove the 4 1/2 hours to Fort Wayne, IN where we checked in to the hotel, had dinner and talked with our cousin Shirley Mencer. We are invited to her and her husband Bob's house tomorrow for a cook out with them and an older cousin Louis Mencer.

  6. Sounds like this is an endeavor that is paying off more than you may have thought! Terrific! I know that Curt is enjoying his time immensely! Thanks for taking him along, Bruce. He sounds thrilled to be traveling with you. I'm very happy that the two of you are having such fun.