Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I know it has been a while since my last post. I have been having a hard time trying to find anymore information on my family. I do not know where else to look. I can not find my great-grandfather Peter's grave. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thoughts on Being Buried

Some of you may never think about what you want to happen to your body when you die. I know I haven't, but my parents have. They are both going to be cremated. So now you may be wondering what will I do about marking their burial spot. Well, we have a family plot that my great-grandparents bought. There is enough room left in the plot for my parents, my brother and my self if we are all cremated. When the time comes I will put a grave marker down even if it is not where they lay, just to show that they lived. I think more families should put down a marker down for the decease so that their future children may have a chance to visit.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Losing a Baby

The saddest thing I have encountered throught out my journey is seeing the graves of babies. Majority of the babies I saw did not even make it a week, or a day. It must have been terrible for the poor mothers. I am just glad that did not happened to my family, at least as far as I know. Some of the babies made it to a month. Even seeing the children graves was sad. They were so young and had the whole world ahead of them, but were unable to have their chance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lost Cemetery Plot

I have come to the conclusion that I will never find my great-grandfather Peter Makosiej. I have been to the Princeton, Sterling, and Clinton Town Halls to see if they could find the record of Peter, but unfortunately I have had no luck. My mom thinks that maybe they did not have a lot of money and ended up getting buried somewhere without a grave marker.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ellis Island

Now that I know Agnes' last name I continued on with my research. I went to Ellisisland.org, it is a free site. Since I have the year if birth for her I got an accurate record for my great-grandmother. Her ethnicity is galicy. She is originally from Wieozazrice, Germany. Agnes came over on the Friedrich der Grosse, a steamship from Germany. She arrived August 31, 1901 at the age of 21 and unmarried.

The image above is a postcard of the steamship that my great-grandmother travelled on.

(Image courtesy of http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=frigr)

I am now wondering if I am trully Polish like my father is saying were are. There is still my great-grandfather Peter to search for, but so far I am coming up with nothing. Hopefully, the Princeton Town Hall will be able to help me find the grave marker of Peter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grave Searching

I do not know why I did not think of doing this sooner. I went to the Parker Cemetery in Princeton. I knew that our family plot was there and that my aunt, uncle, grammy and grampy were buried there. However, I did not know that my great-grandmother Agnes was buried there. Unfortunately, her husband was not buried there, but I do have more gravesites in Princeton that I can search. I now have her maiden name and will be able to do further search. I have confirmed that her husband was Peter and not Michael. So the search continues.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I know I posted in one of my earlier posts that both my great-grandfathers had the same first name. I have now found something else that shows that his name was really Peter. The information about the children, wife, birth place, death, and place living are all the same. Curious!?! My search shall continue.


I have yet been able to get past my great-grandparents. I am beginning to wonder if maybe they were orphans when they left Austria and Poland. I really hope that is not the case with my ancestors because then I will probably find nothing more than what I have found. It does sound kind of romantic that to orphans found each other and married. They most likely did not marry for love, but you never know stranger things have happened to my family.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Town Records

Well, I spent most of the night searching through town records in Princeton and Sterling. Trying to find some hint of my family and found nothing so far, again. If you go to Footnote.com you can search for your family by town. It tells you where they came from and where their parents came from. I just wish I could find mine through this. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Finding out who my family is is much harder than I thought it would be. I got as far as my great grandparents on both sides I can't find out anything more. It is like their parent's didn't exist at all. My dad is of no help at this point because he never bothered to ask questions about his family, which is not hard to believe at all. He is not at all into knowing who his family is. I just hope my cousin Teresa will have a better idea of who my ancestors are. Wish me luck I will be needing it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Still Struggling

Thank you for the suggestion. It has helped me a little with narrowing down my searches on ancestry.com. I am definitely going to have to tap into the information my cousins have and hopefully she will be able to give me a lead.

I did find out that my ancestors were Slavic and metal workers. My ancestors may have lived in central or south Asia, and migrated further as time progressed. Around 20,000 years ago, during the final Ice Age, sheets of ice extended to cover the maximum amount of earth they would ever occupy. A combination of nomadic lifestyle and retreat of the ice shelf would have allowed the R1a1 haplogroup to proliferate on the Eurasian Steppes, the stretch of land between present day Hungary and Mongolia. Today the R1a1 haplogroup can be found in high frequencies among groups living in the Ukraine, Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland. Haplogroup R1a1 is also found at rates of 50% in Ashkenazi Jewish populations, who ultimately settled in the Rhineland, now Germany, and have a deep and detailed contemporary history.

The Metal Workers may have been part of the Kurgan population who migrated during the Copper Age, when metal tools first evolved. The Kurgan people lived in northern Europe and are considered by some population geneticists to be the single ancestral pool from which all Indo-Europeans descended. The earliest sites associated with the Kurgan people are found in the Ukraine and in southern Russia and are known for their distinct burial mounds, which reveal much about the progress of the culture. The Kurgans kept cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. Horses probably played a significant role in Kurgan life and may have been key players in the dispersion of haplogroup R1a. Wheeled wagons have been found at sites associated with the Kurgan people and were probably driven by oxen or horses. The Krugan Metal Workers most likely cultivated the flat grasslands near wooded areas and used hammer-hoes fashioned from elk antlers for this task. Copper knives and daggers have also been found in the Kurgan settlements, as witness to the time period.

A relatively recent migration of Slavic peoples occurred in the Early Middle Ages, around the 5th century AD. These migrations could have been prompted by a Hun invasion or as a response to population growth. How much this event, the Kurgan migratory settlements and the retreat of the ice shelf contributed to the movement of the R1a haplogroup is not known. It is possible that a blend of all three events led to the haplogroup dispersal and growth among present-day populations.

(Information above is provided by Ancestry.com thanks to a DNA test that I had my father do.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pulling My Hair Out!!!

Totally and completely fustrated! Without the correct spelling of either great grandparent's last name I have not been able to find any more information. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I could look? Or how to find information on people from another country? Any suggestions would be wonderful.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who Knew?

The house I live in, I have lived in for about 8 years now, it belonged to my great-grandmother Agnes. All this time I did not know that I had a picture of her hanging on my wall. This is her, the picture was taken Sept 12, 1937. I am guessing she is about 50 in this picture if not older. I am still trying to find out where she came from, it is believed that she was from Poland, and I do not know how long she lived or how many kids she had. Wish me luck in my search.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Misspelt or Not?

I started searching for my family on Ancestory.com. I found my grandmother's mother and father, Agnes and Michael. I am not sure of the spelling of their last name though. It is either Makosiey or Makosiej. I found my grandmother's obituary and the spelling of her last name was Makosiej. The spelling on Ancestory.com is Makosiey. It could be both spellings. When my great-grandparent's came over they were probably misunderstood when they said their last name. In some countries, the j sounds like y. I am hoping to find the correct spelling soon. If anyone has any suggestions on where else I should look that would be great. I am also in the process of getting both of my grandparent's birth certificates, hoping that will shed some light on everything.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Grandfather Kristoff

This is my Grampy K. He died in 1985, I was only 3 at the time. Unfortunately for me I do not remember him at all. I do have pictures of us together, but that is all. I wish I had more time with him like I did with my Grampy M. What I have heard about him was that he was a difficult man to live with and towards the end he had developed Alzheimer's Disease.

R.I.P Grampy K

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grandmother Kristoff

This is a picture of the world's greatest grandmother. My Grammy K as I used to call her. She was my favorite mainly because she lived five minutes from me and I could just walk up to visit. No matter what I wanted to do she would play with me, she always made time for me. My brother and I used to make leaf tacos for her will all different types of grasses that she had in the yard. Each one would be a different ingredient. She was taken away from me way too early, and I miss her terribly.

R.I.P. Katherine Kristoff Feb 1994 (kisses to the sky)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grandparents Kristoff

I found out that my Grammy and Grampy K did not marry for love. That makes me sad because I love my grammy and I wish she had married for love. They got married to save her family home, the home I currently live in. This house has been in our family since 1885 when my great grandparents come over from the "old world", which I still do not know where that is. I never knew my Grampy K, he died when I was two, but I heard he was a hard man to love and live with.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Well, I finally found out that I am a quarter Austrian. That's better than saying my family is from the "Old World." I am not too sure if I would rather not know I was Austrian. Once I do more research on the country maybe I will love it better. All I can think of, when I think of Austria, is that man who locked his daughter in the basement and forced himself on her. He ended up having a second family with her. Hearing that story does not make me proud to be Austrian, I hope that there are more positive things that come from there.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Journey to the Past

Have you ever wondered where your family came from? Well, I have. All my father knows is that my great-grandparents were from the "Old World," nothing clearer than that. "Old World" could mean a number of countries: Poland, Italy, Russia, or Lithuania. This is my journey on finding out just who my ancestors trully are. Any suggestions you have on finding my why there please leave a comment.