Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another member of our community: Meet Eowyn.
Eowyn has been a member since April of 2012. She is one of our Team Members; she’s the team manager. She also leads our Adoption Angels and LDS projects and participates in the Connection Combat challenge.
Surnames you are researching?
Locations you are researching?
Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, Ottawa Canada, Prussia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
When I was about 14, my mom became a Family History Consultant at a local LDS Family History Library. During the summer, I tagged along with her, and before long found myself engrossed in the pages of handwritten pedigree charts and family group sheets my grandfather (Dad’s dad) had spent years putting together. I was fascinated by the stories and how everything was pieced together. I dabbled in it off and on over the years but in 2008 jumped into genealogy completely and have turned it into much more. Genealogy – it’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle! (Okay, some might call it an obsession, I call it a lifestyle )
Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?
Can I just say all of them? Because that’s really how I feel. I love them all. Not just my own ancestors even. I love people so every time I learn about a new person then they are my favorite for that brief space of time. But having said that….. if I had to pick just one, it would probably be my 8th great grandfather, Philip Babb. He is a documented ghost! I think that’s awesome. Word on the street is he worked as a butcher but also ran around with pirates. He had this huge hoard of gold that he kept hidden away at Babb’s Cove off the coast of Maine. After his death, visitors to the cove reported being chased away by a crazed looking ghost wearing a bloody apron and wielding a giant butcher’s knife. One book said, “Many have encountered the heinous spirit who wields a ghostly knife in their faces. Apparently he was so wicked and despicable in life, he cannot seem to let his attributes rest in death.”
Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down.
That would be my biological father’s parents. Since I’m adopted, I’ve not had much luck in being able to find that information. I was blessed to meet my biological mother about ten years ago and have been able to research much of her family. But anything beyond bio father Carlos is a mystery. Also, the Langholff line stops about 1790 in Prussia. Peter Langholff’s wife came over to America with all the children but Peter stayed behind and apparently died at war. We’ve never been able to get beyond Peter and his wife Charlotte (Her surname is Schmidt, yeah). To do that would be fantastic!
Update: Since I first answered these questions, I’ve had a great breakthrough in my biological father’s line! Through DNA testing I connected just last week with an aunt – my biological father’s sister! She was separated from her parents and most of her siblings at a young age and didn’t remember too much about her family, however, she remembered just enough that I’ve been able to start piecing together that side of my family. It’s been very exciting!
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
Well, my name is Eowyn Katherina. My dad was an English major and hence, I am named for two women from literature. (Two of the most stubborn women, by the way, and he wonders why I am the way I am?) Anyway, Eowyn is a character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Katherina is a character from William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. I guess that because I feel such a close connection to the two characters, the authors have become family, so to find an actual link to them would tickle me immensely.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
I love to read, I have ever since I was a little kid. I tend towards histories, sci-fi and fantasy. I love roadtrips! I’m perfectly happy to hop in a car, grab a map, pick a direction and go. I like discovering hidden away places. I love hiking and being outdoors. Visiting museums and historical sites is also something I do for fun as well as cemetery hopping (I guess these aren’t all outside of genealogy). I also enjoy writing, good conversations with friends and doing volunteer work that benefits veterans and/or the elderly.
How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?
I joined WikiTree in April 2012. In the interest of full disclosure, I signed up for the site, entered my own information and then stared at the screen. I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t get it. It was almost a year before I signed into WikiTree again. This time, there’d been some improvements made, there were projects going on, people had badges, there was a forum, members were collaborating and for some reason, I suddenly got it! I had an “A-ha!” moment. From then on, I’ve continued to be amazed at what a wonderful site and community WikiTree is and feel so blessed to have such an integral part in it.
What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?
I love the concept of one, single worldwide tree and with that comes my favorite things about WikiTree: the community and the collaboration. I love being able to work with others to improve the profiles of our ancestors by adding stories, narratives, pictures and sources. I love the spirit of cooperation and kindness that WikiTree fosters! Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think WikiTree has the best community of members you could find. I’ve met and worked with some truly outstanding people.
The one thing I don’t love is when other people don’t “get” WikiTree. Which I completely get why they might not get it, because as I said before there was a time when I didn’t get it. But then I got it. And now I want everyone else to get it too!
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
Stick with it! Wait for your “A-ha!” moment. WikiTree is different than most other genealogy sites you might have participated on. We’re not a stop-and-drop for GEDCOMs, the idea of WikiTree is to become an active contributor to the site. There are many ways to find help and answers to questions you might have so I’d encourage new folks to seek them out. We have mentors, a Genealogist-2-Genealogist Forum, help pages and other members who are always willing to help. It can be frustrating at first for some, but if you keep with it, I promise you will come to love WikiTree! (And if not, you can have a full refund.)
If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?
Everybody is a somebody to someone. Everyone has a story. Don’t let them be lost! Be their voice and let them live on through you.