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People come to learn about their family history for many reasons: curiosity, health, old family stories, who they resemble, and a myriad other reasons. My story is a combination of those.

I grew up an hour from Chicago, Illinois. My father and his family were locals. My mother and her family moved to Illinois from Michigan when she was a grade-schooler.

As a child, I was fortunate to know all of my grandparents and three of my great-grandparents. In fact, Michigan was always my summer birthday destination to my great-grandparent's house. I didn't know then how important Michigan would become in my own family history journey.

As a teen, I discovered the little bag of old "goodies" my mother kept stored in a cabinet. I kept my discovery of the trove a secret but eventually wanted to know what it was and why we had it. The bag contained a well-worn large leather wallet, weathered receipts for hay and farm merchandise, an herb recipe, and some old names and dates. My mother only occasionally let me look at them but I was hooked!

~ Sally

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Do you have Danish or German ancestry? Check out what we know of my husband's family.