52 Ancestors: #1 George Rudolph Nahodil

 

I was reading through my normal blogs yesterday when something caught my eye…”52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”.  So I headed over to Amy Johnson Crow’s site at http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/posts/challenge-52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/ to read more about her challenge for 2014.  One blog post for a specific ancestor each week… I should be able to swing once a week even with the upcoming move.

 

Since my Pop was always my favorite, it seems fitting that he should be my number 1 post.  My grandfather, George Rudolph Nahodil, was an amazing man.  He was a family man.  He was a hard working man.  He was a caring man.  He was a funny man.

 

Rudy, as George was known by his entire life, had a great sense of humor.  I imagine it must have started as a young boy as he listed his occupation as an “Actor” on his World War II enlistment record in 1942 when he was just 19 years of age (or so he claimed); Rudy’s actual occupation was as a laborer in the anthracite coal mines of central Pennsylvania.

George Rudolph Nahodil - a sampling of the ears

George Rudolph Nahodil – a sampling of the ears

The Nahodil family was blessed with big, beautiful (uh, did I really just say that?) ears.  The ears of the earlier generations were so distinctive that you could pick a Nahodil our in a crowd without even knowing him.  While my actor grandfather was overseas in the military, he must have spent his downtime perfecting his signature move known as the ear wiggle.  He loved to perform this move for us kids, especially when other adults were around but not looking…we broke out in giggle fits every time.  We all wanted to learn this skill and spent a great deal of time practicing but nobody has ever done it as well as Rudy; I’ll turn 40 next week and still catch myself “practicing”.

 

Rudy was the consummate joker and all people and places were fair game.  Dragging his leg behind him as a zombie might was not uncommon while out shopping with the kids and other adults.  This was hysterical when I was a child but I now I cannot help but think of how mortified his wife must have been…still makes me chuckle.

Rudy - This was not Halloween.

Just another day in the Nahodil home.

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1 year anniversary – recap and look ahead to 2014

 

I can’t believe it has been one year since I first posted to this blog.  After reading other genealogy blogs for a few years I thought that this would be a nice and easy way to possible connect with other relatives.  I figured that this would be a great way to keep my ancestors alive while making the information freely available to others and I hoped to connect with new cousins.  Was I sadly mistaken…I have come to accept that I am not a writer nor a story-teller.  In my quest to push on, I found that it took me many hours to write each post.  A quarter of the way through 2013 I made the decision to move to the area from which my ancestors’ came.  The long distance house search and frequent trips upstate lead to many things being put on the back burner, that included this site.  I am happy to say I have found a house and plan to make the move in a couple of months, provided that no issues pop up.

 

While writing does not come naturally or easy for me, I plan to continue this blog in 2014.  I have set a more realistic goal for myself  to write once a week about a relative who has an anniversary that week.  I really enjoyed the theme of Ancestor’s Anniversaries that I did last year and plan to take that approach in the coming year.

 

Back in June I received the AncestryDNA results for myself and an older Wetzel cousin.  I continue to be amazed at how many people I share DNA with.  Unfortunately, many of my closer connections do not have a public tree or their tree is lacking enough information to determine how we may be related.  I have contacted a few “cousins” but this was one of those areas that I slacked on last year.  I think contacting one DNA match a month is an achievable goal of 2014.

 

After receiving my AncestryDNA results I was contacted by a fairly close “cousin” who ask how we were related.  As soon as I looked at his tree I knew that the connection was through my paternal side which I knew nothing about.  Through 14 years of researching my family tree, my paternal side remained blank.  After receiving this inquiry, I entered the name of my father and his parents.  Long story short…it appears that I have an Aunt out there who has a very well developed family tree on Ancestry.com and has included many pictures.  Even though I never knew them, it is nice to see what my ancestors looked like.

 

2013 was a great year in that I met or connected with so many great people, many of these connections came as an unexpected surprise.  In the beginning of the years I was contacted by a trio of Lynn descendants who were wonderful to connect with and meet as we pooled our information and resources to pass on our family history.  After sending emails back and forth for the previous year, I had the pleasure to speak with Thelma (Strausser) Rothman’s granddaughter on the phone.  October brought the surprise of the year in the form of a message from Rose Nahodil’s grandson, who is the son of her eldest daughter.  Though it was slightly saddening to find that Rose left her young daughters, it was wonderful to find that they are alive and well and have had good lives.  November was another fabulous month as I visited my 3rd cousin and met her family.  This is a group that I am related through two different branches of my tree as they are descended from both my Nahodil and Strausser lines.  Once again, I found myself surrounded by a great group of people who were thoughtful in sharing their stories and pictures.

 

If you run across my site, please feel free to leave a comment to say hi or anything else you like.  I love meeting cousins and hope to meet many more once I move where a majority of them live or have lived.