It's All In The Name and Memories Of The Family

By Pam Gurreri

For the past 6 years, I've been searching my family roots. Some have been easy where others are not. I'm very lucky to have two of my Grandparents still living. Oh, what stories I've been hearing about my ancestors.

With the help of my Mother and other family members, the gaps are filling in. The pictures and letters are coming out of the shoe boxes and faces are finally connecting with the names.

I've made countless trips to cemeteries, libraries, Historical Society, and any other place where I was told I could find information. Some of these names didn't mean much to me at the time. I only knew someplace or somehow they would all come together.

By now I had a few family names from both of my parents side. The Glattfelter name was the one I had the most information on. I was born and raised close to the county where this family settled after they came over from Switzerland. I've been to a few reunions with my Mother and Great Grandmother. At that time all they were to me was a place to go and have fun. I remember running around with the other kids my age. We participated in games such as cake walks, sack races, peanut scramble, balloon toss, tug of wars and all the ice cream one could eat. What fond memories as a child. Not a worry in the world.

Armed with all of the information, I extended my search to the Internet. There I found a few websites that became very helpful. The two I visit on a regular basis are and

After a few months and many hours of reading the message boards. I came across something that looked familiar. Somebody was inquiring about a family that I had. They gave a few names and dates. All of this connected with a letter that I had. I took a gamble and wrote to this person. A few days later she wrote back. It turned out that we were related. Two years have gone by and together we got to know each other on a personal level and we now have more people added to our trees. These trees will never be finished since the families keep growing with each new generation. As I'm getting older and my children are having children I hope that they will carrying on the legacy.

FAMILIES: Who are they? From the day we are born the process starts. We cry. A person who will most likely be the one to nurture and take care of you, picks us up so gently and holds you close to them. It seems to assure you that everything will be just fine.

You are then given a name to help set you apart from the rest of the people. The family that you will spend your growing years with can be large or small. There might be a mother, father, sister or brother. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews or even grandparents. Some family members will live in the same town as you, where others might live in another state, near or far. You will even have some that have passed away before you were even born. As you get older you start to understand how these people fit into your family.

The years go by, so many things in life happen. People will come and go, some young and some old, you just never know. Enjoy every moment you have with one another. Take a walk with somebody. Smell the roses. Every little action or event creates a big memory. Family members are here today, gone tomorrow.

One thing I've learned over all of these years is:
Material things can get lost, broken or even thrown away in the end. Just remember you will always have the family name and memories to pass on to the next generation. Get out there and start building the memories.

Pam Gurreri, PSG17PA@AOL.COM

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