Have you ever wondered who your ancestors were? Where they lived? What they did for a living or what they accomplished in life? Perhaps you are a descendant of someone who played an important role in history, was a famous actor, musician or writer, or someone who gave their life by serving in the military for their country. For example, during the course of my research I discovered that some of my distant cousins include American filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, and George Washington, the first president of the United States.
Personally, I have been actively involved in researching the history of my family for over twenty years. It has been a very enlightening and wonderful experience. I have learned about the lives of many of my ancestors. Consider the life of Louis Jay Trompetter, my 2nd cousin 2 times removed.
Louis was born in Sioux City, Iowa on July 5, 1892. He was the son of David Trompetter, born in Holland, and Bertha Berlack, born in Florida. A few years after his birth, Louis and his family moved to Buffalo, New York and later Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Louis served overseas during World War 1 in France. He was honorably discharged on March 1, 1919. On August 28. 1919, he applied for a passport. According to various documents, he worked in the area of export/import and later the clothing industry. At one time, he was the Secretary-Treasurer of the International Export & Import Co., Inc. and specifically worked with the country of France.
In September 1919, Louis returned to France where he was reportedly only going to be for two months. However, I suspect that changed because on January 2, 1920, in Nantes, France, Louis married Rose Marcella Rosenbaum, a native of France. While I do not know for sure, I suspect that Louis may have met and fell in love with Rose while he was stationed in France during World War 1. Three weeks after getting married, Louis and Rose set sail for New York where they arrived on February 7, 1920. They appear to have remained in the United States until September 1920 when they returned to France.
On November 14, 1922 their daughter, Betty Trompetter, was born Nantes, France. Their second daughter, Fay Monique Janine Anny Trompetter, was born in Nantes, France on November 24, 1927. It appears they mainly lived in France and occasionally returned to the US.
In 1940, Germany invaded France. Sometime after that Rose Marcelle Rosenbaum Trompetter and her daughter Betty Trompetter were taken by the Germans and placed in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Sadly, they were killed in Auschwitz in July 1942.
Louis and his other daughter Fay appear to have avoided capture by the Germans and returned to the United States. I am not sure when this occurred, but it appears to have been done prior to the death of Rose and Betty. Documents show that Louis registered for the World War II draft on April 27, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eventually, in 1944
in the city of Philadelphia, Louis remarried. Coincidentally, his second wife was also named Rose. In 1972, at the age of 79, Louis passed away in Miami, Florida.
When I began to really study the genealogy of my family, resources were limited. Unlike today, where tons of resources for conducting genealogical research are easily accessible via the internet, when I first started that wasn’t so. I would have to visit libraries where I would have search for and review physical copies or images of genealogical and historic records. Thankfully, advances in technology have made researching one’s family history so much easier. Now, there are numerous resources online where you can access various records and in many cases view actual historic documents related to:
- Birth, Marriage, and Death,
- Military Service,
- Immigration, and
You can also view national and state census records, records containing prior addresses, newspaper articles, and many more. In addition, many individuals share their genealogical research online making it quicker and easier for you learn about your ancestors. Because of this, you might even have the privilege of making contact with a living relative you have never met. This happened to me earlier this year. I had the honor of making contact with Patti, my second cousin. Our common ancestor being, Louis Eliaz Cohen, who is our great grandfather.
Conducting genealogical research is a wonderful and rewarding experience. I would encourage everyone to find out about their ancestors. You never know what you may learn.
Coincidentally, today, October 2nd would have been my mother’s 73rd birthday. My mother, Saundra Ann (Ford) Bunch, was the one who first introduced me to genealogy. If not for her, I may have never done the work I have done to learn about the history of my family. I feel she still inspires me today to continue my research. Happy Birthday Mom! Rest inPeace!