Picture 225The Family Grove is inspired by the photo in the banner of this site of my great-great grandmother celebrating an anniversary of her arrival in California in her grove. There are so many family ties to celebrate and I finally think that I have the way to do it on this blog.

Me as an InfantIn 1966, I was born Cynthia Anne Henke and was relinquished for adoption and became Denise Kristina Fuller. When I was 27 years old, with my parents’ urging, I seached for my biological biological relatives and found them. They generously shared the genealogy information I longed for. Now, I am doubly blessed and burdened with all kinds of tree branches to follow.

My familyI want to thank my father, Harold Fuller, and my late mother, Colette for their loving support and their encouragement. I love them so much and I miss my mother so much. Thanks so much for sharing your stories.

I would love to thank my birthfather, Dan Henke, and my birthmother Elgia. They started me on this journey 40 years ago and were so welcoming to me when I found them.

slide0040_image080I would like to acknowledge a lot of help over the years to obtain this information. I want to thank my wonderful sister, Julia, who handed me all sorts of genealogical charts almost immediately. I was able to take that information she gleened from real footwork and do my magic on the Internet.

phylliscloseThere is a dear woman, the late Phyllis Fridley Tuma, who is my grandunt. As soon as we met, she was asking for my birth information, so she could add me to the family tree — which touched me. She was a wealth of information when it came to the family stories. I was so very fortunate to be able to talk with her and share genealogy with her. This site gets its spark because of her. I also treasure the input from her daughter, Sharon Christainsen, and her son Philip Tuma.

img269Then there are my internet cousins and fellow researchers who have helped me over the years with photos and materials. Yvonne Mancini, provided me with family photos from the 1870s and I remain eternally at her debt. Thanks also to Pricilla A. Boswell, for all her help with the Blackburn, Drew, Woolf connections. Thanks also to Deborah Sweet, Donna Redden, David Lantz, the folks at the Yoder Newsletter, and so many others. I am hoping that this will be the final location to record all of our family ties.

img268I also would like to thank all the historians, authors, reporters, and reference librarians who have provided me with information about my ancestors.

Why do I do this? First to honor the lives that contributed to who I am and who I love. I also do this for future generations, so they can take pleasure in their origins. I am doing this for my son, Lewis, my neices Laney and Ashley, nephew, Michael, and the rest the generation after me.