02 August 2006

Zihlman Family Reunion

Leaving tonight for Texas to attend the Zihlman Family Reunion in Windthorst, Texas. Going by bus again, which I am dreading, but this time the route goes up to Memphis, then Little Rock and Oklahoma City, so it will be a change of scenery.

It was researching the Zihlman family that got me interested in family history. While in England, one of our teachers did a family tree of the Queen, and I remember correcting her on two points. British teachers don't like being corrected on British history. After that, I thought why not do my own family, so my mother helped me with the Zihlman's, the only extended family group we could consider ourselves members of. Her memory was incredible, spouting off name after name of one remote cousin after the other. Uncle Eddie was the family historian at that time, and he helped me add to it when we returned to the States.

The Zihlman reunion is held in the memory of Lukas Zihlman (1871-1941), who settled in Windthorst in 1893. He had eight sons and daughters, of which my grandmother was the youngest. She would say "Lucy was supposed to be the baby, but Eddie was a mistake, and I came along so Eddie could have someone to pick on." She was the last to pass away, but Lukas' grandchildren have still kept the traditional family gatherings going. One of my cousins developed an interest in family history, so this time around will be the first reunion in which actual research will be attempted. They managed to persuade the current owner of the old Zihlman farmhouse to allow some tours, and we plan to get some of the older grandchildren together and record some old family stories. A few weeks ago, I finished an 18 page history which we will add pictures to and hand out.

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