My father, Frederick H. Gahimer, was the great-grandson of William Gahimer (William -> Conrad -> Carl -> Fred). After my father retired, he became very interested in his family history, and worked tirelessly to compile a rich record of our ancestors: their lives, their challenges, their sorrows, their triumphs, and their legacies. He also loved to tell us stories about our ancestors, and his enthusiasm inspired me to take an interest in genealogy. Like other genealogists, it meant much more to him than merely digging up information on our ancestors. He always said that genealogy research was more journey than destination. It never ends. With every generation back in time, the number of ancestors doubles from the generation before. And with every new generation being born, there was an ever growing set of descendants who were also interested in understanding their ancestors. It was like an endless jigsaw puzzle that he was working with many family members and friends.
Often, full of excitement, he would tell us about one of the new family members or friends he met through his genealogy research -- who they were and where they lived and some of their life stories. And he’d describe the pieces of information they shared and how that fit into the bigger picture. He enjoyed the social aspects of this hobby as much as filling in the puzzle. His genealogy work was all about the people, and making connections with those who have gone before us, and with those who are sharing our journey during our brief time on the Earth.
It was important to Dad to share the histories he compiled with others so they can benefit as well. I think about the Bible stories which recount the lives of our very distant ancestors so that we can learn from their lives, relate to their suffering, model their faith and strength, share in their joy and their happiness, become connected with those we wish we could have known and hope that someday we will meet in Heaven, and grow closer to God through the manifestation of His will in their lives, and the demonstration of His infinite love through their many blessings. Similarly Dad wanted to leave us a record of our more recent ancestors. Through his research he discovered a richness of life and character in many of our ancestors that had previously been obscured and reduced through the filter of time to mere names in Bible genealogies and public records.
By understanding our ancestors, we gain a better understanding of ourselves. And although we are separated by time, we share so many traits, desires, strengths, and weaknesses that we can feel comforted by this familiarity extending back for countless generations. Just as we’re all children of one Father, so too we belong to a large family of ancestors, and the genealogy record reminds us of the unbroken string of parents and children that leads all the way back to Adam.
In 2000, Dad was diagnosed with a debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s called Diffuse Lewy Bodies Disease with Parkinson’s Symptoms. His memory deteriorated rapidly until his health failed and he departed this Earth in April 2005 -- at which point he left us and joined his Maker, his parents, sister, grandparents, friends, and family...and his ancestors. I’ve no doubt that he’s with them in Heaven, swapping stories, filling in missing puzzle pieces, and continuing his genealogy research through first-hand interviews. And he’s discovering new family members and new friends.
Before his memory failed, he gave me all of his files, so I have become the caretaker of his research materials. Dad was extremely grateful for all of the tremendous genealogy help and information that he received from so many people. And so, like those who generously shared their information with him, it was his will that his materials be shared with anyone with an interest in our ancestors. This website was created to share the stories and information that Dad and others have compiled.
In addition to the information provided in this website, Dad has many more facts and photos in his files of people mentioned in these stories, as well as information on other people related to the people mentioned in these stories. If you’re looking for more information on any of these family lines, please contact me and I’d be glad to provide whatever we have.
I hope that you find these stories as engaging and inspiring as I have. And I hope we can continue working the jigsaw puzzle, filling in the pieces upward, and growing the circle of friends downward.
Through his research he discovered a richness of life and character in many of our ancestors that had previously been obscured and reduced through the filter of time to mere names in Bible genealogies and public records.