Thursday, July 23, 2020

My mission in family history research

My name is Doug Spoon. Growing up, I always figured with a name like that, I was the only Doug Spoon in the world. But since I started researching my family history in the late 1990s, coinciding with the advent of the internet, I now know there are at least four other Doug Spoons in the United States.

Simply put, my mission is constantly expanding.

My ever-growing collection of family photos, letters and other correspondence includes submissions from library collections, personal trips to North Carolina, and contact with many distant cousin Spoons I discovered on Facebook. This research resulted in the first publication of my Spoon family history book in 2001, followed by a second edition in 2003. I will make individual chapters of this book available via links on the Spoon Genealogy home page as well as on my Spoon Genealogy Content blog – the landing page for history articles from my book and from others.

As interesting as the facts uncovered for the first edition of my book were, it soon became evident that much of the story was still untold. The motivation to add to an already fascinating story came on a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. There, in 450-year-old church documents written in German, was the answer I’d been looking for – the origin of the Spoon family, which so many of us had only been guessing at for all these years.

For one thing, I learned that the original surname was not Spoon, but Loffel, or Löffler. I learned much about the family’s hometown in southern Germany and its rich history. This helped me confirm a relationship to the family members who first traveled to America, enabling the family history to reach back many more generations than the first edition of the book did.

As a result, by the second edition we had the account of a family that has been traced back to the 1500s and is linked generation by generation directly to my son, Darren Wesley Spoon, the last male of this line with the Spoon surname. My research in recent years has uncovered much more information, but my full-time job as a newspaper editor didn’t allow me sufficient time to add to my story. Now, in retirement, I have dedicated much of my time to adding to the family tree records and telling the story of the many interesting ancestors who came before me.

I hope you can find a connection to your ancestors within these records and will be willing to contribute to them to help others who are conducting the same research. Together, we will learn much about what makes us the people we are.

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