by Thomas L. Bowersox
The Bauersachs Genealogical Society was formed in 1975 by Thomas L. Bowersox of Des Plaines, Illinois, out of an interest in learning more about the family history of the name Bowersox. An only child of Ohio born parents, Tom knew only that his grandfather had spoken often about relatives who lived in a place called Snyder County, Pennsylvania. He decided that perhaps the best way to find out more about the family tree would be to ask others with the same name what they knew since his father and grandparents were no longer living. Living near O'Hare Airport in Chicago, he decided to look up all of the Bowersox listings he could find in the city telephone directories from all over the world located there. He would then sit down and write a letter to see what others might know about their lines of genealogy. Somewhat to his surprise, he found that others also shared the same interest and they began to share and collect family information from one another. That all started in 1975.
The growth of interest in the Bowersox or Bauersachs (the original spelling from Germany) name just grew and grew across the country and around the world. So much information was sent in that Tom and his wife, Jan, compiled three separate loose leaf binders full of data and facts about the family as far back as 1665. Because of the high interest by so many others with the same and similar spelling of the name, the data was typed up and printed so that it could be sent to anyone who wanted it. Well, by late 1975, so many new friends and acquaintances had been made that someone suggested that maybe we should have a family reunion. With the bicentennial coming up the next year, it seemed an ideal time to get together in one of the very largest concentrated areas of Bowersox families...Snyder County, Pennsylvania. The first reunion of its kind ever held in the site of the original homesteads of several early ancestors drew 168 people from as far away as Hawaii.
Interest in sharing family data and collecting significant bits of historical information affecting the Bauersachs family has continued to grow larger and larger. In 1978, the next family reunion was held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, another key area of our family settlers. One hundred thirty-five (135) people attended. In 1980, the International Bauersachs family reunion was held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on July 12.
In 1981, we [began] planning a trip to the homeland of West Germany where many [spent] ten days visiting with Bauersachs families still living in Germany as well as touring around the sites and home cities of many early ancestors as well as present day relatives.
The 1982 International Bauersachs Reunion [was held] back in Snyder County, Pennsylvania, on July 2nd at the Holiday Inn in Selinsgrove, Pa.
By 1977, we had decided that with a mailing list of over 700 people and interest in our family history growing steadily, maybe we should give ourselves a name, so we decided to form the Bauersachs Genealogical Society. Still not-for-profit but continuing to share information about our great heritage, which goes back eleven generations here in the United States, alone, the original founders, Tom and Jan Bowersox continue to work as the central collecting point of information about and on the family. Over 1100 Bauersachs descendants and relatives in the various spelling groups are now listed in a Bauersachs Family Directory. We have found a great deal of information about which we keep volumes of records, but we are always looking for more! There are "lost lines," which are groups of family members who cannot be accurately tied to the main family tree because of missing links that we are hoping will turn up thru the information that will be received from a new contact in the family. So, we are welcoming any and all information that can be sent to us showing names of ancestors, dates and places of birth, marriages, deaths, and how one is related to another.
This is not a commercial venture. There are no employees. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, all of which is strictly volunteer. We have family members who give of their time to help promote our little family group and its activities because we are all very interested in every single Bauersachs descendant. Naturally, we have a lot of expenses in printing of materials, postage, and other costs that grow as we grow. We have accepted donations from individuals who want to make them, however, we DO NOT REQUIRE THAT ANYONE PAY TO BELONG TO THIS ORGANIZATION. We have annual dues for those who care to pay in return for a membership card, Newsletter subscription, an international family directory, and photos. Reunions are held every odd year in Germany and every even year in the United States. But, you do not have to pay if you can't and don't want to. Our financial support just comes from those on a voluntary basis.
If you are interested in more information or think you might be able to provide
your own family historical information in exchange for what we can share with you,
please write, call, or contact the
Bauersachs Genealogical Society (A Private Family Organization) via E-mail email@example.com
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