Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - WDYTYA - John Eugene Roos

This is my first time participating in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  The mission:

1) Pretend that you are one of the subjects on the Who Do You Think You Are? show on NBC TV.
2) Which of your ancestors (maximum of two) would be featured on your hour-long show? What stories would be told, and what places would you visit?
3) Tell us about it on your own blog, in comments to this blog post, or in a Note or Comment on Facebook.

My great grandfather John Eugene Roos would be the subject  of my WDYTYA episode.  Eugene was born in February 1858, allegedly, in the Alsace region of France.  We know from family photos and letters that he had siblings and other family members in the Colmar area so I would begin there hoping to locate family records.
Since Eugene came to America as a child and was taken to live with sisters in St. Louis, that would be my next stop.  I would like to visit some of their homes and the cemeteries where they are buried. 
Next as a young man, Eugene went to live in Naperville, Illinois which is there he was living for the 1880 census and where he obtained his US citizenship that same year.  As the story goes, he attended Northwestern University for a time.  Whether or not he graduated is unknown.  So that is something I would love to look into. 
In 1885, Eugene supposedly went back to St. Louis for a time and moved to Los Angeles around 1887.  The family story is that he owned a bakery in what is now downtown LA on some really prime real estate.  Family members have for years pointed out that had he stayed there, we would now all be rich!  Eugene definitely was a baker but I have yet to find any evidence that he actually owned a bakery.  I like to point out to family members that had Eugene stayed in LA, none of us would be around to discuss this bakery story because grandpa never would have met grandma! Anyway, this is an intriguing story that I have always wanted to get to the bottom of.
While living in Los Angeles, Eugene met and married Eugenie Georger.  They were married in June of 1893.  Their first 3 children were born in Los Angeles before they moved to Cheney, Washington to open a bakery in the young town.  It was here that the family spent the rest of their lives and it is this town that would be my last stop.  Since it has been many years since I've been to Cheney, I would like to see the homes where various family members lived, visit the Cheney Historical Museum where there is an exhibit regarding the Cheney Bakery and visit the graves of the various Roos family members at Riverside Memorial Park in Spokane.  Finally, I would want to meet face to face, and take her to lunch, a lady who has been helping me with my Roos and Georger families in Cheney for a number of years. Barb Curtis has been sending me little newspaper tidbits for probably 10 years now.  Maybe longer.  Genealogists are such wonderful people!
So that's my WDYTYA adventure and after watching the real show last night, I believe my episode or any other genealogist's episode would be every bit as exciting as Sarah Jessica Parker's.

Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum


  1. Small world, thanks for sharing. My great-grandfather Smith (Schmitt) (Schmidt) was born in 1829 "in the Alsace region of France... in the Colmar area." My aunt was able to obtain his birth certificate.

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. Michelle,

    I could easily see your case as an episode of WDYTYA. Lovely post. Thank you for stopping by and leaving kind comments.

    -A. CAIN

  3. Thanks for the lovely compliment A. Cain. And for stopping by.

    Bill - so what else do we have in common? First you say you lived in Tucson a mere couple hours from Phoenix and now we have ancestors from Colmar! You are so right - it is a SMALL world!