The Council, comprised of FRGS officers, is charged with managing the business of the society and developing its policies
Bob Epp, FRGS President, was always curious about his surname. Upon further investigation he found it is a pet name for the Germanic surname of Eberhardt. He had the opportunity to professionally relocate to Heidelberg in 1976. Once there he researched all three of his German family lines, as well as his Norwegian family. Subsequently, he continued his research in cooperation with his cousin Barbe. Their immediate Epp family was based in West Y Central Wisconsin. They also located several other Epp lines in the U.S. and Canada, also directly descended from the Epp line present in North Baden since the 17 th Century. Bob also researches family lines in Northwest Spotsylvania and Eastern Orange Counties of Virginia.
Julie Cabitto is FRGS’s First Vice President. In this role, Julie has the important job of Program Chair, being responsible for securing speakers for both the monthly meetings and the Annual Fall Conference. The First Vice President also performs the duties of the President in the absence of or at the request of the President.
“I’ve always loved mysteries, puzzles, pictures and chocolate. My grandma took me to the National Archives at age 10 & I’ve been helping her ever since. I began digitizing & sharing family records 20 years ago. I grew up military, so I was amazed to discover I finally settled just 2 ½ hours from where my family has lived since 1700! I visited Mecklenburg, Virginia, finding very little, quickly realizing I needed to start “thinking outside the box”. I love interviewing older farmers there about the old ways. After many “cousins” requests I started 2 blogs: 1) my Virginia research; 2) my Polish families. I also have English, Welsh, Danish, German, Native American & French ancestors. My husband’s family is still mostly in Italy.”
Laura Lee Bauerle Jaworski is Second Vice President for FRGS. This position is the Society’s official Registrar, whose duties include maintaining the membership directory of the Society. She also serves as Membership Chairperson.
Laura Lee has been a genealogist for more than four decades. While cleaning out a cabinet at her grandmother’s she came across a report her mother had done in elementary school on the history of her hometown of Hammond, Louisiana. Laura Lee asked questions and found out that she was the fourth great granddaughter of Peter Hammond, the founder of the town. From that point on she was hooked.
She started talking to everyone she could about who he was and where he was from and who else is related to him. She visited graveyards and libraries, and courthouses; all of this before the Internet. In the early 1980s she moved to the Washington, DC area and attended college at George Mason University where she majored in history. Bringing her love of family history with her, she took advantage of the new research skills she was learning and the vast amount of resources our Nation’s Capital provided. The branches of the family tree she was building blossomed quickly.
Mary Maki is the FRGS Executive Council Secretary. Mary is responsible for keeping the minutes of the FRGS regular monthly meetings, special meetings and Executive Council meetings. Here is Mary’s family history story:
“I started my ancestral journey in 1997 when I began to wonder about my paternal grandfather, Harry Nunn. He died when I was ten, so prior to that I knew only two things: he was an orphan and he drove for Mayor LaGuardia. It took eight years of research to locate him and when I did I found he had 10 siblings! He had thrown me a red herring in that on his marriage certificate he listed his sister’s married name as his mother’s maiden name. A breakthrough came when I found his siblings listed on the 1910 federal census living with their brother-in-law. The second major breakthrough was when I located an historic New York Times article that explained what happened to the family in May/June 1900. The father died; the mother sent to Manhattan Psychiatric Institution. The children were sent to St. Joseph’s Home in Peekskill, New York. So, yes, he was an orphan. For over twenty years he worked as an auto engine man and chauffeur for the City of New York, and so, yes, I believe at least on one occasion he drove the mayor around town. After all, wouldn’t that be bragging rights for a poor Bronx family?”
Deb Kozel is the FRGS Executive Council Treasurer. Deb is responsible for FRGS finances including developing and manging the annual budget, and tracking and reporting on the society’s financial position.
I grew up in Middle Village, Queens, NY, where my maternal great-great grandparents settled to farm after arriving in the United States in 1846. Surrounded by family members I have always ‘heard the stories’ and knew many of the heroes, or in some cases victims. My scraps of paper never progressed to genealogy until I joined the German Genealogy Group about 20 years ago. Over time I have both proved and disproved some of our family history and have found the grave number of an older baby sister buried on Hart’s Island.
Moving to Virginia has been an adventure, bringing me closer to my Kozel family genealogy in Washington, D.C. We’ve visited the site where the Kozel Beer Garden had been located, taken photos of home locations, and roamed cemeteries taking photos of family grave sites.