The surnames names of Glanzer, Hofer, Tschetter, Weber, and Wipf, were all common names in the Bridgewater, South Dakota, area when I was growing up. It was always puzzling for me to keep track of how some of the people were related to each other. (My Dad understood, and would try to explain, the connections quite well.) None of these names is in my direct ancestral lines, although there are connections by marriage (Tschetter, Hofer, and Weber.)
The challenge in my family tree is to distinguish between the recurring John and Fred names that appear in my Schwans line. The situation originates with my great-grandfather John Schwans who had a brother named Frederic.
This John named his two sons Fred (my grandfather) and John. My grandfather Fred named one of his sons John who also has a grandson named (what else?) John.
My grandfather’s nephew Fred was sometimes called Fritz, per family story. He moved to the state of Washington at a young age and I never knew him. But as I was trying to find information on this line of the Schwans family tree, I discovered a connection to yet another Fred Schwans, great-grandson of my grandfather’s brother.
So, that makes for a great-grandfather, a great-uncle, an uncle, and a second cousin once removed named John Schwans. AND, a great-great uncle, a grandfather, a first cousin once removed, and a second cousin once removed named Fred Schwans.
But it gets even better: my most recently found second cousin once removed and I share some other lines: he is also my third cousin once removed, as well as my fourth cousin once removed! Once you discover those Fred and John connections you want to find all the degrees of relationships.
Now there was almost one more Fred Schwans in the world. My parents were contemplating Fred as a name before the birth of my youngest sibling … .but for the fact my youngest sister (obviously) did not qualify to have the name!
And if this situation wasn’t already confusing, there are more German variations (Johan and Frederic) on a collateral lines in Germany. Researching those will have to wait a bit.
But now I am beginning to understand why, like housework, a genealogist’s work is never done!