This website is my own contribution to a rich Luxembourgish heritage. It started with a family tree, but became so much more. Here, you will find stories and context for all those names and dates. This site is not just for genealogists, but for anyone who wants to know more about where (and who) they came from.

~ Rebecca Anne (Bley) Shamblin

In the mid-1800’s, millions of immigrants streamed into the United States. My own ancestors made their way from Luxembourg and Germany to the New World, toting steamer trunks and toddlers across an ocean before settling in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. There they joined a thriving Luxembourger community, and kept their heritage alive for more than 180 years.
Every man is a


from all his ancestors.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My first brush with genealogy was the summer of 2002, when my mother’s Kolbach relations held a family reunion in Saukville. I quickly discovered that I barely recognized most of the attendees! My mother was one of nine children in her family, and that was the norm, so the numbers were overwhelming.

While there, I learned about the “Kolbach Family Hotline”, an on-line mailing list of family photos and memories. I volunteered to archive them on a website. During the process, I decided to add a small family tree so that we could all see how we were related.

Things got out of hand! I starting frequenting genealogy websites and message boards. I ventured into the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and bumbled around the microfiche machines. I met strangers who turned out to be distant cousins. I was hooked.

The tree soon ballooned to over 4,200 people! One year later, I attended the 2003 Kolbach reunion toting a computer-printed “book” I had created with Family Tree Maker. I still have that printout, as well as all the corrections and updates I collected that day.

Family faces are


Looking at people who belong to us, we see the 


Gail Lumet Buckley

I wish I had kept up with the tree. As I graduated college and entered grad school, my research drive was redirected. I have since come to realize that it’s nearly impossible to do genealogy casually. Once you’re in, you’re in! You need all those family names in your head while skimming through 18-century birth records at high speed.

Many years later, in 2018, my mother and I sat down to create a tribute album for my grandmother on her 90th birthday. As usual, I went a bit overboard. As I updated the tree, the old data geek excitement started creeping back into my life.

But it wasn’t until the global coronavirus pandemic struck the world in 2020 that I truly got back into the genealogy world. I had to close my photography studio and become a full-time mom and distance learning enforcer. I needed an outlet – something to occupy my mind and give me structure in the day. 

Genealogy provided that escape for me, and I am truly grateful. I wrote my first book in 2021, about my great-grandfather’s ancestors, and I’m working on the second.


My family laughs when I say genealogy is thrilling, but it’s true! Such an incredibly satisfying and exciting pasttime.

Thank you for reading my story. I hope to someday read yours.