My journey started on one of my many visits back to my home state of Ohio. Recollection tells me it was in the summer months, probably in 1972. My oldest Great Uncle Lester, the family historian to that point, handed me a book in one of our gatherings. It was the Woltz Book by Flora Lee Woltz. He was two years older than my grandfather, the second oldest child of his generation. I thanked Uncle Lester and off I was to build on all these historical facts and stories. He had always appeared to be the most knowledgeable of our family. Uncle Lester knew places, times, and dates of many events. He was a little more outspoken than my grandfather and remained in my life longer than many of my other relatives. He and I corresponded for several years in the early to mid-1970s.
The Woltz book was written between 1939 to 1940. The original and its supplement each has its own index. The books have proven accurate with few mistakes all these years later. I was amazed at the depth and detail they held and have expanded these facts whenever I could. It covered much more than just my direct ancestors. As far as I was concerned it was my Woltz Bible, my “go-to” manual.
Through these past forty-plus years, I have used it in many varied ways, while I was accumulating documents, pictures, and first-hand knowledge. I have been lucky enough to also have had a close relationship with a living legend of Woltz lore and history, my Aunt Betty (recently deceased May 2020). Where Great Uncle Lester left off, Aunt Betty Jo filled in. I have accumulated many letters from other Woltzes as well as acquired two other Woltz-related books including many updated facts.
Since that infamous day in 1972 with my Great Uncle Lester, I’ve inherited hundreds of pictures, furniture, stories,
signatures, slides, and met several fellow Woltzes. Sparked by my ongoing research, I shared a Woltz reunion (WOLTZ2000) in the heart of my native state, Lancaster, Ohio, with a cousin living near Cincinnati, Judy Evans. I am now about to sign up for my third DNA test and hope to learn even more about family. It’s been a blast!