William Utermohlen Website
I became interested in genealogy in about 1967, when I was 12 and living in Lincoln, Nebraska. We visited a college friend of my father's in Omaha, who was a high school science teacher. He was interested in genetic descent of traits like eye color and started asking my father questions about his family. They cut open a paper grocery bag and started making a chart of my father's family. I was fascinated by the stories and was hooked for good, as it turned out.
I was helped by the research that my great-uncle Clay Cox had done, mostly in the 1930s at the Newberry Library in Chicago, as well as by the interest of my mother's cousin, Ruth Anna (Martin) Hicks, who was an avid genealogist and lived two blocks from us in Lincoln.
I was in seventh grade at University High School, on the campus of the University of Nebraska, and began researching at the Nebraska Historical Society, adjacent to the campus. My interest has fluctuated some since, but has never waned for very long. I got more serious about it in the 1980s when I started reading the major genealogical journals.
The photo at right is of my father and the paper bag.