Author's Note








Family Historian

Being a "family historian" was not something I started out to do. Curiosity about my Mexican roots and my German roots began as a child. Our cultural upbringing was primarily Mexican, speaking Spanish to my mother, and English to my father. We made annual trips to Mexico, which was a few hours away. We made one trip to Wisconsin to visit my paternal family. Wisconsin was very far away and Germany was even further.

My father and his father kept family pictures, postcards and notes with family lineage, many of which were passed on to me, including my grandmother's bible. Through the years I researched clues found in their notes. In 1976, I moved to Washington, DC, where I discovered the National Archives with its priceless genealogical data. I obtained my official "Researcher's Card" and spent hours digging through volumes of microfiche. Here, I found census records for my great-grandfather and his family. Additionally I contacted State and City government offices in Wisconsin to obtain marriage, death, birth and land deed records. These efforts at times materialize some interesting facts.

A few years later I found a small library in the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Annandale, Virginia. For a nominal fee, I obtained access to microfiche data from their archives in Salt Lake City. In this manner I located additional Rothenbach family records. The unexpected bonus to all my efforts, was finding birth and death records for the Rodriguez family. The LDS archives include civil records of Mexico. My mother is from a small village, so this was data I had not expected to come across relatively easy, and certainly not on this side of the border.

In recent years, development of Websites like and have made research much easier. Enrolling in genealogy courses through guided me to find specific information on my German ancestry. Additionally, I have interviewed family and friends and studied the history of Germany, Mexico and Wisconsin.

Time for Presentation

With more than 25 years of research, I recognize the need to share my findings. Writing a book seems monumental to me, so I chose to publish my family history in a Website. This year, 2005, I have dedicated every free moment to this effort.

In 2001, I completed courses at the University of Virginia, earning my certification in Web Development, which has been put to the test. It has taken 8 months to develop this Website. It is basic with no frills. I have tried to accurately present the facts. When in doubt, I have stated so or I left data out.

I hope you enjoy your visit and will take time to express your thoughts or suggestions. My intent is to add data as I come across it, so please revisit soon.
Thank you!

Helena D. Rothenbach
31 December 2005


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