4th of July Weekend 2022: Reflections on Family and Genealogy Research

Six months ago I began my journey to pull together my family’s history on this blog. I have been collecting information since the early 1980s in between finishing college, going to graduate school, changing homes, raising a family and working.

My journey has been both amazing and very revelatory. The stories I have uncovered have been amazing. Some of the stories have revealed triumphs, tragedies, births and deaths. It has been primarily a story of home and places.

I have come to a better understanding of myself, my family, and my own person DNA makeup. We all inherit traits from our family members of the past that can only be revealed via research and then reflection. I inherited a sense of humor and poking fun in jest from my Schlick side. I inherited my anxious and worry side from my mother Louise Davis. I inherited my avoidance of conflict and love of food from my father George Davis. I inherited my belief in God and my faith from my grandmother Mae Schlick. I inherited my love of country from my grandfather Frank Schlick. Our reflection time in looking back increases as we age. I am not the same person I was when I was two or twenty-two or fify or fifty-two and now I look at things much more differently at sixty and now in retirement. Lots of water under the bridge as they say as the river takes us on a journey. We are either carried smoothly along by the flow and course of the river of life’s flow or are washed ashore and grounded with challenges or road blocks. At times we can feel left behind or racing to catch-up with the flow.

The happy and proud father George Stuart Davis at 27W356 Beecher in Winfield Illinois. Kevin (left) and Mary (right) his son and daugher in 1964.
Sandra (Sandy) Davis Summer 1969 with Mary Davis at 27W359 Beecher. The 359 address is where we all moved as we were getting older.

I recently was going through old family albums left behind by my mother Louise Eleanor (Schlick) Davis. Some of the photos were taken when I was an infant or toddler. Some of the photos centered on places, places like home. I grew up at 27W356 Beecher Street. I was too young to remember my first two to four years as I grew up at that home on Beecher. This was the home my Schlick grandparents (Frank and Mae Schlick) built in the 1940s. This was their dream house built with relatives (John Armbrust) and friends who lived in Winfield. I retold the story of the building of this house in a previous blog.

August 1969 St James Farm in Warrenville Illinois and home of Frank and Mae Schlick. Left to right is Robert Davis, Kevin Davis and Mary Davis. The home has been torned down to make way for the visitor’s parking lot for the St James Farm Forest Preserve of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. The garage (shown on the far right) is still standing.

St James Farm in Warrenville was my second home. A place I find to be my focal point and true north place to catch my breath and to refind my mind and thoughts. This is the place where I spent every Sunday afternoon from the time I was an infant to the time my grandfather Frank retired in 1985 as Farm Manager. Many happy memories. Apple picking in the apple orchard in the fall. Visiting Brooks McCormick’s horses in the red brick stable (still standing). Visiting the chickens and collecting eggs late on a Sunday afternoon with my grandfather. Riding our bicycles around the many roads and paths between my grandparent’s house and the dairy barn (still standing).

Therefore, on this July 4, 2022 weekend I would encourage you to take a space of time to reflect on where you are at and where you are headed. Also, where has your family been. Time to get out the old albums, talk with your relatives about what life was like when they were growning up. We need to do this act to preserve our family history and to be able to pass along the stories to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We need to do this before they are no longer part of our life.

About Schlick Daleiden Families - DuPage and Kane Counties of Illinois

Kevin Davis is a retired Public Library Director. He is a Board member of the Winfield (IL) Historical Society. Davis has over 35 years experience working in public libraries. He is deeply interested in local Chicagoland, Dupage, and Kane County History. Davis earned a BA in History and an MA in Library Science from Dominican University. He is a volunteer researcher for the St. James Farm Forest Preserve part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois. His work includes extensive writing and research on the McCormick family line who were former owners of St. James Farm. He is an avid family historian / genealogist and has done extensive research on the Schlicks and Daleidens of DuPage and Kane County Illinois.
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