Autobiography: Troy B. Goss
I was born at Warwick Hospital in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, in 1964. I grew up in Santa Rosa and attended Village Elementary School (K), Madrone Elementary School (1st-3rd), Binkley Elementary School (4th-6th), and Rincon Valley Junior High School (7th). Mid-way through 7th grade my brother and I moved with our mother to Vancouver, Washington, where I attended Cascade Middle School (remainder of 7th grade), the new Wy'east Middle School (8th), and Evergreen High School (freshman year). My brother and I returned to Santa Rosa in the summer of 1979 and attended Santa Rosa High School where I graduated, Class of '82.
After high school I worked a year at Scott Architectural Graphics, where I had worked throughout most of high school as a fabricator, painter, and installer of high-end industrial signage.
Without any real plans beyond where I already was I figured I needed a change and joined the United States Air Force, as had three of my great uncles before me.
My interest in genealogy was initially sparked in 1977 with the airing of the Alex Haley's Roots mini-series. While watching one of the episodes at Grandma's house, she pulled out a simple tree of the Miller-Fisher-Williams family and Cousin Ila's book, Memories of Coulterville (1954). I revisted those a few times over the following years but then in May 1983 cousin Buddy Beaman unexpectedly died and a large family reunion gathered for the funeral. I was only two months out from departing for the Air Force, so as the gathering wound down I sat down with Grandma and began sketching out the framework of our genealogy -- most of it from off the top of Grandma's head! First we attempted to scrawl out a tree on a long scroll of butcher paper but that soon gave way to a more manageable binder of organized, hand-written family history sheets.
In 1989, I ordered my first computer specifically for the purpose of databasing our genealogy. I started with Personal Ancestry File and an IBM-compatible 386MHz system. After I got it set up I immediately set about transferring all the names, dates, and locations from the binder into the database, working around the clock on several weekend nights. At that point I recall I had a little over 1,000 known relatives.
Until dial-up modem became prevalent I wrote lots of letters to relatives to gather information and compare notes. During the bulletin board system (BBS) days, I started dabbling with posting surname lists. Then, in 1990, dial-up modem really opened up email collaboration with others and my database began to multiply. Finally, I launched this website, originally hosted on GeoCities, in 1997. As of August 2012, I have nearly 13,700 relatives logged going back as far as 13 generations and 400 years on a few lines!
After 20 years of service in the Air Force I retired and now work for the federal government. I am married to YI Chong-ok from Suweon, Korea, and have one daughter, Karen, age 22, and her 3-year-old son Hunter.
Our genealogy consists of Gold Rushers of English, Scottish, German, and perhaps a little Native American descent, as well as Northern Italian, Italian-Swiss, and Polish immigrants who all converged on Northern California.
So what kind of a mutt does all this make me? As Grandma says, we're "Heinz 57," but to break it down a little...
|Wargin/Gracz (25%) and Sikorski/Skrocka (25%)|
|Poole (6%), Goodwin/Newell/Clark (3%), Converse (3%), Andrews/Cottrell/Ames (3%), Pritchard/Davis (1.6%), Chapman/Davis/Whitehead/Pearce (1.2%), Weeks (0.8%), Layson/Scott (0.8%), Reeve (0.8%), Bonham/Bebout/Hunt (0.4%), and Laycock (0.2%),|
|Malugani (6%) and Cerini/Giumini/Piezzi/Sartori (6%)|
|Miller/ Ulrich/Greib/Maugans (3%), Fisher (0.8%), Kester (0.4%), and Seybolt (0.4%)|
|Van Wermer (3%)|