Front Page Family Album He Was My Dad

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The banner image is a shot of the full moon rising through the trees at twilight, as seen from the front porch of my house. You can see that the original image is a bit larger.

The Brotzman family

The man who feels no sentiment or veneration for the memory of his forefathers; who has no natural regards for his ancestors, or his kindred, is most unworthy of kindred regard or remembrance. Daniel Webster

Johann Frederick Brotzman and his wife Maria Barbara (Weber) Brotzman immigrated to Philadelphia, PA, in 1738. The ensuing saga of the Brotzman dynasty is a never-ending kaleidoscope of sex, violence and political intrigue unmatched in U.S. history.

Just kidding. Actually, the twelve generations of Brotzmans since the arrival of Johann and Maria have been simple people: farmers, tradesmen (and women), and professionals. My grandmother, Geneva Brotzman, gave my father a geneology of the family up to and including my generation, the tenth. Now there are two generations beyond that (so far at least; we're a prolific bunch).

In the geneology, the most notable character was Jacob Brotzman, Johann's great grandson, and my great-great-great-great-grandfather. In the early to mid 1800s, Jacob was a successful farmer, lumber mill owner and state senator in New Jersey. The genetic disposition to politics is still in Jacob's blood line. My sister, Tina Pickett, is a state representative for Bradford and Sullivan counties in Pennsylvania.

The Elston Brotzman Family

My father, Elston Brotzman, passed away in November 2003, and it was a difficult loss for all of us, but especially for our mother, Thelma, Elston's wife of 65 years. My brother John gave the eulogy. My sister Julie was given the task of going through my parents' collection of photographs to create a montage for the viewing. My brother Steve took those old photographs and many more and scanned them. Other brothers and nephews contributed additional photographs (have I mentioned that I come from a large family?). Over Christmas, Julie, Tina and I sat down with our mom, and did our best to identify the people in the photos. I'm still in the process of sorting through the notes I took then and collating them into a consistent and cohesive gallery of pictures and captions. I'll get some raw materials up here soon.