The Ancestor Project – My Family History by Maddi Weaver  

What is “The Ancestor Project?”
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As one of the final projects of the year, 7th graders at Erie Middle School were challenged to pick an ancestor, or someone else that they could research and learn more about, in order to write a story telling about their life. Students conducted interviews with family members, and some were able to gather additional resources and pictures to help tell their story. While there were many great stories written, not all will be published. 

This project was a collaborative effort between students’ history classes, with Mrs. Kruthoff and Mr. Armstrong, English class, with Mrs. Wolf, and their families. It was inspired by the original project that long-time English teacher, Mrs. Wiersema, made a tradition in her 8th grade class.

Students enjoyed getting to know more about their families, and many were surprised to learn how interesting their families were. We hope you all will enjoy their stories, too!

My Family History

  • Maddi Weaver  
  • 5/1/24
  • Ms. Shabani 
  • 4th hour


Did you know that Ralph Weaver built his own house to live in? Ralph’s childhood was nice and calm. His adult life was stressful when he had to work and had three kids. His retirement is now calm and peaceful, especially while spending time with me and my family. Ralph Steaven Weaver is a good person because he farms a lot, he builds many things, enjoys hunting, and he’s hardworking.

Ralph Steaven Weaver was born on July 28, 1957, in Flint, Michigan. His parents’ names are Pearl and Ralph Weaver. He has five siblings that all lived in the same house, so it was really small and hard to do things in the house. He lived in Michigan, but moved to Erie during eighth grade. In the meantime, he played a lot of sports in high school but the sport he loved was football. He started farming with his dad when he was little. He moved to different states while growing up and had a lot of family in different states. 

Ralph Weaver grew up on his uncle’s farm with his family living in the same house. Also, half of Ralph’s family lives in Arkansas and in Michigan. Some of his family members live in Erie and are close to him so he doesn’t have to travel a lot. Ralph loves to hang out with his family and friends. He always used to hang out with his cousins at his uncle’s house since that’s where they grew up. Outside of school, he would work for his uncles and work for jobs, so he could get money when he was young to buy things without his parents wanting to buy it. On another note, his favorite memory as a child was when he used to farm when he was young with his dad.

Ralph Weaver married Jen Philips and moved to Texas to have their kids grow up there. Soon after they got divorced and moved back up to Erie with their kids. They got married at age thirty-nine and had three children named Austin, Chad, and Chase. Adding to this, his first job was started off as farming and then years later he started his own business for people. Ralph Weaver’s favorite food is steak with some corn. Also, he likes to hunt, and he also likes to come over to our house to see my family.

Ralph Weaver first built a house for his family to live in. Also, he then bought some elk and made a cage outside of the house for them. Many people look at the elk and love them. He bought a bunch of land that he hunts on and farms on. He first started living in the city of Erie and then he moved out to the country. He first lived in town with his three kids and then when they all grew up, he moved out to the country with his other girlfriend. He was an only parent with three kids while his ex-wife stayed in Texas with her family and his family came to Erie. Ralph graduated from Erie High School and went straight to work and didn’t go to college. ‘

He won a bunch of stuff from a turkey banquet and gave me a bunch of little kids stuff from when I was little. My grandpa and I go to the turkey banquet together, eat, and have a good time and get prizes. He spends his free time by going to town and eating with his friends and talking to people. Some advice he gives for others is to live out your life and to not want to grow up or want to be out of school. 

Ralph Weaver is retired but some people work for his business or just work for him at his house. Ralph Weaver is trying to build a house on a hill by my house. The house would be looking over the lake. He is also making a wedding venue at my house by the lake and we are taking the elk pins down to make a big parking lot. He travels to different states to see his family that live in Arkansas and Michigan. He goes back and forth to see his family that lives in different states. He has a lot of family around the world that we don’t ever get to see. He doesn’t have a girlfriend, at least I don’t think, but he always has his best granddaughter and his favorite.

Furthermore, I  learned that my grandpa went through a lot during his childhood through his adult life. I also learned that my grandpa is a person who will help anyone and won’t judge anyone. I see things happy now that I know more about my grandpa, and I actually learned new stuff about him. I feel closer with my grandpa now that I actually got to sit down and talk to him about the things he did as a child and what he wanted to do. However, a life lesson I may have gleaned from doing this was I got to know more and more about my family. 

How I feel about this project is I feel good about knowing the stuff I didn’t know about him, and then he gets to read this and feel happy. Also, I never knew that my grandpa went through all of that stuff in this adult life as a single parent that had to take care of three kids. I never knew that my grandpa owned so much land and owned so many buildings. I never knew that my grandpa grew up on his uncle’s farm and had to farm with him and his siblings at such a young age. I didn’t know that my grandpa first started living in Michigan. However, I knew that my grandpa was a loving kind person who would do anything for me and my family if we needed something.

My grandpa respects everyone and even if they don’t respect him he will respect them. My grandpa is the person who inspires me to do things in life even if I don’t want to do it, or if I’m scared to do it.  My grandpa helps me with things if I need help with anything and is always there for me and only one phone call away if I need him or if I need help, he will answer. I love that my grandpa is always there and is such a kind person who cares for anyone, even his family. 

In conclusion, Ralph Steaven Weaver is a hard working person because he was outside a lot, he was working a lot, he was building a lot, and he was taking care of three kids. Ralph Weaver grew up on his uncle’s farm and started farming at a young age. Ralph Weaver was poor going into his adult life, but then he had three kids. Ralph Weaver is building another house right by a big lake, so then when you wake up you will see the big lake outside. I never knew that my grandpa went through a lot of stuff growing up. I learned that Ralph Weaver was a hardworking man who was always busy. I feel like I’ve gotten closer with my grandpa after asking all of these questions that I’ve never known before.

“The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world.  There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor.  

But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around.

It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.”

― Leo Buscaglia

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