What a whirlwind weekend it has been, after taking over 6 months off and not doing any research, I dove back into it full force on Friday. All I can say, is it paid off big! All of a sudden I had hits on my Grandfather's family, the branch of my family tree that for years had sat there mocking me and yielding little or no information. Another family tree had tagged my Grandfather's entire family and all of sudden the whole world opened up. I discovered that one of my Grandfather's sister's Madeline (whom my mom and aunt had said died of cancer when they were kids) might have actually been alive and well. I found her daughter and grandchildren (although we still have to confirm this) and the kicker is I am in contact with them and they live an hour from me!
After finding the information on Madeline I turned my attention to finding the cousin (Arlene) that my Mom and Aunt swore exsisted, I finally found confirmation of her when I came across my Great-Grandfather's obituary. Reading this tiny little paragraph I gained new information that I never in my wildest dreams knew. First I found out that my Great-Grandfather did not have a Jewish burial, he was a life long Mason and had a Masonic burial presided over by the Master of his Masonic lodge. I confirmed Arlene's existance because she was mentioned in the obituary (although my Grandmother wasn't even though my Grandfather was already married to her) and then the kicker. The shock heard round the world that no one saw coming......"brother of Sarah Tiederman" there it was, in black and white! My Great-Grandfather had a sister that not even my Mom and Aunt knew about. My Grandfather never mentioned her and if my Aunt or Mom ever met her they don't remember.
There is so much more that I found but I don't have the time to post it. Where does this leave me in my search though, well here is where I am at. I am searching for my Great-Grandparent's sisters Fanny Strauss (Great-Grandma's Sister) and Sarah Tiederman (Great-Grandpa's Sister). This one isn't going to be easy but I am going to take my time and not try and force it, who knows, by tomorrow morning I could have another hint on Ancestry.com and it might be the right one:).