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Going back in time: Senior shares genealogy hobby

January is National Hobby Month, so each week we're featuring different hobbies and talents of residents at Buckner senior living communities. This week, meet Bob Gloyna, the genealogical expert of Buckner Villas in Austin. 


Buckner Villas resident Bob Gloyna knows his family better than most. 

He spent five years devoted to what became his full-time hobby: genealogical studies.

"You might say I'm a histroy nut," laughed Gloyna.

For five years, Gloyna spent 20 percent of his time traveling to cemeteries, libraries and museums, conducting countless interviews and scouring decades' worth of church records to put together a genealogical record of his wife's family, the Wendts.

"The more I read about them, the more interested I became!" Gloyna said. 

Gloyna also conducted a similar study of his own biological family, but the results were smaller. For this project, however, what started as a study of the relationships between family members culminated into an inch-thick book which Gloyna published two years ago.

The book begins with his wife's greatgrandfather who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1854 on a ship whith more than 500 others. Over its roughly 300 pages, the book covers more than 3,200 names. 

"Genealogy is something you have to be interested in, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to do it right," Gloyna said.

Getting it right, Gloyna added, is an unending labor of love. With each new discovery, he updated the entire record. Gloyna said he believes it's important for generations both current and future to understand their history.

"I treasure this work," Gloyna said. "I think it's great information, and I'm glad that I did it. I've recieved several accolades from the family for letting them know about their history, and that makes me glad."

Gloyna will display his book and research records during Buckner Villas' "Hobby Show" in early February.

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