Cook/Garza/Harms/Gaul Genealogy Site

Our Family's Journey Through Time


Approximately 25 years ago I started the hobby of Genealogy. Since then I have accumulated an assortment of official documents, church records and photographs. This website displays the data collection along with the supporting evidence.

My maternal side concentrates on the surnames HARMS, EGGERT, ROSEN and GÜHLSDORF. On the paternal side the emphasis is on the surnames GAUL (my birthfather), COOK (my stepfather), LEAKE and GROßKLAUS. The Harms and Gühlsdorf families are concentrated in the area around Wismar, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany and my mother and I were first generation immigrants from Germany. Many thanks to John Cook (researching the Cook family) and Carol Ann Gordon (researching the Leake side) for allowing me to add their data to this site. Thanks also go out to my cousin, Antje Harms for her contributions to the Harms and Schöne branches of our family tree.

Lydia's ancestors are concentrated in the small towns surrounding Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. On her paternal side my emphasis was on the surnames GARZA, MORALES and TREVINO, while on the maternal side we researched the surnames GARZA, GONZALEZ and RAMOS. Lydia and her parents immigrated from Mexico in 1946.

If this is your first visit to this site, it will be very helpful to visit our Help page to learn how to navigate the site.

Klaus Dieter Cook - Webmaster


The Chosen

main image“We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again. To tess the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story, So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, “You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us.”. How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there ws love there for me? I cannot say. It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I am, and why I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying – I can’t let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers. That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those who we had never known before.”

by Della M. Cummings Wright; Re-written by her granddaughter Dell Jo Ann McGinnis Johnson; Edited and Reworded by Tom Dunn, 1943.



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Our Families

Our Ancestors Were Adventurers
John Cook Family
John Cook

John Cook

Born 1896

Married Edna Leake 1919
Eight children -
Otto R., Donald E., Mary J., Harry F., John N., James S., Robert E., and Paul F.

Johannes Harms Family
Johannes Harms

Johannes Harms

Born 1892 in Wismar, Germany

Johannes married Beatrice Rosen in 1919 in Wismar, Mecklenburg/Schwerin, Germany
Two children -
Wilhelmine Louise (Wilma) and Hans Martin

Roberto Garza Family
Roberto Garza

Roberto Garza

Born 1917, La Larraldeña, Sabinas Hidalgo, NL Mexico

Married Zulema Garza
Four children -
Lydia I., Roberto M., Oscar F., and Mary Jane.

George W. West family
George Washington West

George Washington West

Born in Shannonville, Tennessee, on March 10, 1851.

Married Katherine "Kittie" Elizabeth Searcy.

George Washington Westbottom image

George Washington West was a cattle rancher and is the founder of George West, a town in Live Oak County, Texas.


Our Favorite Genealogy Quotes

We Hope You Enjoy Them

Beatrice Rosen Harmsbottom image

1921 - Beatrice is holding her 1 year old daughter Wilhelmine (Wilma).


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We strive to document all of our sources in this family tree. If you have something to add, please let us know.