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Family Histories

With more than a little effort, our grandparents and parents have documented significant parts of our family history as a legacy to future generations. I have posted some parts of these stories on this website as they may well be of broader interest. This history page is organized by our grandparents: the Munks, Ragens, Levins and, as I gather material, ultimately the Oppenheim branch as well. 

Here is our family tree back to the times of our children's great-great-grandparents. To jump to the history of that family branch, move your mouse over that part of the family tree and click on the name.  (Sorry - not all names have stories associated with them yet...)

Munk (Czechoslovakia)

My grandparents, Frank and Nadja Munk, both lived long lives and had a wealth of experiences. My grandfather's memoirs touch upon many of these experiences and are now included in their entirety.

bulletMy Century And My Many Lives. Frank Munk. My grandfather's complete autobiography covering his memories from Eastern Europe and the United States throughout the entire 20th century. 1993, 1994.
bulletLeaving Prague.  Brooks Ragen.  A more detailed version of my grandparent's emigration from Prague in 1938-1939. 1999.

My grandmother, Nadja, was born into the Prasil family. Here are some interesting remembrances on the Prasil family that date to the some of her earliest remembrances at the turn of the century. 

bulletPrasil Family Notes. 1968
bulletThe Time and Lives of Vera Prasilova Scott. 1996

Frank published several books on the intersection of economics and political science with a focus on Eastern European issues. I have published a few excerpts from these books through the links below. In his 90s, he wrote his autobiography and, later, added four chapters as a postscript as noted above. He also continued to watch the world scene and wrote these additional notes to his autobiography and other articles. Speakers' notes from his memorial service in 1999 add additional notes on his worldview.

bulletThe Economics Of Force. Frank Munk, 1941
bulletThe Legacy of Nazism. Frank Munk, 1943
bulletAtlantic Dilemma. Frank Munk, 1963
bullet"I Acted In Defense Of Academic Freedom". Oregonian, 1997
bulletMemorial Service for Frank Munk. 1999


Ragen (aka Ragenovich or Radenovic, from Montenegro)

My parents researched the origins of my father's family, tracing the Ragenovich (or is it Radenovic?) roots to his entry into the US in the 1890s. Before all the recent troubles in the former Yugoslav republics, my parents traveled to the cities in Montenegro listed on some of the old immigration documents to look for parts of our family tree. Afterwards, my father published their learnings from this trip.

bulletFinding Ragenovich, a brief history. 1988.
bulletReturn to Vrba. Brooks Ragen.  1989.

After the adventures in Montenegro, we have traced the other half of  my father's family further back into in US history to the Geer family of Ledyard, Connecticut. Our particular branch of the Geer family traveled along the Oregon Trail in 1847.

bulletFifty Years In Oregon holds the first two chapters of the book published by TT Geer (a relative who became governor of Oregon) in 1912. The book includes a family tree going back to England in the 1600s.
bullet Joseph Carey Geer, the patriarch of the Oregon Geer family, received two eulogies in 1881 upon his death.
bullet Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer, my great-great grandmother, wrote a diary of her trip along the Oregon Trail in 1847. Includes a letter from Joseph Carey Geer. (Published from Fifty Years In Oregon.)
bullet Ralph Carey Geer, Joseph's son and Calvin's father, provides his recollections of his 1847 emigration along the Oregon Trail. We also have notes from the Battle Of Abiqua where Ralph Geer was one of the settler's leaders.
bulletMy Trip To Oregon As I Remember It is a letter written by Calvin Geer (in 1927) to his descendants describing his journey along the Oregon Trail across the United States in 1847.
bulletRecently, I found a reference to the fact that the Geer family planted an Oregon Heritage Tree that is now commonly referred to as "The Riding Whip Tree"

A transcribed interview with my grandmother, Florence Gradon Ragen from September, 1982.

In a related effort, after I had worked on converting several chapters of T. T. Geers book, Fifty Years in Oregon, that were related to our family history, I started digitizing the rest of the book for the web as the copyright had expired some number of years ago. I now have about 60% of the book available online.



Admittedly, this section is short of material. I am searching for more stories and will publish them when I receive them.

bulletMemories of Lithuania. In 2003, members of the Levin family visited Lithuania. This page details some of the thoughts that they took away from the experience.
bulletCommemoration article for the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroit.


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