I've been addicted to this shit for the last year or so. Just wondering if any of you bitches are doing this too.
I've found about 1200 folks, and I'm all about the "Who Do You Think You Are" show and those PBS things.
It sounds old-farty but it can be very exciting. There are more twists and turns than a good soap. And it has explained *a lot* about some of my relatives.
I have gotten into it too. FamilySearch is a great site, and it's free.
Good site, R1, thanks for the link. (I seem not to exist unfortunately.)
I can't deal with the relatives I DO know about.
Do the grave markings ever mention anything about whether or not the deceased had gayface?
I've been doing genealogy for about 10 years now because I inherited my mother's research and papers. It's a lot of fun but can also be frustrating. I love the digging.
Me too OP.
I've met lots of cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd, and so forth, who have shared photos with me of our shared ancestors. It's cool to collect them and compare, to see who looks like whom.
I've also learned lots of juicy gossip, and have met some cousins who happen to live in their own ancestral homes from the 1800s.
I've helped cousins unite too. One lady always wondered whatever happened to her grandmother, who had disappeared long before she was born. The family thought she was dead. Turns out, she had escaped the clutches of a physically abusive husband, and left the baby behind...and started a whole other family up north, completely ceasing all contact. So, thanks to my research I've been able to connect all the dots, and both families' descendants now know whatever happened to Jenny.
I also helped a young man find his grandmother. His father (my cousin) had died in a car wreck at 18, and nobody ever knew that he had impregnated his girlfriend before he died. The girlfriend moved to another state, and 21 years later, the son went looking for his roots, and found my research online. Now he's been united with his grandmother and has lots of stories, and photos, of his father.
Do a lot of the surnames become anglicized? I've read about this and wondered how prevalent this is. I suspect that a lot of people just assume that a lot of their ancestry is English when it is not.
Yes, R7. It's very prevalent. Irish Gaelic names especially.
So, OP, which royal house to which have you discovered your line's link?
"Do a lot of the surnames become anglicized?"
Some of the names are a spoken form of the orginal name - if you couldn't read or write (or moved to a country with a different language) all you could do was speak your name.
R1 - Thank you! I've just found my great great great grandmother's maiden name!
You mean like "Loughead" in Scottish Gaelic becoming "Lockheed" to make its spelling sound like its pronunciation.
Looking at copies of those old documents - no wonder so much historical information is wrong. Many of those people thought their penmanship was beautiful. but it was largely unreadable. It seems like almost no one printed.
I had the same problem, R13. It seems there are downsides to fanciness.
How are the family trees going?
This is all well and fine but I have a question.
Why are the Mormons into this genealogy and the family history?
Is this a religious requirement?
I think that it's to do with the passing over into the next life and being part of the eternal family, which seems to be why they can baptise the dead.
The Mormons believe they will be reunited with their earthly families in Heaven, in a way that sounds much more temporal, than I learned about as a Catholic in Catholic Heaven.
Mormons also ritually "baptize" family after death. Those not baptized do not get to hook up with family in Heaven, so they baptize anybody in their tree that they can identify.
I've been working at this for a couple years and have found a lot.
I have found Royal families in my line, R9. The thing about Royal descent is that statistically, everyone with European ancestry is descended from European royalty, if you only look back far enough.
This is because your number of grandparents is approx. equal to a power of 2 to the n, where n is the generation. If a generation is 40 years in duration, then Charlemagne lived 30 generations ago (~800 AD). 30 generations ago, one has over 1 billion grandparents (2 to the 30th), more than the number of people alive at that time. Of course, there would have been overlap due to intermarriage. Most people's trees are really more like spider's webs than trees, but what all this means is that because Charlemagne was a hound dog and had lots of kids, and because it was so long ago, most middle-European's are believed to be descendants of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and of Italy, and Holy Roman Emperor. He was the first man title "Emperor" since the fall of Rome. He was a conquerer, as well as a lover of education, religion, writing, and the arts.
Descent from Emperor Charlemagne is commonplace; however, being able to prove you are descended from him is not. [italic]That[/italic] is something of note!
I've been working on genealogy for about two years and have a database with over 30,000 relatives some dating back to the 1600's and a few back farther.
R21 - Where were your ancestors living in the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s? For many of us, especially with ancestors who couldn't read or write, we are struggling to get back even as far as the early 1800s. And how have you gone about cross-checking for your 30,000 family members? One of the sad realities is that there are many on-line family trees that are riddled with errors (I saw one the other day which had children born decades after the parents died!).
I'm interested in this, but I don't know where to begin.
Before he died, my uncle gave me a couple of flash drives with everything he had found to that point. There's also a hard copy list of names with birth dates and their relationship to me, going back to the 1100s.
I know that he was a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, so I assume his research must have been accurate at least back to 1620?
Do I go to the earliest person listed and start digging on genealogy sites? As you can see, I am beyond clueless.
R23 - Very few people have accurate data going back to the 1100s - so use your uncle's data with great caution.
It's recommended that one starts with the known/confirmed, then work back.
So a good starting point would be your parents. When/where were they born? Where did they go to school? Where have they worked/lived Who were their parents? When (were?) their parents married? Do your parents have siblings (alive or dead)? When/where were the siblings born? etc. etc.
DO NOT, at this point, spend any money, except to buy some genealogy software - I suggest Legacy (Deluxe version). There is a lot of free information available.
And interview your relatives, NOW, while they are still alive. And get them to pull out the old family photos and tell you who is who in them.
Also, be very careful with information that's publicly posted. Ancestry.com can be helpful, but I always tell people to *use it as a guide* and not gospel truth.
The comparison I use is to think of it as a dental x-ray - you're getting the lay of the land, but then you should use other things to verify or corroborate, as best as you can.
Obituaries are important, as are death certificates (some states are allowing public access to these now, especially for older cases).
Thank you, R24. I'll look into that software.
r22 - all my ancestors came from Norway which has extensive documentation. I use various bygdeboks (Farm histories) as well as the Digital archive of the church books, census records, etc. I have used the pedigree files in Family Search, but I have checked them against the bygdebok.So far I have found only minor mistakes in the ones I used, but I do realize there is some on there that are totally wrong.
Even primary sources have errors. But for me this is not science, this is just a fun hobby.
[quote] R23: I'm interested in this, but I don't know where to begin...Before he died, my uncle ...I know that he was a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants,...
My first step would be to go to this organization and ask the for the info your Uncle submitted to gain membership. This info would all be cross checked and verified by the organization, so it should be reliable. I don't know how cooperative they will be, but my hunch is that they would be very eager to help you. This will save you TONS of work.
My family, the Allertons and Norrises also came over on the Mayflower.
R22, at one point in the late 19th century, there were over 20 men named Knott Martin living in Marblehead, MA. Most trees I see have them all mixed up, as far as I can tell. I have the benefit of seeing the gravestones in person so I have an advantage over online-only researchers.
Here are confusing things I've seen that mess-up research, but solving them was satisfying:
A man marries two women in series, both named "Mary", so both are known as "Mrs. Mary Rush" in documentation. If docs are missing for Mary #1s death, and the second marriage, one might never know.
Brother and sister marry a different set of brother and sister, and the women's names are both "Hannah". Miss. Hannah Smith became Mrs. Hannah Barry; and Miss. Hannah Barry became Mrs. Hanna Smith. I only cracked this because one women is buried next to her parents, and the gravestone mentions her that, plus her husband's name, DoB, DoD, etc.
A man married two woman named Marth in series, and the second was a cousin with a maiden name the same as his last name. I kept wondering why the maiden name wasn't recorded anywhere, but found it eventually.
The occasional mistake on the original death record, or other record, can send you on a wild goose chase for a long time.
Oh, two other confusing things are when you find a grave, but the person named on it wasn't actually buried in it.
A large tomb might contain 20 bodies, but they usually only have the one or two tomb owners naned on it, and they are almost always the male family member, at least until 1900.
Thanks, R28. I'll email them and see if I can get that part of it squared away. He mentioned that if I wanted to join, I could do so through his membership as his records had already been validated. It sounds like they may be helpful.
If nothing else, it's entertaining to pick a name from the list and Google them. The first one I searched was hanged on his own gallows, drawn and quartered, then had his head displayed on the town gate. I was hooked after that. To make this DL-worthy, he also had BDF.
Oh, R33, your people must have been rich to draw that attention, AND have a portrait that survives!
Well, things have certainly changed for the worse in the intervening 700 years, R34! I'm hoping that having some known figures in the lineage will make getting started a little easier...if my uncle's research is accurate, that is.
R33's ancestor is smelling cookies.
Been doing it for a decade, and down to brick wall cases now - ones that'll likely never get resolved.
The one line I thought would be a piece of cake turned out one of the toughest. My largest group of extended family seems to have very little interest among modern branches.
I did unearth the Jewish connection my grandmother's family did their best to bury.
I did not know until last year that my ancestors are buried all around me in Boston. My cousins did research the hard way before the Internet. That involved going to town halls, churches, libraries and cemeteries to see what was there. One line of the family was unknown until I did a simple Internet search. And *poof*, appropriately enough, it was all there. That line goes back to the mid 1700s, with the oldest buried under Old North Church. They hobnobbed with Paul Revere and are buried in a tomb with a participant in the Boston Tea Party.
I am pretty proud I found the BTP participant's grave. The book they sell in the church say he's "probably" buried up the street with his wife, but I sent the author a correction with his burial record showing the church crypt. I had thought he was family, but the source from 1834 indicating that, now seemsr to be in error.
Have any of you done the DNA testing?
I did both Ancestry and 23andMe but couldn't glean any additional geneaology finds as of yet from the results.
I did DNA, R39, from Ancestry & NatGeo. The former didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. It missed mention of the Italian region, and I am certain my gr-grands immigrated from there. So, unless they were Germans who moved to Italy before moving to the US, and thus had German DNA, the ancestry results are inaccurate. I DO like, however, that Ancestry updates their results as they develop new technology and/or info, and make connections to others in their databank.
NatGeo was $200 and told me the story of migration out of Africa, but nothing about ancestry from 800 AD to present, so I don't think it was worth it.
What was 23andMe like?
There's a guy I know who claims to be descended from St. Margaret of Scotland, who lived around 1100.
r41, there are millions of people descended from St. Margaret of Scotland.
I've got her in three lines.
Are you really that stupid?
R40, there's a website called gedmatch.com where you can upload your genetic sequence regardless of which search you originally used.
I traced my family tree back, and found this picture of my great grandmother. I'm having trouble finding out who her husband was, but I will keep searching for my great grandfather.
No, the point, mincing prisspot R42, is that nobody gives a shit because there ARE millions of descendants, but of course YOU'RE special because you have her "in three lines."
Are you really that pathetic?
The math and such is described in R20. I don't know this Margaret of which you write, but I suspect R42 is correct, and R41 is either incorrect, or at least seemed to be. Carry on...
Both sides of my family came from Poland and it didn't take long for things to get confusing. Not only were first names Americanized on the way into the country (e.g. Tadeusz became Theodore or Ted), but in Polish tradition, last names can be different depending whether the person is male or female (-i vs -a). And then there's geographical problems because many family members came from what was originally Prussia, so records are difficult to find.
I'm really luckey to have a plain but rare last name. I've only found one family in Massachusetts with the same last name, who don't have a common ancestor with me. This makes searches much easier.
I have one Smith family in my tree, and it impossible to trace them back very far, because the have been tons of "John Smiths" in New England, mostly unrelated to each other.
My paternal side is done, only goes back to 1714 probably because of WW11 and getting the hell homes out of Germany. Many of the records were archived in churches. Can't wait to see my maternal side, it is on the way.
My mother tells me we are descended from Atilla The Hun, go figure... Not special, apparently he spread his seed like Jonny Appleseed. Amusing none the less and it definitely says something about our temperament.
Well it really rather hard for my father you know, coming from a very distinguished background .............
You must've guessed that I'm English ?
R50, not to rouse your Hunesque temperament, but there is no way you can prove descent from Attila, since he was around in the 5th century, and there really isn't much on him published, and there are many claimants to descent from one of his many seed plantings.
Your mother is like many in my family, including my own mother, telling tales of fancy that have been passed down to her, unchecked.
The science of genealogy involves establishing true links to these people, via actual records...and the person above descending three times from Margaret of Scotland, well, you can't rely on other people's family trees, because they are filled with as many fairy tales as a Grimm Brothers library. Documentation is key.
Now, many noble families (including Margaret's House of Wessex and her husband Duncan's House of Dunkeld) have published their established and well proven family lines going down a few generations past famed nobility...so if you can get your hands on the published genealogies (in books, not Ancestry user trees), and then establish, with records, your connection to any of those descendants in the volumes, THEN you can claim descent, and which has been hinted at, one can have multiple links to the same person. Every single one of us has married cousins in our direct ancestral line - the notion of married cousins producing mentally deficient offspring is false more often than true. It's when double cousins marry, as in, a bride and groom who share both sets of grandparents (essentially giving them similar DNA to that of siblings).
Another popular tale I hear in my research is "We descend from a Cherokee Princess!" In fact, every white family who hires me tells me some version of this story. Right, all white people are part Indian. How exotic of you all. *eye roll*
Interestingly, it's quite easy to establish descent from Pocahontas. Many people do, and there are ample records for her. Again, she was famous, so there are plenty of people throughout the last few centuries with access to, and interest in, finding and preserving ancestral records, when it comes to famous people. Again, the trick is to establish your line to one of the known and published descendants. Now, Pocahontas wasn't as far back in history as Margaret of Scotland or Attila the Hun, so keep that in mind as well. Any famous Americans, even early Americans are very well documented.
I'm African American so...I've gone back about four generations and that's it. All done :)
I have a very well documented descent from Crowing Rooster Tuskingo Shoe Boots who was a General in Andrew Jackson's army and a 'chief' in the Cherokee nation. He kidnapped my 4th great-grandmother Clarinda Ellington and had a family with her. I get many DNA matches with both of them who share my ancestry with one or both of them.
Clarinda escaped with her children. Shoe Boots then married his slave Doll and started a line of black Cherokee.
Shoe Boots has a well documented ancestry of Cherokee Chiefs.
I am also descended from Pocahontas through her daughter. My family has always known about this and it's been documented for hundreds of years. I have DNA matches to validate that as well. Her tribe recognizes it, too.
I'm somewhat a psychic, r44, and I'm getting some vibrations from the photo of your great grandmother. I don't mean to poison the situation, but it appears that she was a bit of a brown noser. Drawn to powerful men and the like. Seems to have been married late in life, sort of a shotgun wedding if you will. But it's odd - I don't sense that she and your great grandfather ever had children.
Perhaps your father was adopted. Does he have golden blond hair? I'm seeing a rather large family, a nation actually and it seems that he comes from this large army of kids.
[quote]one of your de Bohun / de Clare cousins
Well, look what the cat dragged in! Hello, cuz.
If Tyler Perry can tear himself away from the breast pump for a few hours, I'd like to see Tyler Perry's DL Clear Folk Family Reunion starring Jeremy Renner and, in his first film role, Kristoffer Winters as Piers Gaveston! And, making a very special guest appearance, the inimitable Pia Zadora as Isabella, She-Wolf of France!