Genealogy, anyone else interested? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2010, 11:41 AM   #1
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Genealogy, anyone else interested?

I've just started doing my family genealogy. What a mess!

I'm poking around on non pay sites at this point and found there are two men with the same name, one appears to be my Great, G, G Grandfather due to being married to my GGG Grandmother......but both men's family tree start matching a couple generations back and both their wives had the same maiden name. Something is messed up somewhere.

More sleuthing required!
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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Lizabeth I have been doing Genealogy for about 8 years and my best word of advise to you is to use other peoples on line trees as a hint and starting point only. Good place to start but make sure you look and find actual sources to support what they say. Can not tell you how many family trees I have seen posted on line for one of my direct lines that are very incorrect. In many cases the research was done by someone that is very distant off the direct line so they have little personal information or old family holdings to work with. In many cases people take and repost on line information they obtained from someone else without doing their own leg work in making sure it is correct so very incorrect family tree information keeps being reposted over and over.

Having said that the use of Rootsweb or Genealogy.com name forms is a great place to connect. May take years for someone to respond to your post but it happens. Just last week I connected to someone who is directly related to one of my Irish lines that I had hit a dead end on about 4 years ago. Irish lines are a big problem as the records office had a fire and most official records are long gone. Turns out this fellows Great Great Aunt had left a note book with her hand written family tree in it and it contained information pertaining to my 3rd Great Grandparents. Amazing really. Using her notes I was able to confirm my 3rd Great Grandmothers maiden name - all I had to work with prior was the naming pattern used for her daughter and granddaughter as a hint to what may have been her maiden name. Not enough to waste other researchers time without something more solid to confirm her maiden name. As luck would have it the note book contained her maiden name so now I am comfortable with using it as the party who wrote it was a direct niece and the dates of births and marriages etc she had written match up with what little I had been able to turn up through my own research.

As far as wives having the same maiden name goes be aware that it was not uncommon for widows to marry their dead wifes sisters or for brothers to marry sisters. Happen more often than you and I may think in todays world possible. If your researching in small towns and farming communties in the early and mid 1800's for example it happen fairly often - keep in mind there were not a whole lot of single folks around to choose from :-)

Have fun with it but be warned you never know what long buried ghost may be in the family closet! LOL and some elderly members of your family may not find what you turn up as funny as you and I may.

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Old 07-30-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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Thank you Carol. The mess just gets more and more tangled, I feel as you said that the information has been incorrectly recorded by someone and people keep copying it. I have been trying to follow sources as listed but that is a mess too. There were so many matching names (first and surnames), birth dates don't match but are close, nicknames were used.....I'm sure this happened in all families!

I will keep pecking away at it. I'm sure it will get easier to understand what I am looking at as I climb the learning curve. Right now my brain is fried!

How do you keep you information organized? Do you use a certain program?
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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I have found when doing my family tree that things we don't think too much of ( like out of wedlock births) can make tracing lines hard as they were often lied about. I can remember my grandmother telling me that so and so weren't really his kids but were his sisters that they adopted. Even standard adoptions were kept a secret.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:31 PM   #5
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I have been using Generations from Ancestry.com.

At last count - 4,113 individuals from both my and Joyce's family.

Sometimes it is exciting work.

You have to become familiar with FamilySearch.org - Family History and Genealogy Records.

It's the Latter Day Saints genealogy site. They have a mission to enumerate every sole, living and dead. Some religious groups have sued them to make them stop.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:09 PM   #6
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I have a friend that has done exhaustive research on his genealogy, and I didn't want to work at it as hard as he did. He's been doing it so long that he had to have a professional computer geek retrieve data from his DOS files and update it to the current version of windows.

One resource I have is http://myfamily.com where I communicate with living siblings. and cousins, of Mother's side of my family. It is affiliated with http://ancestry.com .
I am 6th generation of a family (my paternal grandfather's mother) who have an association http://www.johnmore.com/about%20jma.htm that has existed since 1890.
There is a DVD available of footage of the pageant of 1915, plus video of the 1930, 1935, 1940, 1950, and 1955 reunions. Includes Eric Marshall's interview on WICU-TV (Erie, PA) and Tom Brokaw's NBC News special on families featuring JMA in 1990. I attended the 1965 reunion.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizbeth View Post
....How do you keep you information organized? Do you use a certain program?
Lizbeth I have tried a couple of different purchased programs but I have gone back to using a program called Personal Ancestral File (PAF) what I started with and the best part is it is free at FamilySearch.org :-) It will take and store with each person you enter photos and PDF's etc. It will show you your relationship to each person you enter etc. It will print off reports etc. They have it a bit hidden so here is the link to were its at FamilySearch - Personal Ancestral File

It is very easy to use and understand but I do recommend that you read the lessons section on their site and do a little looking around the user groups for ideas as to how best to set up your files and how to name your sources etc before starting to input your data. That way you are more likely to set it all up correctly the first time. Its not an issue if you only have a limited number of people in the data base but when you start geting into the thousands and you have many many different types of sources it becomes a little hard to deal with if you did not set it up correctly at the start. When I first started I made a bit of a mess of setting up and naming system for my sources and ended up having to try and clean it up after the fact and that resulted in a lot of lost time.

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Old 07-30-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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Thanks Carol!
I downloaded PAF and am trying to learn to use it. My DIL Is LDS and asked her friend's mother who works at the local Family History Center and she recommended it (of course). I will also be seeking her help in the tangle I have found.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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Lizbeth,
It is a lot of detective work. If your roots are Scandinavian, as are mine, I can point you to some great original sources, where volunteers in Norway and Denmark have entered census and emigration records.
Lately, we've been working on my husband's family. Even with massive amounts of source documents in old boxes and suitcases, the varying and americanized names and dates are confusing. I've been learning a new language as we work through some of the old letters and documents....
My husband and I both feel it is worth the effort for our daughter and her generation, however, to put the time in and sift through the old records and photos and try to digitize and organize everything for his side of the family.

Our local library has genealogy classes from time to time, and a special section in the library to help with research. Perhaps yours does, too, or a nearby university or american/italian/norwegian/danish/german... club can give you some pointers.

In many communities in the midwest (like mine), the concentrated part of the population came from small communities in Scandinavia or Germany. For example, most of my family, on both sides, came from a very small area of Norway, (Aurland and Voss) and settled in a very small area of southern Minnesota in the mid 19th century. It certainly makes tracking down records easier, until I move on to the smaller Danish part of the family, who unfortunately left little paper trail.
As someone else mentioned, it was very common for widowed family members to marry the widows of sisters or brothers, to keep the family intact and carry out family responsibilities. It was also common for brothers of one family to marry sisters of another family, in a small community, and names were often similar. This can become a little confusing, but you'll work it out.
Good luck with your search as we continue with ours.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Gardin View Post
I have found when doing my family tree that things we don't think too much of ( like out of wedlock births) can make tracing lines hard as they were often lied about. I can remember my grandmother telling me that so and so weren't really his kids but were his sisters that they adopted. Even standard adoptions were kept a secret.
Even a woman's age was a deep, dark secret at times. My husband and I shared a good laugh today over a great aunt who got a little younger with each decade's US census (we have copies spanning forty years.) It was always rumored that the women fibbed about their ages... Even the headstone records are wrong in some cases, because the ladies didn't want anyone to know their real ages.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:48 PM   #11
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Sherry, my husband is first generation Danish American on his father's side. His mom's family has been here longer, she has quite a bit of family information. I have to sit down with her and put it in order and see what we have. I would appreciate your sources!

As for my family if what I have is correct it's leading to England and Scotland in that branch.

Thank you for your guidance!
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:51 PM   #12
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Barbara, CD, and Fred, thanks for the help!
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:58 AM   #13
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Lizbeth,
I hope these help you.
The first two are the databases I've used most often:
This is a database for emigration from Denmark. You can fill in any and all fields that you know. Your English computer doesn't have some of the "extra vowels" in some of the names. Do not substitute an o or aa, but instead insert an underline character for one missing vowel, or a % for several missing letters. (Example S_rensen, not Sorensen...) Or, perhaps, you have access to a Danish keyboard.

The Danish Emigration Archives
Census records online, with instructions in English for you. After you read through the English, click on home and proceed. The other button may take you to a broken link. Your mother-in-law or husband has probably already explained the added difficulty of working through the generations with patronymic names:
Statens Arkivers Arkivalieronline

This is a helpful list of other links to specialized smaller databases:
Denmark Genealogy links - over 100 links


Good luck!
Sherry
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:54 PM   #14
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Thank you Sherry!!!!!
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:44 PM   #15
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Smile My Genealogical trip.

I have been doing this for thirty years. I use Heritage Family Tree and it is creaking at 3308 individuals entered. Of course, I do have a lot of sources.

Our library allows us home access via the internet to Heritage Quest microfilms of the Censuses. Also I have visited the National Archives in Sand Point near Seattle. I am also able to search newspapers through newspaper archive. This is great for infomation on persons later than 1930, the last census year released. In 2012, the 1940 census should be released.

The most helpful census is the 1900 because it lists the month and year of each person's birth. Also the number of children and number living for each wife.

Of course you have to know something about the families, where they lived and the names of the family members.

Computers are wonderful for this. I was missing one family in the 1910 census, so I searched the whole country instead of just Wisconsin. It turned out they were living in St Louis during the 1910 census.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:35 PM   #16
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I use ancestry.com. I have been working to put together documentation for membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution. My mom's family has interesting background, from native American, to a surveyor for George Washington to an alleged ancestor who was on the Mayflower. We took the last two year's vacation trips in our VT to visit some of the locations, central PA, two Civil War battlefields that had relatives of mine who fought there, Plymouth, and a cemetery in PA full of chiggers.

I have also been supplementing with DNA. Last week, I found a cousin using the Family Finder DNA test.

I found another cousin also who is related somehow, although we can't figure out where or how, on my father's German side. He got me going on the German ancestors. He also threw out a surname that was one of my husband's names, so I worked on his line too. Turns out that the hubby's German ancestors and mine came from the same area of Germany. If I keep going, I might find we are be related.

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Old 08-16-2010, 08:47 PM   #17
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Wow Roger 3308? I am going to check to see what Los Angeles Co. library has available to help with the search. That's my "local" library system.

Cindy, one of my friends interest in joining DAR started my interest in doing genealogy. She had it easy, she has two aunts that are already DAR members! Her sponsor in the local chapter has offered to help me with research. At this point I'm not sure if I am interested in pursuing the DAR angle.

I have found 15ish relatives buried in one cemetery in Missouri. I plan to visit in the fall and will be wearing plenty of OFF. I hate chiggers!
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #18
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A general question after Cindy mentioned it...Is Ancestry.com worth the price of admission? I've read great reviews and bad reviews.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:36 PM   #19
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A general question after Cindy mentioned it...Is Ancestry.com worth the price of admission? I've read great reviews and bad reviews.
My ancestry file is on Ancestry.com here.

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Charles D. Smith Ancestors.

As a result of this thread I transferred all 4110 names in my ancestry file from Family Tree to PAF 5.

It's OK, but doesn't display notes well nor did it transfer all of the notes from Family Tree.

I suspect that this is a descrepancy in the way Family Tree codes NOTES in its GEDCOM export file.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:41 PM   #20
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I had a relative from Washington that looked up his family tree, and drove across the country visiting those relatives he found. He came to Minnesota a few times. He and his wife would always stop in and stay overnight. They would visit and talk family and they really enjoyed traveling around the country meeting relatives. I am sure they got many free meals, and saw a lot of the USA just checking out their geneology.
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