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Susan Littlefield
12-30-2011, 08:57 AM
I'm pretty sure this is the correct forum. :D

I have decided to do some genealogical research on my father's side of the family, as I know little about them. I don't know what happened when, but some kind of weird secrecy has stood in the way of receiving family stories. Even though bad stuff must have happened, I'm sure there was a lot of good as well.

I am having a grand time researching my family tree. Is anyone else here into genealogical research? If so, please share.

Well, actually, anyone can share whether or not they do family research... :D

Alan Yee
12-30-2011, 01:11 PM
I picked up genealogy when I was very little, thanks to my mom, who has a filing cabinet of folders and folders of genealogical information on different ancestors, along with pictures if she has them. Since no one else in the immediate family is all that interested in it, I'm probably going to inherit her genealogy filing cabinet and all the pictures and mementos. After that, who knows. I hope one of my future nieces or nephews are interested, because there's a LOT of stuff I'd hate to see get lost due to disinterested relatives.

My mother's side of the family is the white American/European half, which is much easier to trace. My father's side is the Chinese half, which is much harder to trace due to that side of the family not being as keen on genealogy as the other half and the fact that the records aren't easy to access or translate. I'm only able to go back as far my great-grandparents (my father's grandparents) on that side.

shakeysix
12-30-2011, 02:17 PM
i love the stories i heard as a kid and don't mind researching them. i have little patience for the actual digging but i do have a couple of friends who love doing it for others. my strength is my memory.

on wednesday my late mother's brother, my 84 year old uncle john, called my brother to say he had found 3 very old photos in a box of china. he recognized the surroundings--land we still own between us--the original homestead of my great great grandfather's family--but couldn't identify the family members-- first generation czech immigrants.

we went to his house to look at the pictures--very old, very fragile and faded. my brother drew a blank. i didn't. i am sixty years old but as i looked at those pictures i could remember being a little girl and my grandmother showing me the same pictures and telling me the names of her father's siblings. i could even remember her voice and the wallpaper in her dining room.

i only saw those pictures once. it wasn't easy but i pulled them all up--all eight siblings-- those were some weird names. and the fact that since my g-g grandfather was a baby the pictures were taken in 1881. my brother said i was a fraud because i probably had looked in the genealogy before we came. he always says things like that. it pisses me off. anyway i told him that if he got a magnifying glass he could see geraniums blooming in a coffee can in the dugout window. grandma had showed me that.

the window was about the size of my pinky nail but when my aunt got the magnifying glass, there was a can with a plant in the window. my brother was wordless for a moment only--then he said "Yeah, but you can't be sure it's a geranium."

anyway i took the photos to a professional photographer yesterday to be restored. he had hope for the geranium picture and one other. i'm making copies for the families. --s6

Jehhillenberg
12-30-2011, 04:41 PM
I've always been interested in this kind of stuff. My maternal grandma and her sisters were adopted and there's Native American on my mom's side. I have a vague idea of the heritage on my dad's side. I'd love to research my genealogy, by my family's too compartmentalized and I'm a poor college student who won't pay to join the online genealogical search sites.

PorterStarrByrd
12-30-2011, 04:53 PM
I've been doing it since 1970 ... have an excel data base with about 115,000 descendants (and still growing) of Coenradt Ten Eyck who came to Niew Amsterdam in 1648 ...

PM me with any questions and I can probably help or point you in the right direction.

For a good free start try the rootsweb world connect site and of course google advanced search

CACTUSWENDY
12-30-2011, 05:03 PM
Back in the 60's my mom did a family research on my daddys' side of the family. She even went to the state capital and looked through old history books. She said one day she turned the page in one old book and there was a picture of my dads' grandparents staring back at her.

She finally found the line all the way back to Europe.

A cousin at the same time did a book up and wrote in detail tons of the history from the east coast to the west coast. Some real interesting stuff.

It tells of the family and covered wagons. Preachers on horseback. The year of the big freeze in the late 1800's. One of the preachers even had Abe Lincoln in his flock at one time when he was a lawyer in the makings.

My mom had kept lots of things like how much she sold veggies and chickens for during the down and out times. The mending of clothes. The humbleness is really heartwarming.

I have always been one that loved to sit at the feet of one of the old timers and listen to all the old stories about past folks.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-30-2011, 06:37 PM
Like a lot of folks, I didn't get interested in genealogy until everyone who could actually help me was dead and gone... but I connected with a cousin I didn't know existed a few weeks after my mom died and I was off and running.

Don't let cost stop you... Most of my information was gathered for no cost from the online surname groups (http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames). The Family DNA project was another excellent resource - but it did cost us about $100 to get my brother's cheek swab tested. Best $100 I ever spent - connected me to blood relatives with tons of information and the tools to break through that solid brick wall on my dad's side.

My only regret... I didn't start sooner. My dad, whose mother died of gangrene when he was three, would have loved to see the pictures of his mother and aunts and grandmother and several more farther back in his line. And he would have really loved hearing about the first Robbins of his line who was brought here against his will in the 1600s due to a little disagreement with Cromwell over who should be Scotland's king.

PorterStarrByrd
12-30-2011, 07:14 PM
By the way ..

though not the oldest, www.cyndislist.com (http://www.cyndislist.com) is the mother of all sites.

If it isn't there, it probably isn't.

Priene
12-30-2011, 07:15 PM
The Family DNA project was another excellent resource - but it did cost us about $100 to get my brother's cheek swab tested. Best $100 I ever spent - connected me to blood relatives with tons of information and the tools to break through that solid brick wall on my dad's side.


I had one of those done. It allowed me to find out the surname of the lad my gggg-grandmother was shagging in 1810.

Anninyn
12-30-2011, 07:38 PM
My mum is a professional genealogist. If you suspect you may have british (east anglian) or Irish ancestors, check her out at pastsearch.

That pimping done, she always says beginners make one common mistake: They find someone of a similar name born at a similar time and ASSUME it's their ancestors, because they don't know how to do the more in depth stuff.

Susan Littlefield
12-30-2011, 07:41 PM
Wow, what great responses. I am so glad to know other people here are interested in family research.

Shakey, what an amazing story! I have original pictures of my great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather. I also have copies of some relatives on dad's side. One of my grandfather when he was young.

Porter, thank you for the information and link. I will check them out later.

Everyone, on my mother's side of the family, my grandmother passed away almost six years ago. She had done a ton of genealogical research and has binders of information. Some was computer research, but she did a lot of it the old fashioned way. She was pretty interested and remarkable.

Susan Littlefield
12-30-2011, 07:45 PM
My mum is a professional genealogist. If you suspect you may have british (east anglian) or Irish ancestors, check her out at pastsearch.

That pimping done, she always says beginners make one common mistake: They find someone of a similar name born at a similar time and ASSUME it's their ancestors, because they don't know how to do the more in depth stuff.

Anninyn, what a great job to have! I will check out here site.

Oh, Littlefield is not my maiden name. Both grandfathers were full blooded German, but I think I have a sprinkling of others nationalities as well.

Thank goodness, I have enough information from my cousin who has strong family contact to know that I have not made the mistake with similar names. I have birthdays, death dates, regions, etc.

Priene
12-30-2011, 09:02 PM
Incidentally, I found out one of my ancestors was William Shakespeare*. Beat that.
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*nailmaker in Dudley, Worcestershire

MaryMumsy
12-30-2011, 09:19 PM
The internet has made family research so much easier. About 10 years ago I got interested in my Dad's Mother's family. I had an ulterior motive: I wanted to see if I qualified for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (I do). There were stumbling blocks: Grandma died young (51), she was orphaned at 15 and then raised by relatives, she didn't talk about family. The one thing I knew was GGrandma's maiden name. And that got me no where. Then I found the one piece of info that unlocked the rest. Some nice professor at Sul Ross State College put the 1900 census for Presidio County Texas online. There was GGrandma (aged 14), one of her older brothers, and their mother. Googling GGGrandma's name led me to a wealth of info. Seems GGGrandma was from a prominent (do not read that as wealthy) and prolific family in south Texas and tons of stuff was online. I have met distant cousins, gotten photos, and clues to other stuff. One of the mysteries was what had happened to my Grandmother's father. There were a couple of variations of stories. The truth was much different. I obtained a copy of the divorce petition where my GGrandma divorced him in 1906, when she was only 20. We still don't know his ultimate fate (and other family members I've met online don't know either), but we know why he disappeared from my Grandma's life. The divorce petition reads like a soap opera.

And I found it all because one person took the time to transcribe a census and make it available online.

My original go to place is

usgenweb.org

MM

kayleamay
12-30-2011, 09:34 PM
Incidentally, I found out one of my ancestors was William Shakespeare*. Beat that.
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*nailmaker in Dudley, Worcestershire

I found out that my grandmother's grandmother was Elizabeth Swann. That's right. I'm related to a pirate who bears a striking resemblance to Kiera Knightley. Arrrrrrgh.

Priene
12-30-2011, 09:50 PM
I found out that my grandmother's grandmother was Elizabeth Swann. That's right. I'm related to a pirate who bears a striking resemblance to Kiera Knightley. Arrrrrrgh.

A distant cousin of mine was one of the Parramatta River murderers (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/1290586). His executed body was put on display in a pub, but that's the Aussie justice system for you.

AutumnWrite
12-30-2011, 10:16 PM
I grew up traipsing around cemeteries, court houses and libraries, being dragged behind mom. Kids often laughed when I told "What I did on my summer vacation", on the first day of a new school year.

So I guess it's in my blood. Genealogy was one of the first things my husband and I shared, we're still looking for the common link between the families, and often travel to locations just for research. In 2008 we traveled to the UK looking for more connections, getting photos of old family lands, graves and effigies in Annan, Ayr, Salisbury, Exeter, PembrokeÖand many more.

We have my maternal grandmotherís side back to several locations in the UK and Europe, but the maternal grandfatherís side has been trickier, yet we have it back to the Basque region of Spain Ė many pre-1700's. My fatherís family has been much harder, as many home births, and few records even in the 1800ís. Iím still not even sure of the original immigrant.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-30-2011, 10:56 PM
Incidentally, I found out one of my ancestors was William Shakespeare*. Beat that.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
*nailmaker in Dudley, Worcestershire

William the Conqueror's 32nd g-granddaughter here... some won't be surprised at that.

I've also got the last woman hanged for witchcraft in the state of Connecticut back in 1663 (Mary Barnes)... the disfunctional family featured in 'Lion in Winter'... the owner of one of the ghosts who haunts The Priory... another witch who was given the float test in England and survived... no few horse thieves and one of the first slaves brought to the US courtesy of Cromwell and the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

It's amazing how colorful that family tree is, when you take a really close look at the branches. :)

Susan Littlefield
12-31-2011, 01:01 AM
My grandfather's mother died young, but nobody knows when. In a census search, I found Grandpa at five years old living with his maternal grandparents. Later on, I traced him to 15 and living with his dad, who I believe must have been his step-mother, and three more siblings. It will be interesting to see what I can find out.

On my mother's side of the family, we have such a wealth of information- both my grandparent's family history written by an aunt, my grandma's research, all her written stories and journal entries, and one more journal which seems to be held in secret.

But, with dad, nobody talks about anything, therefore I have no family stories. But, I have figured out I can figure it out to a certain point with history and genealogy, but I'm going to try and get family members to talk to me. I know a few tidbits, but not much.

PorterStarrByrd
12-31-2011, 01:12 AM
William the Conqueror's 32nd g-granddaughter here... some won't be surprised at that.


Hate to think it, but we are somehow related .. :)
Through my mother's line. Looks much more intersting than my dad's but I had already invested a lot of time into the (X) tree with better than 115K properly placed relatives. I'll get back fleshing her's out when this one slows down.

(That really doesn't mean I related to everyone who ever signed their name X ... just a place holder)

Susan Littlefield
12-31-2011, 01:44 AM
Oh, um, I'm not related to anyone famous that I can see. It appears we were true southern farm people. :D

RobJ
12-31-2011, 02:00 AM
I've been researching since March, using the Family Tree Maker 2011 software and the ancestry.co.uk web site. I started out with quite a lot of information on my mother's side, and my wife's family, but like you had little about my father's side and there was also some secrecy involved. I've been able to find out a great deal of information on all branches of the family, including my father's line. All very interesting, and highly addictive too.

The software I've been using was easy to get to grips with, and makes it very easy to find potentially useful records (birth, marriage, death, census etc) and also potential matches with other people's family trees that they've made public via the ancestry.co.uk web site.

RobJ
12-31-2011, 02:04 AM
but I'm going to try and get family members to talk to me.
Get as much benefit from family members as you can, as soon as you can. The public records will still be available a year, two years, ten years from now, but your family members may not be and they take their memories with them. Small facts can do a lot to unlock branches of the tree.

PorterStarrByrd
12-31-2011, 02:17 AM
Oh, um, I'm not related to anyone famous that I can see. It appears we were true southern farm people. :D


When you get going, you are going to be surprised (over and over) about what pops up in your tree.

Anninyn
12-31-2011, 02:26 AM
When you get going, you are going to be surprised (over and over) about what pops up in your tree.

Lots of criminals in ours. Both sides.

Yasaibatake
12-31-2011, 04:36 AM
Back in the 70s, when my mom was in high school, she came home with an assignment to figure out her family tree for at least 4 generations back. My grandma started asking for stories and after the assignment was complete, she decided it was so much fun, she'd keep going. 30 some-odd years later, I now talk to my "cousins" back in Germany, found my great-uncle in Antwerp, and have all kinds of awesome family stories to tell. Heck, I wrote a paper in college about my grandfather fighting for the Americans in WWII while a fairly close relative, Carl Oberg, was the head Nazi in charge of occupied France. If I'm remembering correctly, I think we have one particular branch figured out all the way back to the...7th century? They were priests in England; I know that's the only reason my grandma was able to find them.

My grandmother's not in the best health, so earlier this year she gave me all her papers and research, saying I'm the only one in the family who really loves it the way she does. Unfortunately, the only "filing system" she's ever used can be summed up as: stuff as many papers as you can into a manilla envelope, regardless of whether or not they're related, and then throw the unmarked envelope into a random box. So my first task will be to somehow organize a few decades worth of paper mess. Then I'll have to figure out how I can keep adding to it, as most of her friends and contacts have passed already. I'd especially like to add something from my dad's side, as grandma never bothered (she doesn't like her in-laws very much...)

Alan Yee
12-31-2011, 09:45 AM
Since a lot of people are pulling out the notable connections, I'll share some more specifics: I'm a direct descendant of Roger Williams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Williams_%28theologian%29), Rebecca (Towne) Nurse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Nurse), and Martha (Allen) Carrier. Rebecca Nurse and Martha Carrier were both executed during the Salem Witch Trials.

I'm also a distant cousin of both George Bushes as well as Barbara (Pierce) Bush, William Howard Taft, James Madison, Zachary Taylor, General William Sherman, Ernest Hemingway, Lizzie Borden, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. There's some possible royalty connections I've found through online family trees, but since a lot of it is unverified, I'm taking it all with a grain of salt. Most of the connections from the 1600s onwards are reasonably verifiable.

PorterStarrByrd
12-31-2011, 08:08 PM
Lots of criminals in ours. Both sides.

Had to look ... thought maybe you were in Australia :)

Susan Littlefield
01-01-2012, 07:00 AM
Yasa,

How wonderful that your grandmother entrusted you with the family information. I don't have children, and I don't know whether or not my nieces or nephew would care about family research, but I am hoping I can leave this information for them. I think preserving the family tree is important.

Alan,

I have not ventured into cousins or anything. So far, I can't find where I am related to anyone famous, though I could very well be. It's sure fun trying to find out who I am related to, though.

Jehhillenberg
01-01-2012, 07:04 AM
Since a lot of people are pulling out the notable connections, I'll share some more specifics: I'm a direct descendant of Roger Williams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Williams_%28theologian%29), Rebecca (Towne) Nurse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Nurse), and Martha (Allen) Carrier. Rebecca Nurse and Martha Carrier were both executed during the Salem Witch Trials.

I'm also a distant cousin of both George Bushes as well as Barbara (Pierce) Bush, William Howard Taft, James Madison, Zachary Taylor, General William Sherman, Ernest Hemingway, Lizzie Borden, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. There's some possible royalty connections I've found through online family trees, but since a lot of it is unverified, I'm taking it all with a grain of salt. Most of the connections from the 1600s onwards are reasonably verifiable.


That is a VERY impressive resume, Alan. :) You're HIRED. :D

Chumplet
01-01-2012, 07:15 AM
My dad had been researching his family tree for years, and sent me an Excel file tracing both his lines back to the first Acadians who entered Canada in the 1600's. I am directly descended from the first Cormier who entered Canada, and a very early Hebert on my grandmother's side.

My mom and my cousins on her side only recently started researching her family, mostly her father's line. He was a Miq'Mak who had been taken from his parents and raised by a white couple. We have pictures of him in the early 1900's, with several people we still have to trace.

The whole thing is so fascinating.

Susan Littlefield
01-01-2012, 07:18 AM
Here's an update as of today:

I found a distant relative on my father's side of the family and rootsweb.com. I emailed her less than an hour ago and got an answer right away. We are exchanging information on my GGG grandfather.

Susan Littlefield
01-01-2012, 07:20 AM
Chumplet,

It's interesting how far and wide the family trees go with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

Chumplet
01-01-2012, 07:24 AM
Susan,

I'm not sure if I have distant relatives in Louisiana after the Expulsion of the Acadians, but I read an account of an ancestor who dressed as a native woman and hid in the forest to escape the British soldiers in the 1700s. An interesting history of an era that was excluded from Canadian history books when I was a schoolchild.

Susan Littlefield
01-01-2012, 09:47 PM
Susan,

I'm not sure if I have distant relatives in Louisiana after the Expulsion of the Acadians, but I read an account of an ancestor who dressed as a native woman and hid in the forest to escape the British soldiers in the 1700s. An interesting history of an era that was excluded from Canadian history books when I was a schoolchild.

Sandra,

Neat family story. It would be interesting to find the stories that are not told. I read online that my GGG Grandfather was "quite a character." Now I want to know how!

I had a difficult time finding all the information on wanted on my great-grandfather named Grant. I have a family picture of him- a tall lean man wearing a suit, tie, hat, and beautifully shined shoes standing in front of an old house. On the back of the photo is written that he died was born 1866 in Arkansas and died in 1957 at a ripe old age.

I knew from census records that he was widowed at one time, then he remarried later on. I simply did an Google search of his name, which took me to rootsweb, where I found out that Grant was his middle name, which people called him. A distant distant distant cousin has researched that family line back to the 1600's.

Now, we are in the process of sharing information, because I have information she does not and vice versa.

jjdebenedictis
01-02-2012, 12:05 AM
I would love to know more about my dad's side of the family, but my dad was an only child and doesn't like discussing his parents because he still finds their deaths painful.

I know my grandfather spent time in a prison camp for objecting to fighting in the Russian army. I know when he was released, he walked out of the country illegally. I know he continued for years to fund someone back in Ukraine, but refused to tell anyone in his family who, to protect everybody involved.

I'm freakin' fascinated. I want to know more! Unfortunately, it's unlikely there are any official records of some of the more interesting (i.e. illegal, freedom-fighter) stuff, and the people who might know first hand have pretty much all passed away now.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 01:29 AM
JJ,

My dad is the same way in that he does not like talking about his side of the family due to a painful childhood. There has to have been good that happened, though, because nothing exists on bad alone.

What about your mom? Does she know some of the stories about your dad's side of the family?

Xelebes
01-02-2012, 03:43 AM
We have family trackers on almost all sides of the family here. My dad's mother's side comes from Wales and about a generation or two deep (great-great grandfather), it becomes untraceable with the highest trade earned being a dairy farmer. We meet every 10 years at the school my grandmother attended. My dad's father side is more interesting. We have two family trackers there, one who lives in San Diego who tracks all the descendants of my great-great-great-great grandfather who emigrated from Bessarabia, and another who tracks the descendants of my great-great-great-grandmother who reside in Canada. The San Diego grand reunion happens every ten years. The Winfield re-union happens around the same time.

My mother's side don't hold re-unions nor do they have any trackers, the bloodlines are much more interesting. Where as we only get vague clues of Russian nobility on my dad's side, we get into one of the biggest American political families (the Harrisons) on my mother's mother's side and we get into the Glaswegian elite (architects, engineers, businessmen, moderators) on my mother's father's side. A lot of what has prevented trackers on my mother's side has been due to the poor childhood of my grandmother.

Noted current relatives is Mike Rathje, a former NHL defenseman who is a third cousin of mine and there is a possibility that Ryan Strome, one of Team Canada's junior hockey star forwards might be a third or fourth cousin.

jjdebenedictis
01-02-2012, 05:02 AM
JJ,

My dad is the same way in that he does not like talking about his side of the family due to a painful childhood. There has to have been good that happened, though, because nothing exists on bad alone.

What about your mom? Does she know some of the stories about your dad's side of the family?She knows a few, but not many. My grandfather died when my dad was still a teenager, and my grandmother re-married and lived in another province, so we didn't see much of her. Then, when she passed away, for some reason my step-grandfather cut off all ties with the family.

I should talk my sister into trying to assemble a family history for dad's side of the family. She's awesome at ferreting out details, and I she and my dad have a pretty close connection. She might be able to get him to talk more about it.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 07:55 AM
I was surprised this evening when I got more information from my distant cousin. There is a book which contains information on my family line going back to the 1600's. She also gave me the family line names all the way back to that time as well. I can't tell you how jazzed I am about all this.

I scanned and emailed her a few pictures I have of our relations.

It seems I have found more information in two days than I have ever in my entire life of asking questions and for stories, etc.

Alan Yee
01-02-2012, 08:20 AM
FYI, now that it's 2012, the 1940 U.S. Census is now available--for privacy reasons, census records aren't available to the public until after 72 years. Since it's just been released, it will probably take a long time to be indexed, but it's out there.

Priene
01-02-2012, 09:14 AM
FYI, now that it's 2012, the 1940 U.S. Census is now available--for privacy reasons, census records aren't available to the public until after 72 years. Since it's just been released, it will probably take a long time to be indexed, but it's out there.

We've have the UK 1921 census in nine years, and then nothing until 2051. There was no 1941 census - something to do with large numbers of bombs being dropped on the country at the time - and the 1931 census was completely destroyed in a fire.

Alan Yee
01-02-2012, 10:01 AM
The U.S. 1890 Census was mostly destroyed by fire in 1921, and then inexplicably the remaining portion was destroyed in the 1930s. It's a real shame, since it leaves a twenty-year gap where not much is known about the whereabouts of certain family members. We know for a fact that some family members died between 1880 and 1900 (alive in the 1880 census, while their spouses were listed as widowed in the 1900 census), but we can't narrow it down any further because of the missing census in between.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 10:36 AM
FYI, now that it's 2012, the 1940 U.S. Census is now available--for privacy reasons, census records aren't available to the public until after 72 years. Since it's just been released, it will probably take a long time to be indexed, but it's out there.

You mean copies of the actual census records, right? I ask because I have traced via family search and archives for census records back to the 1700's, but the actual images are not available. Just the information.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 10:37 AM
The U.S. 1890 Census was mostly destroyed by fire in 1921, and then inexplicably the remaining portion was destroyed in the 1930s. .

Didn't know that.

Alan Yee
01-02-2012, 11:34 AM
You mean copies of the actual census records, right? I ask because I have traced via family search and archives for census records back to the 1700's, but the actual images are not available. Just the information.

I *think* you can access the actual census images through the different branches of the National Archives, for a fee. A lot of genealogy websites either only provide the information, or they only let you see the image if you subscribe to the website (Ancestry.com, for example).

RobJ
01-02-2012, 12:17 PM
I was surprised this evening when I got more information from my distant cousin. There is a book which contains information on my family line going back to the 1600's. She also gave me the family line names all the way back to that time as well. I can't tell you how jazzed I am about all this.

I scanned and emailed her a few pictures I have of our relations.

It seems I have found more information in two days than I have ever in my entire life of asking questions and for stories, etc.
Great stuff. Enjoy.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 08:53 PM
I *think* you can access the actual census images through the different branches of the National Archives, for a fee. A lot of genealogy websites either only provide the information, or they only let you see the image if you subscribe to the website (Ancestry.com, for example).


Yes, that is true about the images. i have joined archives.com, which is a minimal yearly fee. What images that are available is included in the membership.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 08:54 PM
Great stuff. Enjoy.

Thank you, Rob. I can't believe how much I now know about my family.

RobJ
01-02-2012, 11:13 PM
Yeah, I've had a similar time researching mine. Fascinating. And addictive.

Susan Littlefield
01-02-2012, 11:27 PM
Rob,

It is so addictive! I am pretty jazzed because there is a book about our family out there, which is out of hard print. However, the author has the book on CD. Can't wait to get my copy. It is apparently 1,400 pages with all the family lines. My distant relative who I have been corresponding with has a copy, and she said it's a really good thorough accounting with stories, etc.

Can't wait.

RobJ
01-02-2012, 11:40 PM
Sounds like a fantastic resource! How wonderful that'll be when you get your copy. It'll be interesting to see how far back, and how wide, your research takes you.

I'd like to make mine available in book form for family members when it's done.

Susan Littlefield
01-06-2012, 08:44 AM
I sent in my letter, a $22.00 check, plus postage and handling to the author for the E book on my family. Since I sent it Wednesday, and I know it will take a few days to get to me, but I'm pretty excited. :D

Susan Littlefield
01-13-2012, 07:38 AM
And, so for those of you who are into genealogy as much as I have been these days:

The book regarding my heritage arrived today. It's on CD, searchable, and has all the author's backup evidence, including census records and other documents. The author figured out were are about 8th cousins through my father's side. This stuff is amazing!

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-13-2012, 08:17 PM
I'm diehard.

Our family had an old clipping from the Beloit, Wisconsin newspaper in the 1930s that one of the cousins wrote, detailing my GGgrandparents, and how they moved from the area around Ithaca, NY to northern Illinois and then to southern Wisconsin in the 1850s. They had 10 children (Frank, my great grandfather, was the youngest).

In the late 1990s, with the advent of the internet, I got interested in that article again, and thought "Wouldn't it be cool if I could find out what happened to these people?" Did I mention they were Smiths? Yes, I enjoy a challenge. :D My dad's sister had some research my uncle had done in the 1970s, and he essentially made me a road map of some of the marriages and children, so it was easy to find most of them in census records. But a few were REAL challenges.

I made my first research trip to Madison, Wisconsin in the summer of 2005, and I had such a blast unearthing things, that I started going on more and more, and exploring the USA in ways I never had before. It was addicting!! During that first trip, I found a genealogy bookstore in Janesville, Wisconsin (storefront now closed, alas) that had cemetery transcription books and various other goodies for where the folks had settled. By the time the trip was over, I ended up having to send $400 worth of books home!

When I was laid off later that year, I decided to start a book. I figured if I didn't, no one else ever would. I made it a point to try to find as may pictures of as many family members as I could, and make it little mini-bios of everyone.

The hardest one was Charles Smith, my great grandfather's brother. "Moved to Canada. Died there." That was all anyone south of the border knew about the guy. I found him through a GOOGLE search! His son-in-law had posted a small bio for a town in ND, and a guy had posted it online (I had the son-in-law's name from my uncle's research!). And of all the provinces to settle in, they picked the one my husband is from (and I'm now living here). So I'm enjoying getting to know all my 3rd and 4th cousins up here.

We were actually "Schmidts" who were Pennsylvania Dutch and anglicized the name.

Genealogy led me back to real writing too. I'd done a little, but nothing too serious until I began viewing more microfilm than I'd ever seen in my life. I'd see these old news stories and think, "Holy CRAP! That would make an amazing novel!" It was one of those stories that led me to finish my first trunked novel!

I now have 1600 pages to this monster, and I'm going to wrap it up within the next 2 years or so. I just found the last mystery branch last year, so I'm busy trying to play catch up on that branch.

The Mormons will kill to get their hands on this thing, I'm telling you. All these unrelated Smiths in their database tied up into nice little knots. Yay me! :)

There's a place called The History Center in Ithaca, NY. I will probably donate my research to them when I go. That way all the relatives can see it if they visit (since if they get a copy of the book, they'll know that's where we came from).

Yasaibatake
01-14-2012, 03:09 AM
Susan,

That CD sounds incredible! It sounds like something I should do with my grandma's papers, except I'm not sure how to put it together. I was thinking how nice it would be to scan all her papers to make sure nothing could ever be totally lost or ruined, and since I have to organize it all anyway, it wouldn't really be that much extra work...is it just pdfs (or whatever type of files) in some kind of database? I'm okay in Excel, think that would work?

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-14-2012, 05:37 AM
FYI, now that it's 2012, the 1940 U.S. Census is now available--for privacy reasons, census records aren't available to the public until after 72 years. Since it's just been released, it will probably take a long time to be indexed, but it's out there.

Actually, it won't be available until April (since the census date was April 1). And then, unless you go to an archives to look at it, you'll have to wait for large chunks of it to be transcribed to view anything. Ancestry will probably be the best place to go.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-14-2012, 05:44 AM
If you guys haven't discovered it yet, go to familysearch.org. All KINDS of goodies!!

The Mormons have retooled their old database so you can actually view the records. I've been transcribing stuff for them (you can be a volunteer too, if you want to give something back).

One of my favorite sites is rootsweb.com. Americans, if you go here: http://resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/townco.cgi
and enter the name of the historic town where your family was from, it will give you the county to look in.

When you click the name of that county, you'll get a list of websites for that county. Usually, one of the top ones is a rootsweb site. There's one for every county in America. To be frank, some of them really suck. They have no good data. But I've been fortunate that Rock County, Wisconsin and Tompkins County, New York have been where the bulk of my people were, and I couldn't BELIEVE all the info. Especially lists of marriages, cemetery transcriptions, etc. Check it out.

Also, if you're looking for information on a certain last name, or a certain state, military stuff...this next website is a godsend. I've had oodles of 3rd cousins find me here: www.genforum.com (http://www.genforum.com). One of these 3rd cousins is now one of my best friends. They've shared photos with me of these people, given me more clues on other branches to follow, and more data than I could shake a stick at.

Susan Littlefield
01-14-2012, 10:38 AM
Hip-Hop-a-potamus,

You family research sounds exciting and fun! So far, the CD of my family has been informative and entertaining. The author is my cousin from about eight prior generations. An interesting tidbit is that the email someone else gave me to contact him was incorrect. I looked him up on Facebook, only to notice he and I have a friend in common-a boy I grew up with.

Well, this author happens to be my friend's second cousin! Imagine that!

As for the Family Search, I have been going there but I have not fully comprehended all their searches.

Susan Littlefield
01-14-2012, 10:41 AM
That CD sounds incredible! It sounds like something I should do with my grandma's papers, except I'm not sure how to put it together. I was thinking how nice it would be to scan all her papers to make sure nothing could ever be totally lost or ruined, and since I have to organize it all anyway, it wouldn't really be that much extra work...is it just pdfs (or whatever type of files) in some kind of database? I'm okay in Excel, think that would work?

Yasa,

The CD is awesome. He has the entire book as one PDF, then the book is broken down into pages. He has transferred the census records for the family lines into excel, which are in folders by state. He has done such an incredible job.

I guess you would just have to experiment as see which format might work for your book.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-14-2012, 04:27 PM
Hip-Hop-a-potamus,

You family research sounds exciting and fun! So far, the CD of my family has been informative and entertaining. The author is my cousin from about eight prior generations. An interesting tidbit is that the email someone else gave me to contact him was incorrect. I looked him up on Facebook, only to notice he and I have a friend in common-a boy I grew up with.

Well, this author happens to be my friend's second cousin! Imagine that!

As for the Family Search, I have been going there but I have not fully comprehended all their searches.

Do you have a family tree program yet? If you get one, try Family Tree Maker. If you look under Tools I think (at least in my paleolithic version it is), there is something called Relationship Calculator. If you select yourself and the other person, it will give you your relationship.

If your parents were brother/sister, you're 1st cousins.
If your grandparents were brother/sister, you're 2nd cousins.
If your great grandparents were brother/sister, you're 3rd cousins, and so on.

If there is a degree of difference (for instance, your grandparent was brother/sister to their parent), you'd be 1st cousins once removed, because of that degree of difference.

I have over 200 friends on Facebook, and most of them are my 3rd cousins. They like looking at my page to see who else they're related to. We like posting our ancient pictures, tagging each other, then seeing if we can identify unknowns in the pix. :)

I hosted a gathering in Beloit a few years ago to meet with cousins and scan their photos (yes, I travel with a scanner and my laptop). Two ladies started talking. They had lived across the street from each other for years and had no idea they were related. Two others had husbands that had worked together at the GM plant in Janesville for years, and they'd chatted at work functions, but had no idea they were cousins. In New York, same deal. Cousins who had known each other for years with no knowledge of the connection.

Susan Littlefield
01-14-2012, 07:18 PM
Hip-Hop-a-potamus:

I have heard of Family Tree Maker, I think- it's a genealogy software program, correct? It sounds fun to look at all the family connections. and see what relations we are.

Puma
01-14-2012, 07:34 PM
I'm a little late to this thread but I've been doing serious genealogical research for over 20 years - all lines, both my family and my husband's family. I feel I've been very successful, but, as with everyone, I have a few stumbling blocks I haven't been able to get past - almost all of them around 1830.

But, in addition to working on my family I've been doing a lot of work for my community - transcribing cemetery records (over 2,500 in 8 cemeteries), researching Revolutionary War veterans buried here (and veterans of wars since then), researching the settler's families, etc. All of this research has gone into short booklets that are available on line through our township's website at low cost (and the money raised goes to repairing our old cemeteries). And, I've gotten all the cemetery records onto the usgenweb Tombstone Transcription Project.

Additionally I've typed up the handwritten autobiography my grandfather wrote in the 1920's and shared it with all of his family, put together trees to share with all the family, etc. Now I'm working on hundreds of old pictures, close to 50 tintypes, with a cousin of mine trying to figure out who some of the forgotten people were. It's quite a project and would have been almost impossible before the internet.

And, a spinoff for me from this research is that I've written about twenty short stories about ancestors I've found - a grandmother in 1630 who was condemned as a witch, a grandfather who escaped a massacre during the Revolutionary War, a grandfather who ran booze across Lake Erie during Prohibition.

If nothing else, I'll be leaving a tremendous written legacy to the generations that come after me. And that's a good thing. Puma

Puma
01-14-2012, 07:39 PM
By the way, I'm surprised to see this thread in Office Party instead of historical genre or even story research. This is a thread that has a lot of meat in it (even if we're also telling personal experiences). Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-14-2012, 07:45 PM
Puma,

Sounds like you are doing a lot of interesting research, which also relates strongly to your writing.

I think office party is the perfect place for this thread, as it is not about story research and not on the historical genre. It's one of those subjects that is fun and interesting but, generally, has nothing to do with writing. :)

Cranky
01-14-2012, 07:50 PM
My late grandfather was into genealogy in a big way. One of my mother's responsibilities in the wake of his death is to go through and maintain all the work he's done over the years. 3 barrister-style filing cabinets worth of records and photos. On their yearly vacations, he and my grandmother would track down some other obscure family connection. I know, for example, that one of my ancestors was a mad-dog murderer who shot someone dead on their front steps back in the 1800's, that I'm distantly related some Germanic queen or other, and that my great great great (or something like that) grandfather and uncle were like the shipping magnates of the Midwest wagon train set. :D They had some notable run-ins with some of the tribes out this way. Johann (we're very German on that side, heh) has one of the fanciest headstones I've seen in a tiny cemetary in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. On my grandmother's side, I've learned some about my grandmother's mother, who died when Grandma was sixteen of kidney failure. I learned about our Mississippi relatives, who owned a plantation (and, I suspect, were slaveholders, to my shame) I even learned things about Grandma herself I'd never have suspected if I'd not seen the evidence. :D She was a cute cheerleader in the 40's. Every day, I drive past the Sunken Gardens here in town where my granddad proposed to her all those years ago. Even our recent history can be quite fascinating.

ETA: Susan, I'm not so sure it doesn't have anything to do with writing. A few years back, I saw a fantastic picture of my great-grandmother as a young woman, posing beside a car. Something about that sparked my imagination, and I've had a few false starts on a story inspired by that photo and by her. That's just one example, and if I had an interest, I imagine I could find all kinds of story ideas straight out of my family tree. :)

PorterStarrByrd
01-14-2012, 08:27 PM
Two years ago I started to 'review' the Ten Eyck Family tree, which the had about 56,000 thousand descendants of Coenraedt Ten Eyck who came to Niew Amsterdam in about 1648. It had taken me about 35 years to get that far. My expectation was to add several thousand names and be finished in a couple of months.

This past week I have added about 400, taking the total to over 116,00 properly placed members. That gives you an idea how info on the web is growing. I expect to be a little under or over 120K when I finish this revision sometime this spring or summer, then to start rev3 right after that.

Be careful on the LDS site but use it. There are ulterior motives to building trees and I have discovered a number of leaps that should never have been made. The site is, however, a GREAT place to start. Just check things out carefully.

For those who may not have read the earlier posts in this thread I recommend again, Cyndi's list. Rootsweb and google are major tools as well. For google, 'obit' is a handy word to add to the advanced seach.
Rootsweb=ancestory.com in regard to trees (for the most part) and is free

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-14-2012, 09:31 PM
Be careful on the LDS site but use it. There are ulterior motives to building trees and I have discovered a number of leaps that should never have been made. The site is, however, a GREAT place to start. Just check things out carefully.


This. If you're looking at the original records, or the transcribed ones, you're good. If you're looking at stuff like the "International Genealogical Index" or Ancestral File, use a grain of salt. They are often just submitted by people who are like you-- searching and sometimes making assumptions that are not true. Sometimes you can use them to try to further your search, but don't use them as fact.

One of the first things to remember about genealogy is to SOURCE EVERY FACT. When I first started, I didn't. Later, someone would ask me where I got a fact, and I couldn't remember. So I restarted my tree, and entered a fact for everything I entered. Look up "primary sources" and "secondary sources" and you'll see what I mean.

Susan, if you're going to get into this stuff for real, you should have a genealogy software program for you to enter everyone you're tracing so you have a record. You can source, you can print from them, and you have everything in one handy place. They're SUPER easy to use. Hell, I picked FTM up in a couple days.

Puma
01-14-2012, 09:43 PM
I think one of the primary connections to writing in this thread is the researching and places to go to research.

That said, I agree with the "be careful on the LDS site". They have had some people submit information into the International Genealogical Index that's blatantly wrong. My rule there is, unless it's extracted (microfilmed) from an actual record, take it with a grain of salt. I've asked them about correcting information that's wrong and their response was they'd need the original document to change it (a birth record from 1802 - really?) However, the 1880 census that's accessible from their old site is wonderful for help.

Ancestry is another one that's frought with errors. It's really sad when you can look at a picture of an individual's tombstone and ancestry at the same time - and whoever put the info on ancestry didn't take the time to check the tombstone.

Rootsweb is wonderful. I especially like their Worldconnect project (even though it's put on by individuals). There are some errors, but not as many as on some other sites. Some people (like me) have put up all of their family(s) tree - I don't know how many names I have, but I was able to take several of the lines back into the 15th century.

USgenweb (archives) are wonderful. And the tombstone transcription project I mentioned above is very worthwhile and helpful.

Immigrant Ship's Transcriber's List is another wonderful website with a tremendous amount of information. That's where I found my husband's grandfather and family after I'd been told by his family there was no information available. And from there I was able to find his family in the little town in Switzerland they came from (and pages upon pages of microfilmed church records available through the LDS).

Genforum, which I believe is a spin-off of Family Tree Maker, is also a good site with many subforums. Again, it's individuals posting, but many of them take the time to post lengthy lists of trees, cemetery records, war records, etc.

There's a tremendous amount of information available on the web. Unfortunately, some of the info that was free 20 years ago has now been grabbed by the pay for sites which I find very unfortunate. But, that's life. Puma

PorterStarrByrd
01-14-2012, 10:01 PM
As far as a program for record keeping I've used excel and been happy with it

There are no bells and whistles, unless you put them there but it serves well for a db as large as mine is and I can do things with it that I want to, rather than limiting myself to what the software publisher thinks I might like to do.

LDS site would not be all that eager to change info or trees as that would also entail having to redo or undo temple work associated with them. That is also the ispiration for some of the errant info.

I can answer questions about that or anything else if PM'd.

I agree with the need for citations for entries but went a long time without doing so. I present my tree cautionarily as a guide rather than as absolutely accurate. Aside from the the typos inherent in a project with millions of key strokes I am more an exlplorer than an authority, though I don't include anything that I even suspect is inaccurate.

Some people need to remain perfect in the entire process, even to the level of including all the alterative spellings of names. Others don't.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-14-2012, 10:36 PM
Point taken, Porter.

I want this book to be the utmost authority on my Smith family, so I try to create a source for everything I put in since I'm also footnoting the facts in my book. I'm the first person to try this ever in our family, so I want it to be as perfect as I can make it.

Bless her heart, there was a lady in the 1970s who created a booklet (not even really a book-- just a bound thing that was given to many of her family members). It has a lot of data about some Schmidts in PA I'm trying to connect my patriarch (GGG grandfather) to. My GG grandfather and his next youngest sister were born there, and in some old LDS records from the church that were transcribed, there were many Schmidts acting as baptismal sponsors for each others' children. I have a couple that my patriarch and matriarch stood up for, and then some stood up for ours.

I'm quite sure that these men were my patriarch's brothers, but there is no way for me to prove it. I've also had a DNA test taken from one of our remaining Smith men, and have had two matches, but both are so far back as to be back in the old country. They appear to have had no connections here within the states (at least not to PA).

I want to try to find more modern day cousins from these PA Schmidt branches to prove my theory, but I can only seem to find girls that they had, and no men.

Anyhew, this lady created this booklet. Very helpful, lots of good data. And not a SOURCE to be had in the damned thing. So I have no idea where she got her information. Church records? Courthouses? Family stories passed down? Nada. Thanks, lady. :|

In 50 years, I don't want anyone saying that about me. They'll know exactly where I was, can follow along behind me, and keep going either backward or forward, depending on how far genealogy keeps up in the meantime.

Puma
01-15-2012, 12:59 AM
Funny, Hip-Hop - one of my current roadblocks, dead-ends is a Schmidt, Magdalena Carolina or Carolina Magdalena, born in 1837 but I haven't been able to find out where.

Common names are some of the hardest to work with. Another of my roadblocks is in Webb, but man, look at my unusual names and I've got them. Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-15-2012, 01:17 AM
I have been primarily using archives.com, which I really like. I already had information on some family members and, thus far, have found it archives to be accurate. I have also been building my family tree on there, but I do need software on my computer should I decide to not subscribe to archives after a year. It is a reasonable yearly subscription, which is fine with me.

I know many stories can come out of family research, but my original post was not intended to tie genealogy and writing together, which is why I put it in the Office Party room. If a moderator does feel differently, feel free to move it. :)

Okay, going to download the Family Tree Maker as suggested. Might as well try it out and see what happens. :D

MaryMumsy
01-15-2012, 02:46 AM
I will 3d or 4th or whatever the warnings about familysearch.org. I have the birth cert to show that info about one of my relatives is wrong. but he never married, had no children, and no one would really care by our line, and we know the truth.

One of my stumbling blocks was an aunt I knew until my teens. Then it came out in discussion with my parents that she was really my grandmother's aunt. Then one day from the depths of Dad's memory, he came out with: 'oh, she was a XXXX'. so I'm searching all over trying to find her in that part of the family. turns out that XXXX was her married name from her first marriage, and her husband just happened to be part of the family tree also. finally found her in the other side of my grandmother. So even sources who were around at the time may not be the best at solid information.

MM

Susan Littlefield
01-15-2012, 05:23 AM
Mary,

Thanks for the warning about Family Search (and to everyone else too for the alerts); I have been using it as a guide when I am stuck. Thank goodness I trust the information where I can pull up the census records at archives.com, but am skeptical to information where I don't have some kind of backup unless I know the information to be ture.

It seems my grandparents on dad's side were cousins (her mother's maiden name is the same as my grandfather's last name. This has been verified through my source who wrote the book on my family line, who has also provided primary sources). However, since grandma's dad died sometime before she was two, and I don't know his first name, I am having trouble tracking him down. I know his last name, possible place of birth, and an estimated birth range based on when the oldest child was born.

Puma
01-15-2012, 06:50 AM
Susan -very, very often, children were named for parents or grandparents, so you might try searching for the surname and the first names (or even middle names) your grandmother gave her sons with the basic time period either on familysearch or rootsweb world connect to see if anything possible pops up. It's worth a try. Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-15-2012, 10:48 AM
Puma,

Thank you for the tip.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-16-2012, 02:30 AM
I feel strongly both ways about moving this thread over to either History Writing or Research... but I'm leaning toward leaving it right here in Office Party. The reason is: a lot of people who are interested in Genealogy aren't necessarily interested in writing about it or in writing any stories/novels in historical settings. Those of us who are interested in both won't be hurt by hanging out with the peeps in Office Party and those who are in Office Party might be inspired to visit us over in Historical Writing...

Make sense? :)

Carry on, y'all. Being as I'm an amateur in in the Genealogical field, I'm loving the education I'm getting here.

Susan Littlefield
01-16-2012, 04:53 AM
Jennifer,

Thanks for not moving it, but if you change your mind don't worry about it. I'm pretty easy going when it comes to these things. :D

This could turn into a writing project, though. My aunt wrote the stories of her parent's lives about 25 years ago, but she had first hand accounts (from my grandparents). I would like to eventually do a similar project, or....gulp....some historical fiction.

Puma,

It's amazing what you can find out from genealogy pages other people have created. Thus, reading other's messages at genealogy sites, and matching up the names, dates of birth, and dates of death, I was able to find my grandmother's father's first name. He died sometime between Grandma's birth and when she was 2. The 1920 census record shows my grandmother and her brothers living with their mom and her parents. Grandma's mom was widowed at the time. The 1930 census shows grandma living with her mom and brothers with her stepfather, which is a name I recognize.

I am wondering if he came over from England, but I am not yet sure. I will continue to search.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-16-2012, 06:25 AM
Jennifer,

Thanks for not moving it, but if you change your mind don't worry about it. I'm pretty easy going when it comes to these things. :D

This could turn into a writing project, though. My aunt wrote the stories of her parent's lives about 25 years ago, but she had first hand accounts (from my grandparents). I would like to eventually do a similar project, or....gulp....some historical fiction.

Puma,

It's amazing what you can find out from genealogy pages other people have created. Thus, reading other's messages at genealogy sites, and matching up the names, dates of birth, and dates of death, I was able to find my grandmother's father's first name. He died sometime between Grandma's birth and when she was 2. The 1920 census record shows my grandmother and her brothers living with their mom and her parents. Grandma's mom was widowed at the time. The 1930 census shows grandma living with her mom and brothers with her stepfather, which is a name I recognize.

I am wondering if he came over from England, but I am not yet sure. I will continue to search.

It's amazing what you can find in Google searches too. As I mentioned, I found my Charles Smith that way. I just happened to enter the search in the perfect way, his name in quotes, along with the word Minnewaukan, which was the name of the town in North Dakota where he and my great grandfather (his brother) homesteaded together before Charley moved to Alberta.

Especially if you have any unusual names in the tree, you will get TONS of good data. Many times other descendants have created websites for THEIR trees, and you find other info to keep going.

It really IS addictive.

Puma
01-16-2012, 06:30 AM
Susan - If you think he might have come over from England, you'll want to search on the Immigrant Ship's Transcriber's Guild. I used to have it bookmarked but any more I just access it by Googling. I think "The Compass" is where you want to go there (can't remember, exactly.) Their site is searchable and has passenger lists from hundreds of ships going clear on back. But, like any search engine, you'll probably get quite a few hits to wade through (another case where unusual names help.) I felt like the first man to step on the moon when I found my husband's family there - totally unexpected. Puma

LilGreenBookworm
01-16-2012, 07:02 AM
Hi everyone. I haven't really done any type of research yet, but I am thinking about it. I love hearing all of the stories my family members tell about relatives I have and haven't met, and holding items in my hand that have been passed down for generations and wondering what my ggg-grandma was like. Thinking I would have to fork out a bunch of money to research was holding me back, but from reading this thread it looks like that might not be the case. :)

I do have an excellent resource for my paternal grandma's family. A town where I'm from chose a different French family to research and hosted a reunion for everyone they found in that line, then had a book for sale detailing what they found. I haven't looked at it in years, but I believe it goes back to the 1600s. I am several states away from the book right now, but I'll be moving back to the one it's in very soon, and can't wait to look through it again.

But my mom's family...well, they don't care about this kind of stuff. At all. I had to make a family tree in high school and was told "oh, you're Indian." I have no idea what tribe, or even if it's true, since my only resource is a grandmother with Alzheimers who has no idea who I am and didn't like me when she did know me.

I have no idea where to start or how to go about any of this, but family is everything to me and I want to know more about mine, so any tips would be extremely welcome! :)

Alan Yee
01-16-2012, 07:08 AM
Actually, it won't be available until April (since the census date was April 1). And then, unless you go to an archives to look at it, you'll have to wait for large chunks of it to be transcribed to view anything. Ancestry will probably be the best place to go.

Out of curiosity, I checked out the National Archives website. Apparently on April 2 they're going to release the entire 1940 census digitally for free on the website (http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/). That's not just the index you'll be able to view for free--you'll even be able to access and download the images for free. The main people I want to find in the 1940 census are in Chicago, though. That would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, so I'll most likely wait until it's indexed. There is a branch of the National Archives in Seattle, which my mom went to many years ago to find a lot of death certificates and census records.

I've periodically considered subscribing to Ancestry.com, but it's pretty expensive, considering the abundance of information my family already has. Plus for many vital records they only have the index and not an image of the actual record.

Puma
01-16-2012, 07:22 AM
LilGreenBookworm - Indians can be difficult to research but there are some excellent resources on line. I can't list them off the top of my head, sorry. Look at Cyndi's list - I'm pretty sure that has Native American resources listed.

If I were you I'd start with what you know on your Mother's family and see what you can find on Rootsweb Worldconnect and the LDS site (familysearch) and go from there.

One of my family lines has a "squaw Indian" born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland back around 1750 and that's where the line stops. From what I understand, many of the listing of squaw Indian like I have in my tree means the woman was really a slave and it was covered up by calling her an Indian. From researching the father in this instance, there's no question he was a slave holder. So, I'll never know, but I am happy for what I was able to find out. Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-16-2012, 08:37 AM
I misspoke when I said my great-grandfather might have come from England-he was actually born in Texas USA. However, I suspect his family might have come from there. My grandmother's maiden name is Rouse, and she was born in Colorado. Yet, her mother's family was from Oklahoma, which is where my grandmother lived until she married and her husband brought her to California.

Tonight I found a forum for the Rouse surname and posted there to see if they have any information on my great-grandparents. After viewing census records, it seems he died somewhere between 1917 and 1920.

Susan Littlefield
01-16-2012, 08:39 AM
LilGreenBookworm - Indians can be difficult to research but there are some excellent resources on line. I can't list them off the top of my head, sorry. Look at Cyndi's list - I'm pretty sure that has Native American resources listed.

If I were you I'd start with what you know on your Mother's family and see what you can find on Rootsweb Worldconnect and the LDS site (familysearch) and go from there.

One of my family lines has a "squaw Indian" born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland back around 1750 and that's where the line stops. From what I understand, many of the listing of squaw Indian like I have in my tree means the woman was really a slave and it was covered up by calling her an Indian. From researching the father in this instance, there's no question he was a slave holder. So, I'll never know, but I am happy for what I was able to find out. Puma

According to my grandmother on my mom's side, we have some Cherokee Indian in our heritage. When my grandmother told me this, I asked how she was sure of this. When she was a little girl, she had been in her grandmother's house and there was a full blooded Indian lady lying on a cot. When grandma asked about it, she was told she was a relative (Grandma didn't remember which relative or her name) and was very sick.

Priene
01-16-2012, 01:44 PM
My grandmother's maiden name is Rouse, and she was born in Colorado. Yet, her mother's family was from Oklahoma, which is where my grandmother lived until she married and her husband brought her to California.


Did your grandmother have any paternal uncles or aunts that you know of? If you look in the censuses around her area in Oklahoma, you may find some, and you can use their details to trace your g-grandfather.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-16-2012, 04:57 PM
Out of curiosity, I checked out the National Archives website. Apparently on April 2 they're going to release the entire 1940 census digitally for free on the website (http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/). That's not just the index you'll be able to view for free--you'll even be able to access and download the images for free. The main people I want to find in the 1940 census are in Chicago, though. That would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, so I'll most likely wait until it's indexed. There is a branch of the National Archives in Seattle, which my mom went to many years ago to find a lot of death certificates and census records.

I've periodically considered subscribing to Ancestry.com, but it's pretty expensive, considering the abundance of information my family already has. Plus for many vital records they only have the index and not an image of the actual record.

Ooh, that's new. We used to have to wait forEVER for it. I'm looking for a guy in Milwaukee who kept NO paper trail. I have his birth record from Beloit, and he was mentioned in his natural father's obituary, but I have never been able to find out anything more about him. He's not in the SSDI. Theoretically, he could STILL be alive (although really freaking old...), but not likely. His stepfather's stepdaughter told me the first name of the woman he married, which is unusual, but I have never been able to find mentions of them anywhere. With a name like Leonard Nelson, I could be looking FOREVER.

Those 2-week limited memberships on Ancestry are really helpful. You'd be amazed at all you can get done in 2 weeks. Just remember to cancel about a day before it's ready to expire. They've been known to give people a hard time when they do, but I've never had any problems.

Susan Littlefield
01-16-2012, 07:23 PM
Did your grandmother have any paternal uncles or aunts that you know of? If you look in the censuses around her area in Oklahoma, you may find some, and you can use their details to trace your g-grandfather.

I'm sure they did, but I have not traced back that wide yet.

Susan Littlefield
01-16-2012, 07:28 PM
Those 2-week limited memberships on Ancestry are really helpful. You'd be amazed at all you can get done in 2 weeks. Just remember to cancel about a day before it's ready to expire. They've been known to give people a hard time when they do, but I've never had any problems.

Didn't I read somewhere in this thread that ancestry.com is not the best site, as it's often not accurate?

Puma
01-16-2012, 08:32 PM
Ancestry has some records, but they also have a lot of wrong information - ranking right up there with the LDS site, possibly worse. I'm on their message boards (which is free), but I will not pay for a membership. And when I've been enticed by something it looks like they have and gone for the two week trial, they really didn't have it. Some people love ancestry and go to great extents to post their information with pictures and links. So don't rule it totally out, but remember the good old "caveat emptor". Puma

Priene
01-16-2012, 08:38 PM
Ancestry.co.uk is good for British information. They've been digitising piles of stuff like parish and war records, as well as the censuses up to 1911. But if you're talking about family trees, that information will only be as good as the genealogist compiling it.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-16-2012, 08:42 PM
Didn't I read somewhere in this thread that ancestry.com is not the best site, as it's often not accurate?

That's why we made sure to clarify that you need to look for the actual birth/death/marriage/divorce/military records that are there. THOSE are considered primary sources. They will help you in your research. And they have plenty.

Using information posted by other users is not always accurate. THAT'S the inaccurate data we're talking about. Use it as a possible jumping off point, because the person might be more closely related to the family. OR they could just be collecting cousins from various trees, with no knowledge of the person, and could just be posting information they found somewhere that was ALSO not sourced.

Susan Littlefield
01-16-2012, 11:23 PM
Puma and HH, thanks for the clarification on ancestry.com.

Just from browsing, I know they have some primary sources there that they don't have at archives or even Family Tree. I have found accurate information on family trees that others have built, though (when compared to census records or other information I have gotten from family members).

I do know primary sources are accurate, sometimes other sources might not be.

Susan Littlefield
01-17-2012, 12:53 AM
i just signed up at Archives for their free 14 day trial. Their search system is not all that user friendly, as they turn up loads of data for even the most refined search. However, they provide copies of census records that archives does not. Thus, it seems there are pluses and minuses to both.

Puma
01-17-2012, 01:34 AM
One of my gripes about Ancestry is that even if the primary source is available, for some reason they seem to post incorrect data especially in their headers. It's like no one is looking at what they're posting and comparing. Example: on my husband's family I found in the ship's lists (and posted in genforum on the internet) - the family entered the US through Castle Gardens - but Ancestry says they went to Brazil - same ship, same dates, etc. How that happened, I'll never figure out. Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-17-2012, 02:19 AM
Puma,

The family trees built by distant relatives (and I mean distant) are proving to be invaluable, especially when I got to a tree and find pictures of my great-grandparents with all the exact information I have had all along on one of them. I won't keep the membership once the free trial is up, because it's too expensive, but I will be sure to get all the information I can in the interim.

Oh, I even liked that one tree cited their source with the documents that was supposed to be for that source, which the tree-maker indicated was not the correct document attached to the information. I could not the document very well, but it does not look correct to me either.

Puma
01-17-2012, 02:38 AM
Yes, "Make hay while the sun shines." It sounds like you're coming along pretty well, but beware - genealogy is very addictive! Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-17-2012, 04:40 AM
Puma,

I know it's addictive! :D Saturday evening as the beau and I were driving home form dinner, I asked if he thought I was obsessed with this new adventure of mine, he said, "Yes. But, at least it's a good obsession."

:D

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-17-2012, 05:42 AM
Puma,

I know it's addictive! :D Saturday evening as the beau and I were driving home form dinner, I asked if he thought I was obsessed with this new adventure of mine, he said, "Yes. But, at least it's a good obsession."

:D

Wait'll you've been at it ten years or more. Now, my husband just sighs when I say I found a new cousin, and blah-blah-blah....

:ROFL:

PorterStarrByrd
01-17-2012, 05:48 AM
Google books and Google images can provide some interesting revelations too.

I used google advance search extensivley

Susan Littlefield
01-17-2012, 06:50 AM
Porter,

Amazingly, I have found lots of information with Google search. The images I found on the Archives website, which I am only doing for the 14 day trial. Downloading all the census records, etc. that I can before it's no longer free.

It's interesting to see the progression of ancestor's lives for several years- where they lived, what children lived at home, occupation, whether they could read, write, and speak English. Very interesting.

On family member had five children. By age 60, she was widowed and had one living child. At that time, she lived with her daughter and son-in-law.

PorterStarrByrd
01-17-2012, 06:54 AM
The fun nevers stops .... :)

Susan Littlefield
01-18-2012, 10:33 AM
This evening, I found the passenger list for when my great-great-grandfather came from Hamburg, Germany to New York in 1874. He was 17 and arrived with his 14 year old German wife and two other family members, who I believe might have been his brother and father. I am still researching to figure that part out. Wow.

Puma
01-18-2012, 05:41 PM
There is a center in Bremen, Germany that has a lot of the passenger information. It's possible to get photocopies of the original records from them. I can't remember the exact name of the center; but if you do some googling you ought to be able to find it. It's sort of like the German counterpart of Ellis Island. My German cousins actually went there to get records for me for a different German family of mine (not the one they're in).

Then, here in the US, look for the records from Castle Gardens. Ellis Island didn't open until after 1880.

You may be able to find some additional information that way.

You'll also want to go to the LDS site, family search, and put in the name of your ancestor and limit the search by birthdate, use a five year window (born in 1867, use 1865-1870). This should bring up hundreds of extracted records. You can limit your search more by using the available filters on the page with the results - but be careful because it's easy to cut out what you want accidentally. There's a fairly good chance you'll be able to find some more information that way including whether or not the two other passengers were the father and brother.

Good luck and have fun. And by the way, if you run into questions and this thread has sunk off the first page of this forum, feel free to pm me with the question. Puma

Susan Littlefield
01-18-2012, 07:48 PM
Wow, thanks for the information, Puma. I am really excited about finding more information!

RobJ
01-20-2012, 02:28 AM
And, so for those of you who are into genealogy as much as I have been these days:

The book regarding my heritage arrived today. It's on CD, searchable, and has all the author's backup evidence, including census records and other documents. The author figured out were are about 8th cousins through my father's side. This stuff is amazing!
That's great news.

I started my research almost a year ago, approaching what would have been my father's 100th birthday, and have found out so much about his side of the family tree since. Last night I met and had dinner with a brother that I'd never met before (same father different mother), and also had a message (first contact) via the ancestry.co.uk site from a cousin on that side of the family who wants to share information.

Susan Littlefield
01-20-2012, 09:57 AM
Rob,

How wonderful you are meeting relations you never knew. I am hoping by researching my family history on my dad's side, I will be able to establish some kind of a connection. They just don't talk much about family and history. It's kind of baffling to me, since mom's side of the family has been so open about history and what life was like then.

My grandfather on mom's side was a small German man with a big personality. When he was about 12, his mother died. His father gave him and his siblings up for adoption because he felt he could not raise them by himself. Grandpa loved the wife of the adoption family, but the man was really cruel to him. What I heard from Grandpa about being raised in such a home: "You know what I learned in that home? How NOT to treat other people."

To me, stories such as this are beyond ordinary, though what my ancestors went through was quite ordinary for their day.

Since I don't have these stories on my dad's side of the family, I am finding that connection through research of their lives. Put all the historical records together with historical facts and there are lots of stories to be told.

DragonHeart
01-31-2012, 07:05 AM
I'm just starting to research my own family. I know my uncle has been doing some work on my mom's side of the family but I haven't asked him for material yet, mostly because their side of the family is huge. I do know I have fairly recent German ancestry though.

I am actually surprised at how fast I was able to trace back several generations of my father's line, paternal side. I'm starting to think my grandma was right, maybe I am related to Buffalo Bill. >_> I haven't come across him yet though.

Actually, my grandma's side of the family is proving difficult to trace. Unfortunately I can't ask her because of something that happened a decade ago that has torn a huge rift between us even though it wasn't my fault. Just the way it is I suppose.

RobJ
02-09-2012, 01:46 AM
I hope your research is going well, Susan, particularly on your father's side. Stories like your maternal grandfather's are so interesting, I love what he said about learning how not to treat other people.

Last night I visited my newly-found brother and his wife at their home for dinner, the second time we've met, and he handed me a copy of my father's army records spanning from 1931 to 1964. Pages and pages of information, where and when he served, his height, weight and chest girth at various ages, tattoos, promotions, demotions, medals, severe reprimands ... it's a real treasure trove. Truly fascinating!

Susan Littlefield
02-10-2012, 12:53 AM
Dragon Heart:

I have discovered I am mostly English with some German on my dad's side, and mom's side is mostly German with a bit of Irish. I'm using Ancestry right now, which is an excellent resource. I also learned that our County Library has an excellent genealogy annex and allows us to use Ancestry free in the library and other free resources outside of the library.

My grandfather's mother has been difficult to locate, but I did find out where she died and have ordered her death certificate.

Susan Littlefield
02-10-2012, 12:59 AM
I hope your research is going well, Susan, particularly on your father's side. Stories like your maternal grandfather's are so interesting, I love what he said about learning how not to treat other people.

Last night I visited my newly-found brother and his wife at their home for dinner, the second time we've met, and he handed me a copy of my father's army records spanning from 1931 to 1964. Pages and pages of information, where and when he served, his height, weight and chest girth at various ages, tattoos, promotions, demotions, medals, severe reprimands ... it's a real treasure trove. Truly fascinating!

Rob,

How exciting that you saw your newly-found brother and his wife again...and you got army records too! That is pretty cool.

I have been traveling quite the journey these last few months. I just re-read my grandfather's story (my aunt wrote narrative histories on both Grandma and Grandpa). He was such an incredible man.

As I mentioned above to Dragon Heart, I have found a bit more information on Grandpa's mother. She died of Black Diphtheria at 28 years old, leaving behind a husband and three kids. Her father was apparently a prominent man of the time in Minnesota (a tailor and former Freemason master), but I am unable to locate information on him.

If my great-grandmother's death certificate has her mother's name, I might be able to find the father that way. I don't know if death certificates have father's names.

Also, she was born in Germany. I have been searching records there (online), but have not come up with anything.

As I find out more, I am starting an itch to write a story about her and her short life. I've seen a picture of her before, and she was very beautiful.

Susan Littlefield
03-16-2012, 06:47 AM
For my friends who are into family research:

Over the last several weeks, I have learned many more new things. In an earlier post, I had said my grandfather's mother died when he was 12. That was incorrect, he was two years old. I have found so much information on Grandpa's mother and her parents, including obituaries. It is so amazing how much information is archived, and how complete strangers are willing to help. I have had so much help from people I don't even know.

Historical issues of the Belle Plaine Herald in Minnesota are microfilmed at the Scott County Library. On Rootsweb, I located the papers that had obituaries for my great-grandma and her father. I learned I did not have access to them, but two librarians pulled the papers form the microfilm and will send regular size plus enlarged copies of the obituaries for $2.00. Two bucks! That is amazing!

I am walking on air right now.

RobJ
03-16-2012, 12:19 PM
Brilliant :)

amlptj
03-16-2012, 01:03 PM
My mom tired years ago to find out about her father's my grandfathers side of the family. His father had left when he was very young and his mother never talked much about him after that. With the rarity of her last name she thought it would be easy, but that was before sites like ancestry.com.

Although i never knew my father, or his side of the family i wasn't never really interested. My mom did find out that my father's father, was a bank robber! Its a bit of a shock my grandmother on that side never bothered to tell me that. Even though that was interesting i still didnt want to look into it farther.

Then when i started college a college professor of mine pulled me aside after class and asked me where i was from. I was more then a little confused. So i said Philadelphia. She shook her head and asked me where my family as from. Where my fathers family came from. I told her Poland. I was half irish and half polish. What she told me next blew my mind.

You see my professors last name was Tesla-Berry. The Tesla, part was from Nikola Tesla, you know the famous guy who revolutionized electricity. Well she was real big in family histories and such, and went to conventions of decedent of famous scientist of something like that. And she knew my last name. Apparently Medvec, is so extremely rare that i have to be a decedent of Einsteins first wife, or their first son who took his mothers last name and she herself was a genius in mathematics. She told me that my family wasn't actually Polish, that they were Russian, explaining the story as to why, and that many amazing scientists in areas of physics, engineering and Chemistry bared my last name or the original name before it was shortened when they came to America. She told me that i was drawn to Chemistry (my major) because it was a family trait.

Now i still dont know if i believe this woman. I tried to do a little bit of research but couldn't find what exactly i was looking for. But in my opinion the whole story seems just too astronomically cool, to actually be real. But i did find that alot of the information about my name being associated to chemistry and physics people to be true. So who knows! Although to think that my fathers side of the family (who from what i know are far from geniuses.) could potentially be related to Einstein just too impossible. Although my mom always said she didnt know where my brains came from... heheheehe. One day when i have more time I'll have to look into all this more.

Priene
03-16-2012, 02:04 PM
It seems there's a statue of my distant cousin (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/275590923/) in New York's Pennsylvania Station...

Susan Littlefield
03-16-2012, 06:45 PM
Ami,

How neat! With the rarity of your last name, I would take those clues and see what you can find out. Ancestry is a great resource with a seven day free trial and then a monthly fee for world records. I am promoting it only in the sense that it is a great site. You can stop anytime and start up again, and when you are not active, you can still search some records. Oh, and most public libraries have ancestry for free (though it's not as good as the regular version, it does the job).

Susan Littlefield
03-16-2012, 06:47 PM
Priene,

Now that is so cool! What a great picture.

Alan Yee
05-03-2012, 09:54 AM
The 1940 census (http://1940census.archives.gov/) is now released to the public as of April 2. It's also currently free on Ancestry.com until 2013, I believe. Waiting patiently for it to be indexed, but through hours and hours of looking through page after page, I found both of my maternal grandparents when they were 12 and 14. They were somewhat easy to find as they both lived in rural areas in sparsely populated countries. I also found my paternal grandmother's father with his second family in Chicago. As I suspected, he was living in near the Chinatown area with his second wife and my grandma's three younger half-brothers.

Susan Littlefield
05-11-2012, 04:58 AM
Alan, the 1940 census has indeed since been released. As you said, you have to search many documents, as the index is not yet searchable by name in most states. Historical research is fun.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-11-2012, 05:28 AM
Alan, the 1940 census has indeed since been released. As you said, you have to search many documents, as the index is not yet searchable by name in most states. Historical research is fun.

If you'd like to volunteer to index, you can go to www.familysearch.org

https://www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing

MaryMumsy
05-11-2012, 05:56 AM
I got a 'present' yesterday. My Aunt found (I assume online) my mother's US Cadet Nurse Corps document from WWII. Mom had entered nurse's training in 1944. I guess at that time maybe all student nurses were signed up. It even shows that she withdrew 9/11/46. That was the day she and Dad got married. :D

MM

Susan Littlefield
05-11-2012, 06:09 AM
If you'd like to volunteer to index, you can go to www.familysearch.org

https://www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing

I've heard of this, but I'm pretty busy with volunteer activities these days. Maybe in the future, as I love historical documents.

Susan Littlefield
05-11-2012, 06:17 AM
I got a 'present' yesterday. My Aunt found (I assume online) my mother's US Cadet Nurse Corps document from WWII. Mom had entered nurse's training in 1944. I guess at that time maybe all student nurses were signed up. It even shows that she withdrew 9/11/46. That was the day she and Dad got married. :D

MM

Mary,

Those old documents are priceless. Luckily, my aunt had Grandpa's WWII Navy papers, as well as the paper that terminated his flying lessons because his benefits had run out. Grandpa was on his way to becoming a pilot, but with the termination of his WWII benefits, he could not afford to continue. His greatest pride was Grandpa talking about his three point landing.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-11-2012, 04:03 PM
I got a 'present' yesterday. My Aunt found (I assume online) my mother's US Cadet Nurse Corps document from WWII. Mom had entered nurse's training in 1944. I guess at that time maybe all student nurses were signed up. It even shows that she withdrew 9/11/46. That was the day she and Dad got married. :D

MM

"Now I had heard the WACs reruited old maids for the war...but mommy isn't one of those I've known her all these years...

Mommy's alright. Daddy's alright. They just seem a little weird..."

Sorry Mary, I keed. That's the first thing that came to mind when I heard this. :)

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-11-2012, 04:05 PM
I've heard of this, but I'm pretty busy with volunteer activities these days. Maybe in the future, as I love historical documents.

I was going to town, and basically did half the California marriages and Texas births singlehandedly, but had to take a long break.

Went back the other day, and I have to upgrade my software. Have sent them an e-mail, and got a reply, but nothing yet. I'd really like to help, since I want to search for my folks too, but oh well...

Susan Littlefield
05-11-2012, 05:36 PM
Hip,

I am so fascinated by all those historical documents and how they have evolved over the years. Early on, they would just mark how many "free white men" there were in a household, and I don't believe women/girls were listed in the first census forms. The old newspapers are the best as well.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-11-2012, 06:07 PM
Hip,

I am so fascinated by all those historical documents and how they have evolved over the years. Early on, they would just mark how many "free white men" there were in a household, and I don't believe women/girls were listed in the first census forms. The old newspapers are the best as well.

The invaluable ones for me were the censuses where they asked the women "Mother of how many children? How many living?" This has been so helpful for me in finding children I didn't originally know about-- their deaths and burials in between the censuses.

Susan Littlefield
05-11-2012, 06:48 PM
The invaluable ones for me were the censuses where they asked the women "Mother of how many children? How many living?" This has been so helpful for me in finding children I didn't originally know about-- their deaths and burials in between the censuses.

Also, children whose parents died when they were two and three years old. for example, both my maternal grandparents were two or three when they lost their parents. Grandpa's mother died when he was two and his father adopted his siblings out. My grandma's dad died when she was two as well, and i can barely find nay information on him. However, Grandma had found newspaper articles and other documents on her dad, including his death and his adoption when he was a boy. Interesting stuff.

In order to find information about my maternal great-grandmother and her family line, I've had to dig and write area historical societies. It paid off, though, and I've been able to fill many blanks.