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Genealogy/Family Trees

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
A few years ago I began researching our family tree. I started out thinking this was a small thing I could do for my nephews and nieces. HAH! Little did I realize how addicting and expensive it can be I have been slacking on research in the last 18 months with school and work.

My question is: If you have done any research of your own, what is the most interesting relative/story you have found?

I suppose the most interesting American I have found would be that the signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey, John Hart, is my 5th great-grandfather. Of course, there are thousands of people who can claim relation to him The same for all the kings and queens people are proud of being related to. There are literally thousands of others also related. It only makes sense.

I don't really use genealogy to trace pure bloodlines; more like tracing societal ties. If I know where the people came from lived and worked, I know more about who created those who eventually created me. I don't think we can ever know for sure if our 12th great-grandfather was really our blood, but we can know if he was a farmer, a king, a prisoner, etc. I have found many lines going back to Ireland, Scotland and England. One line goes back to Germany (circus people ) Think the earliest was in the 1200s.

Hope all that makes sense!

I would love to know more about my women ancestors but their stories are rarely told.

So, who are your interesting relatives?
post #2 of 17
My ggg-grandfather (I think its ggg) was a gameskeeper in Bishop Monkton, Yorkshire. He was born in 1841. My gg-grandmother was a servant in Rugely District Hospital as of 1901 in England.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moz View Post
My ggg-grandfather (I think its ggg) was a gameskeeper in Bishop Monkton, Yorkshire. He was born in 1841. My gg-grandmother was a servant in Rugely District Hospital as of 1901 in England.
Is a gameskeeper someone who works with animals? That is great that you know this
I knew almost nothing of my family past my mother and father. Probably another reason I started the research.
My sister's grandparents (we have different fathers .. she didn't know her father until she was 16) came from the Bolton, Lancashire area to the US around 1930. I found a cousin in Lancashire who is trying to find more information for her.
post #4 of 17
My maternal grandfather did a lot of digging on behalf of the family and through him, we found out that his side of the family came over to America in 1638 from Derbyshire England and descendants of the original couple now number over 700,000 in this country alone. There's actually a website maintained for family members to log in and contribute their branch of the tree. I spent an entire day reading thru it one time as its huge and I only made it thru a small section of it.

On that site there was a big debate on whether we were related to Susan B. Anthony. Her middle name is the family name and after years of research, it was determined that she was named in honor of our family, but not a blood relative. Her father was a close friend of the family.

My grandfather was on the engineering team that developed the first amphibious airplane in 1917 and he made it to military governor of Okinawa after WWII. When he died and was inurned at Arlington National Cemetary, his funeral procession was the same as they used for Kennedy (except black horse rather than white horse). His cousin made it to Attorney General of the United States under Eisenhower. Pretty darn impressive in my humble opinion.

But Grandpa did all of his research long before the internet and he actually traveled to England, then the point of landing in the states, and through Cape Code (where they settled) to gather records. It took him years and lots of money to get thru it.
post #5 of 17
Lets see..I've been researching my family for about 6 yrs now. I love matching up the family tall tales to the facts! It's too hard trying to choose the most interesting....there are moonshiners,outlaws,Native Americans,Long Hunters...and the connection that I just know I have,but can't prove to the Pony Express,yet. But I will! I don't just want names and dates...I want the stories to go along with the people. But I am very proud knowing that my history can be traced to those that explored and settled East Tennessee,on both sides of my family.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Pretty darn impressive in my humble opinion.
That is impressive! He sounds like an amazing man.

I have run into those branches that have huge websites, too. Even though it takes so long to read, it is fascinating.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
Lets see..I've been researching my family for about 6 yrs now. I love matching up the family tall tales to the facts! It's too hard trying to choose the most interesting....there are moonshiners,outlaws,Native Americans,Long Hunters...and the connection that I just know I have,but can't prove to the Pony Express,yet. But I will! I don't just want names and dates...I want the stories to go along with the people. But I am very proud knowing that my history can be traced to those that explored and settled East Tennessee,on both sides of my family.
I'm this way. I want stories! The names and dates are good starting places but I want the tales, good and bad. That's why I would love to know the women's experiences.

The Pony Express would be fun research. I haven't yet run into that.
post #8 of 17
I started back about 2002 (sparked by research my aunt-in-law was doing on Mom's family) and have carried on research of relatives before me. A lot has been done to flesh out info I had on a paternal ggg-grandfather who came to the US from England about 1838 (the next to the last ancestor to immigrate). I knew the town he came from and using that, managed to connect with a distant half-cousin in England who had done the major research by going through old parish records back to the 1600s.

While the aunt was working on a paternal line (Mom's maiden name), I took off and worked on the maternal lines to see if I could find those ancestors. Got lucky as they came into this area and stayed. (Same with Dad's line. Came into this county just after statehood and stayed.)

How about those brick walls! I have one ancestor who we have lore about but cannot find any recorded info. I have connected with several distant cousins in this line and no one has found any concrete info. He apparently moved out of the area but his son, my ancestor stayed, and essentially all records start there.

I have recorded lore passed on to me by Mom and Dad and of course wish I had this interest years ago when the grandparents were still alive. At least my maternal grandfather left enough info that I was able to trace his maternal lines back a couple of generations.

Along the way I discovered I have more Scots in me than I thought and maybe be related to my Step-Grandmother!

One of the more interesting stories is that a man from one family line (a gg-grandmother's cousin) murdered a woman from another family line (a g-grandmother's cousin). It was a major trial at the time and the man was executed - one of the first state executions.

It does get addictive, doesn't it?
post #9 of 17
I've done a little bit of research. I found out that some of my ancestors were Scottish royalty. And I don't remember whether he was a cousin or great-grandparent of some sort.... but I am related to former president Harding. The majority of my heritage is Irish/Scottish, German/Austrian, and Native American (Cherokee). I'm fascinated and really want to know more but don't know how to start!

Oh, and John's great great (great?) grandmother was Lucy Hatfield (of the Hatfields & McCoys).
post #10 of 17
Wow, I would have no idea where to start..I don't even think my ancestors would have their names in books and stuff so that I could search them..

How do you search them anyway? It seems impossible to find the right people!
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
Wow, I would have no idea where to start..I don't even think my ancestors would have their names in books and stuff so that I could search them..

How do you search them anyway? It seems impossible to find the right people!
Start with interviewing the oldest living family members in your family. And it's always amazing what you find when you do a google search. There is so much information out there these days.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnwalker2 View Post
I've done a little bit of research. I found out that some of my ancestors were Scottish royalty. And I don't remember whether he was a cousin or great-grandparent of some sort.... but I am related to former president Harding. The majority of my heritage is Irish/Scottish, German/Austrian, and Native American (Cherokee). I'm fascinated and really want to know more but don't know how to start!

Oh, and John's great great (great?) grandmother was Lucy Hatfield (of the Hatfields & McCoys).
I bet we're related!! If you ever get to researching the Hatfield's,I can put you in touch with quite a few of them!!
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post

How about those brick walls! I have one ancestor who we have lore about but cannot find any recorded info.

It does get addictive, doesn't it?
You just have one? I run into those walls everywhere I turn! And you are so very right....it gets very addictive!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
You just have one? I run into those walls everywhere I turn! And you are so very right....it gets very addictive!
Well, that one ancestor is the thickest brick wall. I have others that shouldn't be too bad once I can get to certain records.

Guess I'll have to schedule a visit to the local genealogy library because they have subscriptions to the big genealogy websites.
post #15 of 17
I only know a bit of history on 3 of my great-grandparents and one great-great grandpa.

My Maternal Great-Grandmother was a servant in Krakow, Poland (though from Warsaw). She married my Great-Grandfather to come to the US. From what I understand, once she got to the US she only wanted to go back to Poland!

My Maternal Great-Grandfather was born in Poland but came to the US with his family I believe. If I am correct, his father was killed when he was hit by a train.

My other Maternal Great Grandparents came to the US from Italy. They were from the country area outside of Rome and had a farm.

My Paternal Great-Grandmother and Grandfather came to the US from a town in North East Italy.

All of these Great-Grandparent's settled in upstate New York; 2 sets in the same town, one very close by.

My Paternal Great Great Grandfather was one of seven brothers living in Russia, but were German. They served in the Russian army, as required by law, but would not marry Russian women, so seprately they all traveled to the US and lost touch. My Great-Great Grandfather settled in Nebraska, where my Grandfather was born.

My Grandfather met my Grandmother durring WWII while they were both serving in California. They settled in the same Upstate New York town as my other Grandparent's lived. My parents grew up less than a mile from eachother.
post #16 of 17
Over 30 years ago my mom tried when she was in Italy. It seems that the family name was changed when they came to America. She can't find anything at all related to our family but it is a common Italian name.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
Wow, I would have no idea where to start..I don't even think my ancestors would have their names in books and stuff so that I could search them..

How do you search them anyway? It seems impossible to find the right people!
Records...birth records, death records, residency records, etc. My Dad is doing this as his retirement plan.

He has found that basically a lot of people (from his side) live in the Buffalo, NY area and that once a year there is a big huge family reunion. I guess its the official family reunion for his side. The only exciting thing I ever found wasn't family related (course I should read the book my dad did ) but when I was reading up on Timothy McVeigh, he lived on a street with my last name. Apparently some of the relatives that still live in that area "knew" of him as someone was a neighbor in some way, but they don't like to talk about it. Don't blame them.

Someone on my mom's side traced the family roots back and were lucky enough to go all the way back to the 1200s. I guess her side has a long line of knights and stuff from England. Anyways though her family tree goes all the way to the Vikings. My dad keeps claiming that there was another family tree on her side that showed her lineage going all the way back to Eric the Red, but no one knows what he's talking about or where the document is.
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