Genealogy

MichelleMichelle California
Is anyone here into researching their geneaology/family tree?  I've been working on mine for about 20 years.  It's a labor of love, but omg, so time consuming.   It's all worth it though when you start discovering stories of your family and finding notable people in your tree.  Let's hear your stories!

Comments

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited January 27
    I don’t do it myself, but my dad was full on into it when he was alive. Most interesting relative was a great x something grandfather from the 1800s who was a Baron and gave up his title and his inheritance to marry a servant he knocked up. So I am fancy fallen aristocracy. 
    darwinfeeshyMichelleJaimieTbazjenster
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I did a DNA thing on Ancestry.com and found a 2nd cousin who was adopted away. We're still trying to figure out who his father was. Hehe. It's getting really messy and my mom/aunts have shut down on the subject. 

    My mom is like "My father was very faithful." Okay, Mom. But this guy is matched with me and my 1st cousin, and none of us declared each other. The tests are eerily accurate. (It predicted that I'd have Graves Disease, and I do. It predicted I'd have a blood clotting disorder, and I got tested for that on Wednesday. Waiting for the results.)

    You should try the DNA thing if this interests you! This 2nd cousin contacted me out of the blue. 
    Michelle
  • I think it's so fascinating!  I tried to get into it, but my paternal grandmother's parents came from Lithuania in 1908, and changed their last name ... I looked and looked and looked, but couldn't find them.
    Ran into trouble finding my maternal grandparents' parents as well.
    Michelle
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  • edited January 27
    Both of my maternal grandparents were first generation immigrants (first born in US) and were pureblood Finnish. So tracking anything beyond my great-grandparents on that side gets a little tricky. 

    My paternal grandparents' lives were a mess so it's hard to track that side, but there's some Portuguese.

    @michelle how do you go about researching your distant family members?


    Michelle
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @darwinfeeshy I just either wait for the records hints to pop up on my Ancestry tree, or i do a manual search.  It also helps to search online at the different genealogy research sites.  It can sometimes take a while, but it's worth the wait and the time put in.

    @akritenbrink it's not for everyone.  My sister doesn't really have a huge interest in it despite me diving deep into our ancestors.  And you never know what you're going to find.  I have some basic hillbilly moonshiners on my dad's side in Kentucky the early 1900s and some proverbial kissin' cousins on my mom's side in the 1800s,  But despite that, there's been a lot of good and very happy surprises.  I'm looking forward to visiting the little villages that my ancestors came from someday.

    @April_May_June don't give up!  If you know their original last name, try searching online at the different research sites using those names (if you haven't already).  If you feel comfortable, you can DM me one of their names and I can see if I can find it on Ancestry?

    @JaimieT I still haven't done the DNA thing, although I really want to.  I need to just give in and get it done.  I didn't know that it could predict certain illnesses - that's very interesting.  I'll probably do the DNA this year at some point.

  • This is something that I'm very interested in, and have tried, but (at least a couple years ago) all the major online databases seemed to be focused on the US and I live in Europe. I found hardly anything at all. As far as going about it locally, I have German and (likely) Russian ancestors, so I don't know if it's worth even starting unless I'm willing to travel long distances for it...
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Michelle said:
    @darwinfeeshy I just either wait for the records hints to pop up on my Ancestry tree, or i do a manual search.  It also helps to search online at the different genealogy research sites.  It can sometimes take a while, but it's worth the wait and the time put in.

    @akritenbrink it's not for everyone.  My sister doesn't really have a huge interest in it despite me diving deep into our ancestors.  And you never know what you're going to find.  I have some basic hillbilly moonshiners on my dad's side in Kentucky the early 1900s and some proverbial kissin' cousins on my mom's side in the 1800s,  But despite that, there's been a lot of good and very happy surprises.  I'm looking forward to visiting the little villages that my ancestors came from someday.

    @April_May_June don't give up!  If you know their original last name, try searching online at the different research sites using those names (if you haven't already).  If you feel comfortable, you can DM me one of their names and I can see if I can find it on Ancestry?

    @JaimieT I still haven't done the DNA thing, although I really want to.  I need to just give in and get it done.  I didn't know that it could predict certain illnesses - that's very interesting.  I'll probably do the DNA this year at some point.


    I used my DNA data in conjunction with Promethease to get the health stuff. It was $5 for Promethease, and others were charging $100-150 extra.
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    6th gen Texan with German heritage coming from a town in Moravia, now in the modern day Czech Republic. But we’re German. I’m 1/4 something else on my Mom’s side. I always thought French Canadian since they came from Nova Scotia / Newfoundland area. Ancestry.com helped me trace those folks back to England. The guy was a King’s bodyguard and the wife was like a Queen’s lady of the court or something like that. I thought that was pretty cool.  Most on ancestry.com I knew already cause both sides of the family are way into family history.  My Grandpa was an avid historian in his retired years.  I wish I could take it a level deeper cause I hit some dead ends like everyone does.
    Michelle
  • My mom’s side is impossible, her grandmother was Native American, and so that generation did everything to block that line of inquiry. 

    My dad’s family lived within 5 miles of the same town in England for like 500 years, before coming to Alaska. My grandmothers maiden name is badass though. 
    MichelleElisa
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    Have been going heavy on my family tree since before Christmas and today I made a pretty cool discovery, my 11th great-grandfather was John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress! 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bunyan
    JaimieTMichelleDeeElisa
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    I stopped my search about the time I found out my Scottish heritage consisted mostly of cattle reavers. 
  • I'm fascinated by genealogy. My dad's paternal aunt did our tree back to the 1700s. My mother's side, I don't know a lot about beyond 1900s. But we are still working on it. I used to work for Ancestry.com, and sometimes it's just luck that enables genealogical discovery, but for the most part, it's just hard work. 
    Michelle
  • My sister has worked on ours for years - my father's family includes a drummer boy for Sherman marching through the south, the first territorial governor or Colorado, and a business partner of George Washington.  My mom ain't got much - but I love her anyways.
    Michelle
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited February 5
    I worked steadily on my tree all weekend while replaying the Groundhog Day marathon.  I have 10,447 people in my tree and 4,693 hints remaining to work through.  :astonished:   This is what happens with 20 years of research but it's still so worth it!  I'll get the hints to 0 with consistent attention to them.... eventually.  I'm still discovering names of x-times great grandparents going wayyyyyyyy back.  So it might be a while.

    @tom_g that's so cool!  I love discovering little pieces of information like that.  It's what keeps me going.  How far back was your sister able to take your mom's side?
  • I left out one notable on my Mom's side - by marriage (I am not related), The Hatfields, of the Hatfields and McCoys.

    My sis has way back on them too.
    Michelle
  • davemcbdavemcb Melbourne
    I have tried but i get stuck about 4 generations back on some sides, plus my grandmother changed her name before she got married so I don't have anything on her at all. My mum was probably the one to hold a lot of this information but she died 8 years ago and being 26 at the time I couldn't have cared less about family history. Now that I have a family of my own its good to be able to pass that information on. 

    I love watching Who do you think you are because I would love to do a process like that but I'm sure no one in my family is interesting at all. 

    Our family heritage like most Aussies is UK based, my paternal Grandfather has a mixture of Irish and Scottish, French through my Paternal grandmother, English through my maternal Grandfathers and Danish through my maternal grandmother. My sister lived in Denmark for a year in the mid-90s and has met some Danish relatives so that much is correct. 
    Michelle
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    According to my great uncle we are related to Ponce de Leon but he was the first governor of Puerto Rico and we are from Mexico and Spain through my mom. Wth??  Quite frankly it’s a lot of work and I haven’t found the time. I started a database in excel based on what my parents know. Mostly oral tradition. At least that’s a start. 
    Michelle
  • MichelleMichelle California
    davemcb said:
    I have tried but i get stuck about 4 generations back on some sides, plus my grandmother changed her name before she got married so I don't have anything on her at all. My mum was probably the one to hold a lot of this information but she died 8 years ago and being 26 at the time I couldn't have cared less about family history. Now that I have a family of my own its good to be able to pass that information on. 

    I love watching Who do you think you are because I would love to do a process like that but I'm sure no one in my family is interesting at all. 

    Our family heritage like most Aussies is UK based, my paternal Grandfather has a mixture of Irish and Scottish, French through my Paternal grandmother, English through my maternal Grandfathers and Danish through my maternal grandmother. My sister lived in Denmark for a year in the mid-90s and has met some Danish relatives so that much is correct. 
    Don't be dissuaded by diving into your ancestry because you don't think you'd have anyone interesting in your family - let me tell you from personal experience and from seeing a lot of famous people (famous for all kinds of reasons) on people's family trees - you most certainly have at least one to two notable people in your family.  You might need to go back several generations or even maybe a lot more but I guarantee you you'll find someone.   But even if you don't (which is unlikely), you'll still find very notable relatives just based on their achievements and what they did with their lives.   I'm telling you, it's worth the time invested, especially if you want to pass the information to your own family.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Elisa said:
    According to my great uncle we are related to Ponce de Leon but he was the first governor of Puerto Rico and we are from Mexico and Spain through my mom. Wth??  Quite frankly it’s a lot of work and I haven’t found the time. I started a database in excel based on what my parents know. Mostly oral tradition. At least that’s a start. 
    It's quite possible that when you take her lineage up some generations, it may branch off into his and eventually connect with him.  Different countries don't matter - ships sailed, men sailed with them.  Did he say how you were related to him?
  • @Michelle How do you go on about finding achievements or other notable stuff? Granted I've not taken my genealogy far, but most advice they give online is to look for birth and death certificates and marriage licenses. So where do you look to see what the lives of these people were like? I guess I've given up all my efforts because I'm not that interested in names and birth dates of my ancestors, but rather how they lived and what they did. Since you seem to be the expert on this, can you give me some advice?
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @Reni I'm not an expert, just someone who's been doing it for a very long time.  Anything I've recommended is just from personal experience.  When you look at census records, oftentimes they indicate the profession of the head of household and then anyone else in the home.  Military records will also indicate their rank and when/where they served.  There's just a lot of information you can gather from the records available on people, whether it's notable achievements or just hard working people to be proud of.   If you have an Ancestry.com tree, just keep chipping away at the green leaf hints - but you can also do a search on your ancestor and see what comes up.  You can also find things by searching for information on them online through a regular browser search.  Good luck!
    Reni
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