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View Full Version : Has anyone done a family tree or attempted to?



S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 03:38 PM
I found doing one interesting, frustrating, depressing and rewarding. The more I got into it, the more involved I got

BarnacleGrim
12-06-2010, 03:40 PM
I've been thinking about it for a really long time, but other projects have taken priority.

Peerie Maa
12-06-2010, 03:47 PM
Iv'e pushed ours as far back as internet resources will allow. I'll have to visit churches and local archives along the UK south coast to take it further.
Certainly worth doing, although me mammy would have been dismayed about the odd skeleton that turned up. It helped put the back story to some old family photo's which was of real value.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 03:51 PM
I have thought of trying Ancestry. com but I think it is a ploy to make money..Thought I would try it sometime on those infrequent deals (free) they offer

Also found it to be expensive

bob winter
12-06-2010, 04:00 PM
A cousin of mine is into it but I seem to have lost track of her since my dad died. I have what she came up with on an old hard drive. Should really transfer it somewhere safe one of these days. Her family tree does not trace through the time of the revolution so it really does not provide the information I would like to get. According to family tradition the Winter family came to New Amsterdam in the 1620's. There were three assorted Winters in Butler's Rangers but which one I am descended from I don't know. Interesting to find out but too much work for likely very little real return. My grandfather must have done some of it because he was a UE but he is long gone so I don't know what he established.

Family trees are a whole lot of work.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:04 PM
I found the on line services had a lot of errors. Family organizations are better.

paladin
12-06-2010, 04:05 PM
I've been working on mine for 50 years. Completed more in last 10 than previous 40.

BarnacleGrim
12-06-2010, 04:10 PM
I wonder what the best way of organising all the information is. I have looked at some software, but most of it is pretty badly put together.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:10 PM
Chuck being part native american must have made it difficult but exciting as well. You are part native american right? I thought some where along the way you mentioned that you were.

Peerie Maa
12-06-2010, 04:16 PM
I wonder what the best way of organising all the information is. I have looked at some software, but most of it is pretty badly put together.

I could never get my head around the popular software. I typed up the story of each family member. Typed up a time line for each branch, and drew the "tree" by hand. It all fits in the front of the photo album.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:18 PM
I could never get my head around the popular software. I typed up the story of each family member. Typed up a time line for each branch, and drew the "tree" by hand. It all fits in the front of the photo album.Mine are stuffed in a folder collecting dust for the most part.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:26 PM
I should do that Donn. I should dust the covers of the folder off and try to finish it up. Too many families to deal with and I'm just not motivated to do it.
Actually the folders are in storage.. good excuse not to. But I got a lot of it.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:31 PM
One day I ran Queen Vic's descendants off on the printer...came to 147 pages or there about. Never thought the printer would quit

k4lmy
12-06-2010, 04:31 PM
Have been into the Family tree thing for about twenty years.. One of a very few folks with family tree research on the Island of Saba.. down in the Carribean. I use a very good program called Roots Magic.. Inexpensive and good.. Lots of options.. Google for the link and download the trial version..

John of Phoenix
12-06-2010, 04:48 PM
Peerie Maa:
mammy would have been dismayed about the odd skeleton that turned up. I'm reminded of the Frasier episode where they had a family heirloom, an antique clock, appraised on Antiques Roadshow and discovered it was from the Romanov family, valued at $30,000. Niles and Frasier are convinced they're Romanov descendants until the Russian consulate shows up to inform them the clock was stolen by their great grandmother, a kitchen servant, and the Russian government demands it’s return.

Niles (dejected): So this means were descendants of a scullery maid?

Russian: A thieving scullery maid.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:53 PM
Well Norman.. it does get expensive but it is interesting. I have not gone to the extreme of contracting or commissioning someone to do the work but as this was in Belaris can understand doing that.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 04:58 PM
Any skeletons? I found a few suicides a few romping in the maid's room etc. Can't verify but.

Dave Thibodeau
12-06-2010, 05:12 PM
Gone back to 1638 when the king of France granted land in Nova Scotia to Pierre Thibodeau from Burgandy France

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-06-2010, 05:20 PM
May I recommend Bob Smalser's article in "People and Places" as an almost "ideal£ example of family history, done extremely well, using proper historical technique and leading to conclusions of general interest?

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?122744-Here-you-go-Andrew-Arnold-s-1775-invasion-of-Quebec-The-Battle-of-Long-Island

purri
12-06-2010, 05:24 PM
lotsa skeletons (including Newfs)

paladin
12-06-2010, 05:28 PM
We got back to Patrick Henry and Sir Francis Drake, then stopped and went in the other direction....lots and lots of unkles, cousins etc......

Cuyahoga Chuck
12-06-2010, 05:29 PM
I've been at it for about 20 years I use a shareware program called "Brother's Keeper".
Since I was mainly interested in how my ancestors made their way in the world and what their world looked like so I accumulated most of the names and numbers but didn't delve too much into family legends. All my ancestors on both side were peasants and before that serfs. Coming to America was the smartest thing they ever did.
My grandfather's birth place in Ermland, East Prussia was partially destroyed during the "Second Battle of Tannenburg " in August 1914. It was again attacked by a Siberian armoured division in the spring of 1945 with a similar result.
Today the Polish name for East Prussia is "Warmia". It's not very fertile and 15% of it's area in covered by water, including the Masurian Lakes, so it has become a tourist destination. A lot of good water for sailing and a lot of interconnected rivers, canals and lakes for good flatwater kayaking.
Ermland was the only diocease of East Prussia to remain Catholic up till the Germans were driven out in 1945-46. It's most famous person was Nicholas Copernicus.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 05:30 PM
[QUOTE=paladin;2798459]We got back to Patrick Henry and Sir Francis Drake, then stopped and went in the other direction....lots and lots of unkles, cousins etc......[/QUOT What do you mean other direction?

purri
12-06-2010, 06:05 PM
^ the locals no doubt.

Tobago
12-06-2010, 06:22 PM
Our public library's web site (part of the Lower Hudson Valley Library System) gives us access to Heritage Quest service for free. Haven't tried it but it may b popular with libraries around the country.

Wayne Jeffers
12-06-2010, 07:12 PM
I regret that I didnít get into researching family history 40 years ago. It was something I thought about, and somehow never got around to. I knew at the time I should have an extensive talk with an aunt who then was in her late 80ís and sharp as a tack.

A few years ago, my daughter asked me for information on my side of the family (she had lots on her mother's side due to the work of a great-aunt) and did some work on Ancestry.com. She traced my family back to a colonial governor of Virginia in the 1650ís, Edward Digges. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Digges) Since lots of genealogical information on the English royal family is freely available on the internet, it was pretty easy for me to trace that part of the family back to Edward III and his forebears.

Iíve recently focused on filling in more recent generations, mostly the old-fashioned way. Iíve also been trying to snag as many old family photos as possible and scan them into digital format. To date, my prize catch is a photo of my great grand-parents ca. 1870, shortly after their marriage. Iíve also managed to visit and photograph a few old family graves/tombstones.

Iíve had Family Tree Maker recommended to me as a good software program for organizing the information, although I have not personally tried it.

For Ancestry.com, try your local library. Thanks to the efforts of a local genealogical group, the public library in Hillsboro subscribes to Ancestry.com, so I can use it at no cost when Iím there.

Other sources include your local historical society. The one in Athens is good about providing help. In WV, the Dept of Culture & History has a web site where they are working on making digital copies of birth, marriage, and death records available on-line.

Wayne

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 07:15 PM
I recognise Edward Digges

Stiletto
12-06-2010, 08:11 PM
Why do those who go in for the family tree thing seem so obsessed with fame or notoriety in those that went before them?

Tom Montgomery
12-06-2010, 08:16 PM
My mother's cousin traced my mother's grandmother's father's family back to a boy orphaned by the plague and raised in a German monastery in the 14th century.

The thing about genealogy is that the further you go back, the closer we all become:


August 21, 1987

Dear Cecil:

Have you ever considered the puzzle of doubling ancestors? Everybody has two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, and so on back through time, with the number of ancestors doubling in each generation. Go back 30 generations and the number of ancestors tops one billion. Eventually we arrive at a time when we have more ancestors than there could have been people in the world. How can this be?

Common sense, not to mention the book of Genesis, suggests the human race started off with a handful of individuals whose numbers steadily increased. What are the implications of these two surging numerical tides, ancestors and descendants, butting head to head? Enclosed is a $10 check for the trouble of a personal reply.

— George M., Monrovia, California

Dear George:

You ask a question as cosmic as this one and you think a lousy sawbuck is going to cover it? Keep your money until you can fork over some real cash. The ancestor puzzle has its explanation in what one genealogist has called "pedigree collapse." This occurs when relatives, usually cousins, marry, in effect narrowing the family tree. (Fortunately for the gene pool, most of the cousins are only distantly related.) When this happens you find that many of the "slots" in a given generation of your family tree are filled by duplicates.

Consider an extreme case. Mr. and Mrs. Nosepicker have two children, a girl and a boy. These two develop an unnatural yen for one another and marry. Six months later the girl gives birth to an eight-pound horseradish with a lisp. In theory, the horseradish has four grandparents. In reality, its maternal and paternal grandparents are identical. Two of the four grandparent slots are thus filled by duplicates — pedigree collapse with a vengeance. Only slightly less extreme is the case of Alfonso XIII of Spain (1886-1941). Because of inbreeding in the royal family, he had only ten great-great-grandparents instead of the expected 16.

If you go back far enough, however, pedigree collapse happens to everybody. Think of your personal family tree as a diamond-shaped array imposed on the ever-spreading fan of human generations. (I told you this was cosmic.) As you trace your pedigree back, the number of ancestors in each generation increases steadily up to a point, then slows, stops, and finally collapses. Go back far enough and no doubt you would find that you and all your ancestors were descended from the first human tribe in some remote Mesopotamian village. Or, if you like, from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

These simple facts have given rise to some remarkable displays of statistical pyrotechnics. Demographer Kenneth Wachtel estimates that the typical English child born in 1947 would have had around 60,000 theoretical ancestors at the time of the discovery of America. Of this number, 95 percent would have been different individuals and 5 percent duplicates. (Sounds like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but you know what I mean.) Twenty generations back the kid would have 600,000 ancestors, one-third of which would be duplicates. At the time of the Black Death, he'd have had 3.5 million — 30 percent real, 70 percent duplicates. The maximum number of "real" ancestors occurs around 1200 AD — 2 million, some 80 percent of the population of England.

Pedigree collapse explains why it's so easy for professional genealogists to trace your lineage back to royalty — go far enough back and you're related to everybody. For that matter, you're probably related to everybody alive today. Some geneticists believe that everybody on earth is at least 50th cousin to everybody else. For a fuller discussion of the above, see The Mountain of Names, by Alex Shoumatoff (1985).

— Cecil Adams

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/412/2-4-8-16-how-can-you-always-have-more-ancestors-as-you-go-back-in-time

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2010, 08:29 AM
Why do those who go in for the family tree thing seem so obsessed with fame or notoriety in those that went before them?
Actually it is interesting. If one happens to find a famous relative,it may have the opposite effect you suggest. It can be difficult to do better or at least equal the accomplishment and success the famous relative you may have uncovered. That can be a bit depressing.

Along the same topic, I discovered an ancestor who was shall I say opinionated, stubborn, often massively depressed, yankee, etc. He was well known for it. And I seem to have some traits much like his..wonder if it's genetic

Bruce Hooke
12-07-2010, 10:02 AM
I have thought of trying Ancestry. com but I think it is a ploy to make money..Thought I would try it sometime on those infrequent deals (free) they offer

Also found it to be expensive

I recently watched my cousin's wife use Ancestory.com to trace a friend's family roots back through a number of generations and across the eastern half of the US from Vermont to Ohio to Illinois to Iowa. This took her maybe an hour. So, used by someone who knows what they are doing, I'd say Ancestory.com is a very effective tool.

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2010, 10:16 AM
I recently watched my cousin's wife use Ancestory.com to trace a friend's family roots back through a number of generations and across the eastern half of the US from Vermont to Ohio to Illinois to Iowa. This took her maybe an hour. So, used by someone who knows what they are doing, I'd say Ancestory.com is a very effective tool.
Granted I have not tried Ancestry.com as mentioned. I have used a variety of sites and find lots of error. There are I think three categories used as verification Bibles, obits, marriages, newspapers etc. All mixed in to 3 specific categories

Cuyahoga Chuck
12-07-2010, 10:24 AM
Our public library's web site (part of the Lower Hudson Valley Library System) gives us access to Heritage Quest service for free. Haven't tried it but it may b popular with libraries around the country.

Heritage Quest is not a premier service. It doesn't have anywhere near the resources of Ancestry.com and HQ comes up short on some of the basic stuff. For instance, a basic search usually involves reading the appropriate census tracts. Heritage Quest does have all the available US censuses but their 1930 census doesn't have an index so the only way you can find an individual is to know exactly where they lived. And, even then, trying to navigate thru' the census tracts in a city is a time consuming adventure. The US census scheme was not to enumerate both sides of a street but to go around a block. And once the census taker had circumnavigated the block it's anybody's guess which direction he would go to next.
Fortunately there are kind souls on the web who have a subscription to Ancestry who will do free look-ups as long as you have a well defined query.

Mrleft8
12-07-2010, 11:37 AM
My family tree is a stick

Bruce Hooke
12-07-2010, 02:18 PM
Granted I have not tried Ancestry.com as mentioned. I have used a variety of sites and find lots of error. There are I think three categories used as verification Bibles, obits, marriages, newspapers etc. All mixed in to 3 specific categories

What I saw my cousin's wife accessing on Ancestory.com was the "raw" but indexed census data. So, she could do broad or narrow queries on a specific census (specifying, say, the name, county, and similar data) and get the actual page or pages of original data. So, it is up to the user to make sense of the data and draw links. One very useful thing was that the census forms listed place of birth, which provided clues about where to search in an earlier census to find the same person, maybe still living with their parents. I do not know what else you can do on Ancestory.com...