View Full Version : Share your Story!
07-07-2012, 01:58 AM
Tell us a little about any or all of the following:
How did you 'get into' genealogy?
How far back have you found information?
What interesting stories have you unearthed?
Have you met any relatives you didn't know about or become close to any you didn't know well?
What's been your favorite part of this journey?
Link us to your heritage album or pages if you've done some!
07-19-2012, 12:45 PM
Here's what I have done as of now: (not counting what's in the Family History Month Gallery this month)
I remember when I first got interested in genealogy. I was about 18. Some of my paternal grandfather's sisters were at my grandparents' house for a little visit. I don't remember how I got to asking them questions; some things must have come up in conversation. Anyway, I wrote down a page or two of names and dates. I don't believe I ever saw them again.
I put those in a folder and asked my parents and grandparents a lot of questions too. Before I knew it I had about 8 folders, one for each surname in my family tree. Then I lost interest in it for a little while. But one year after we got a computer I decided to gather the information up and put the names with the photos. It was predigital, of course, but it turned out so nice that I did one for my siblings for Christmas and one each for my mother and maternal grandmother with the leftover photos. There are a lot and I copied the ones I needed to with a very early scanner and/or a photocopier. My grandmother then asked me to make one for each of my uncles, which I did. They were amazed at what all I had on their lines. Nowadays with ancestry.com I have quite a lot more, and my digital scrapbook is a lot prettier than that old (but still treasured and referred to) book is. But I'm so glad I asked questions when I could, and wish I had asked a lot more!
My favorite part (besides the experience of asking questions and getting answers way back then) is when I'm able to go 'on location' and see where my ancestors lived. I'm in Texas now and it's quite a drive to get to Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, but my sister and I have made a couple of trips "Who Do You Think You Are" style, and we love it!
07-19-2012, 04:12 PM
I've had an on and off interest in genealogy for a number of years. I must've been about 18 when I wrote to England and asked my grandparents to write down everything they knew about their family tree. I believe there was a family bible on one side of the family that was helpful. I still have those letters which I've now scanned and added into my software as a source. I need to do a transcription as well as the scan.
I've had spates of working on it prompted by computer software, internet information etc. I've recently started working on it again partly as a result of a change to our public library system which has given me access to Ancestry and Find My Past. I have new software and I'm being far more diligent about recording sources then I ever was previously.
My favourite part is solving the mysteries, of course the mysteries can be the most frustrating part too. I do love looking at a series of census entries for a family and seeing how the household changes, what jobs they held and where they moved to. It's interesting to try to work out how they lived.
I've placed most of my heritage layouts in an album so they're easier to find. They're not an ordered or cohesive album at the moment.
07-19-2012, 08:54 PM
I started as something to occupy my mind after the birth of my first son. I was fortunate to find someone who had letters written by my gg grandfather describing his journey to and life in NZ in the late 19th century. That really hooked me and I did quite a lot of research. I have let it lapse though and family history month has given me a bit of a spur to get back into it. I haven't done a lot of layouts, but one I did recently was based on those letters I mentioned (although by my gg grandfather's daughter)
07-29-2012, 02:45 PM
Sad to say I came late to being facinated by my family history and now so many of my direct family has passed and so I don't have that source of word of mouth information and emigrating to New Zealand in the mid 70's meant that any old photographs where passed on to my sister, thankfully we are getting together to rectify that. I too find census information a boon to track your ancestors lives, even when looking at a particular year I track back to the previous and next forms (in Ancestry.com) to see if any other relatives resided close by, I have found lots of extra information this way, a nephew, neice or grandchild with a different name gives you a daughters married name. I alway look closely at the where born column as this helps to confirm through the censuses where a person was actually born if you don't have any birth information.
07-29-2012, 03:26 PM
Ive always had a fascination for history and family history but never really got into it in any depth until very recently.
I have quite a good selection of ancestors on both sides who were very early settlers to NZ and so that has peaked my interest in early NZ history and Im finding those ancestors perhaps even more interesting than the ones further back in the UK. Though theres no census information in NZ the electoral rolls can be of some help. I feel like I "own" a piece of NZ history through several of my ancestors and I really want to learn the stories behind their lives .
We have few photos though Im in the process of scanning what we do have . One or 2 relatives in the past have done some research for me and Ive managed to use that ( though some has proven to be not correct) to fill in some gaps but there are still quite a few big mysteries which are extremely intriguing.
Through my research Ive discovered a great aunt still living in the US and she contacted me by email today.
Ive also come in contact with a second cousin twice removed and have shared some information with her ( would be good if she would share her information with me but she hasnt yet!!) and even contact with one really distant relation by marriage who knew of me as a designer at DSP before I contacted her !!- how fun that is!!
08-03-2012, 11:02 PM
More than 10 years ago I received Family Tree Maker for Christmas from my older daughter. It sort of just sat there for a couple of years. Then I installed it and took advantage of the free Ancestry.Com offer. I entered what I thought I knew and discovered many mistakes in the stories passed down, especially from my father's mother.
A Google search found a book written by a distant cousin in Indiana. The library in Fort Wayne copied the pages and emailed them to me. TREASURE!!!
The tree was growing and I was contacted by some really far distant cousins. but none really "took" until a woman sent me an email through Ancestry.com. Her great-grandmother was my grandfather's sister. My mother remembered the families being close when she was a girl and I have some professional photos of the cousins altogether. Then the family sort of disappeared. Mother had no idea what happened to them after she was about 7 years old.
This second cousin, once removed had the story. Mother's aunt died young leaving her minister husband with 4 children, one just a baby. When he remarried, the new wife made him sever ties with his late wife's family so she could raise the 4 children as her own.
The cousin lives in Florida and we have met for lunch several times. We exchanged photos each of us had the other did not. I can't wait to spend some time with her again this winter.
08-07-2012, 10:03 PM
When I was little, my Nan would tell stories about the "olden days," during the war. I loved the stories she told me and begged for them whenever I could. When she died, I asked my grandad to tell the stories also. He would tell me stories about his family and write letters. I became the family historian, little by little. I was fillling out a family tree book, which had been given to me as a present and, eventually, started looking things up online, joining forums and all kinds of stuff.
I have been contacted by dozens of family members online and have been blessed with documentation and information I might otherwise not have.
I became passionate about genealogy when I got hold of my husband's family tree. His tree is well documented and he has loads of documented branches. He eventually because interested and took over. He has traced one branch of his family back to 1005 AD and another back to the Merovingians, which are about 457 AD. He has the documentation back to the beginning of the peerage books, which are the official records that go back that far. Once you get into those lines, the rest, as they say, is history :)
He is a member of a dozen or so Heritage Societies, including the Sons of the American Revolution and the Colonial Wars. He missed the Jamestown Society because his family lived outside the perimeter of the fort (or something :) ) He has an amazing family record and stories about the family that are fascinating and seeped in history.
Me, I belong to a family of peasants!
08-09-2012, 08:26 AM
I started on ancestry.com several years ago and then let it slide. This month has me digging again and I found some rather humorous things.
My great-grandmother was divorced :eek: according to the 1900 census which is something my grandmother never told me.
My cousin's wife listed all of my mother's siblings but left her off her family tree. They are angry because Mother sold some "family" land. I wonder if leaving someone of the family tree makes them disappear???
I am finding conflicting accounts of where people are born. I usually start with the census that tells where one's parents were born; then it seems to fall apart after that. Then you throw in all the people who take "facts" at face value on ancestry, you find a tangled web.
Any oddities for anyone else? And who's bright idea was this ancestry thing anyway? You are causing me to neglect my other duties. :rofl:
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