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Thread: Genealogical Research

  1. #51
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Thanks again for all the advice, Critical.
    As far as the Mormon elder, I assume that 35 years is long enough to spend on anyone's family tree!
    I never got the sense that they were trying to convert me in any way. It was definitely my best experience ever with any organized religion.
    May I ask you if you already had some of the dates for your ancestors and that is why you were able to go back so far? That's truly amazing, esp. to have kings, etc. Lucky you.
    When I was on with ancestry.com, they said they couldn't help me with the ancestors prior to her father, as I didn't have dates.... Not very encouraging.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  2. #52
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I think one of the reasons I've been so lucky is that my ancestors - almost all of them - came to America very early. My most recent immigrant is 1873 (that's the Polish line), but everything else is 18th century or earlier - many were here before this was a country. That makes it easier to find info because of the US census. I also just got lucky that people - either in my immediate family or strangers online - kept good records. There are lines that I'm stuck on that I may never get any further on and that's frustrating.

    The way I can get that far back is that other people have posted family trees on Ancestry. Their info links to mine and goes back further. As of last night, I got back to the FIRST century and to the Roman Empire, with a 44th (?) great grandfather who was the Emperor. I also just linked to the Plantagenets (another bunch of them) from my father's side of the family. Those nobles, they kept good records! So far, my whole famly tree is pretty wasp-y - lots of people in the British Isles, Germany, France, etc., although there's one little group who lived in - seriously - Babylon. So now I'm like all ethnic and stuff!

    As much as it's cool to go back a few thousand (!) years on my family tree, it's also really cool to see US records of my grandparents' marriage (with their signatures) and to see various families on my tree living next door to each other on census . I'm learning SO much about the previous few generations. It's really cool.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  3. #53
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Thanks for the explanation, Critical.
    I do envy your extensive records. That's extremely impressive.
    I met with the Genealogy expert who comes to the Mormon library weekly.
    She spent 3 hours with me yesterday. She was not able to go back far at all, but she did find some records which she suggested I show to my stepmother and start a dialogue. Hopefully, that will open some doors.
    She also suggested putting a book together with some old pictures and putting in the census data, immigration stuff, etc.
    What I did find very interesting was how quickly the immigrants back then learned and spoke English. I'm not sure why it's changed so much now.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  4. #54
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    For all the success I had over the weekend, it was tempered with lots of dead ends today. I've spent much of the day manually scrolling through census records looking for my g great grandfather on census records before 1900. It's a Dutch name that is spelled in at least 6 different ways, so regular searching isn't bringing the results. I can take that line back to the 15th century, but I don't know where they heck they were living less than 150 years ago!

    NRH - One thing that helped me is finding death records and obituaries. Do you have anything like that? The obits that I have sometimes list the names of the parents and where they were born or when they came to this country. Are there any other relatives who might have information?
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  5. #55
    MRD
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    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    Any LDS family history center is probably going to be better for you than Ancestry.com. I think your problem will be that you will be searching for records that aren't in English and I think Ancestry.com focuses mostly on American records. They do have world info, but that's a more pricey subscription. My most recent immigrants are from Poland in the 1870's and it's been next to impossible because I don't speak Polish.

    Your best bet (outside of the physical library) is to Google like crazy. There are lots of genealogical research sites out there and one of them might be helpful.
    Ancestry.com is owned by LDS
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
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  6. #56
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by myrosiedog View Post
    Ancestry.com is owned by LDS
    I know, but for someone starting out, I think going to a physical library and getting help and advice from someone in person is helpful. Plus, they have free access to Ancestry, so you can try before you buy.

    They also do have some things that Ancestry.com doesn't have, like bound US Census Indexes that you can browse. They have the actual census and you can page through them, but they're cataloged by the city and county and district. The indexes are much easier if you don't know the specific location.

    Still no luck in finding any census records for my gg grandfather before 1900. I may have to break down and go to a Family History Center to hunt through the indexes!

    ETA: I just went to the site for my local FHC and they have a link to a new genealogical search engine that is sort of like Google for genealogy sites: http://mocavo.com/ I'm going to play with it and see if it's any good
    Last edited by Critical; 04-21-2011 at 03:38 PM.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  7. #57
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Okay, I just checked out mocavo.com and, although many of the search results turned up topics on the Ancestry.com message boards, I also got results from a site called Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records. I just found pictures of several headstones in my family. I also found listings for other family members where there is not a picture. The site has volunteers who will go out and photograph the headstone for you, so I just submitted a request!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  8. #58
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    One of my relatives took a DNA test for ancestry analysis. The results were not really what I wanted/expected/hoped for. Darn! Does anybody know about these sorts of things? It checked for haplogroups and based on its findings, I would be at least 5% Asian. I take that to be Native American. I suspect that this came from my Grandmother in Missouri. Does anyone know how to research Native American ancestry?

    Edit: I have a name of my great great grandmother's father. He was a drifter, I think. Does anyone know where I should begin looking for him? I couldn't find him on family search and his name is not on my great grandmother's birth certificate (another man's was)!

    Also, as a tip for some of you, I googled my great grandmother's name and found that someone had written a book about her family's ancestry. It went all the way back to the 1700s in France. It only took one google search to find all of that!
    Last edited by RealityLovesMe; 04-21-2011 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #59
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    The easiest (ha!) thing to do is start with the most distant relative that you have info about (approx birth date and location) and search the census records. The records are now available up to the 1930 census, so you should have some people listed. The more recent censuses (from 1900 forward) list where the parents of each individual were born, so that may give you clues are to where to look for the previous generations.

    What I would try is searching on Ancestry.com to see if anything comes up. Even without a subscription, you can see the basic info for each document returned in a search. For example, if the search returns a census record, it will show the name of the person, their birth date & location and where they were living at the time of the census. If it looks like there is some information on Ancestry, then you can always do a free trial to see if it's useful. I found a TON of information, not from the census records, but from the family trees of other members.

    I would also just hit up Google for more info on whoever you have names on. You're right - it's amazing what you can find just from Googling. I also recommend mocavo.com. I just tried it today and was pleasantly surprised. It's basically a search engine for all - mostly free - genealogy sites. The thing that it does that the regular search on Ancestry doesn't do is that it searched Ancestry's message boards as well, so you can see if someone is searching for the same info.

    I don't know about Native American research, but I'm sure there are tons of sites devoted to only that.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  10. #60
    FORT Fogey psucashcow's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I volunteer at Find A Grave and have contributed excel spread sheets of 2 cemeteries in my county. One of the other free sites is RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) where you can ask a volunteer in a particular area to look up a record, get an obit, photo a grave, etc. If there is a volunteer who is willing to do what you ask even overseas, it's a bargain. I also volunteer there as well. Sometimes the government archives in a particular area are a treasure trove as well. York County PA archives has an online index of records and you can order copies directly.

    There are free sites that can be just as helpful as ancestry.com.

    BTW, I have FTM 2010 and sometimes I wish I had my earlier version back. Too many damn bells and whistles that can get confusing.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day---Harry S. Truman

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