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Old 05-30-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,643,725 times
Reputation: 4344

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
I agree, Silverwing, about all the databases with only birth information. It's aggravating. But even more so are the databases who show each family with only one child -- they can't even be bothered to note their ancestor's siblings. Which is just dumb. I've solved so many of my "brick walls" by going through sibling, or even cousin, lines.
I think some people are only interested in the straight branch they sit on, which is cool. There are many reasons for research; some people just don't feel like spending a lot of time on it.

Me - I'm in it for the history aspect as well. One example: I was tracking down the death date of a g-g-g uncle. I found his death certificate, listing his age of expiration at 42. Cause of death was listed as massive injuries from falling out of an airplane. After scratching my head and going "wut?" I hit the news archives. The full story was that he was a printer, as his father before him. He had printed circulars for a business that were to be dropped from an airplane (this was 1924). Seems like, at the last minute, he got a wild hair to go along and help drop them. BAD DECISION. One of the guys on the flight gave up his seat to g-g-g-uncle George. An hour or so into the flight, the plane crashed, having ran out of gas.

I suppose that sort of info gets passed down to direct descendants; "your g-g-g grandfather died in a plane crash"-kind of thing; but it's usually lost to us out-laws. To me, it's interesting.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:45 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,643,725 times
Reputation: 4344
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
Keep in mind also, that I've been doing genealogy for about 40 years. I began doing genealogy, back in the days when you had to really DO genealogy. Nowadays, it's so ridiculously easy to track people with all the on-line digitized documents, if you know what's there and where to look, growing trees can be fast. And accurate. And complete.
And my hat is now officially tipped to the people doing ancestral research before PCs and the internet

It's one thing to acknowledge it in a general term, another to see it in practice.

I got to spend a day at the Ohio State Genealogical Society library in Bellville. Awesome place; with the smell of dusty books, aged periodicals, and a scent of what could only be called history. With an escort I was allowed access to some of the First Family files locked away in the archive room. Sifting through those pages, I was constantly reminded of how much work it was compared to today. There were typewritten letters and forms, copies of records that required the researcher to actually work a manual device to create a request, send off, then wait who-knows-how-many-days to get a return.

When I hit the stacks, I pulled out a few census books at random, then had to just plop down on the floor and read through them. Someone actually typed out all that information, using a honest-to-gosh typewriter, then hole punched each page and compiled it in book form. Now, I'm no youngster, I remember my Business Classes from back in the 70s and how I thought it was such drudgery to have to practice typing out business correspondence. I finally splurged on an electric typewriter to do homework and thought I was in heaven, but that still didn't relieve one of the horror at biffing a word and having to shift to the correction ribbon, knowing that it would be obvious. However, I'm glad to have had that experience to better appreciate the upgrade to word processors and, now, PCs.

Another book of cemetery records was laboriously handwritten. I took that one over to spouse, patiently ensconced on the couch with a magazine while I roamed the library. "Wouldya look at this!" I exclaimed. "Someone, in very neat copperplate, transcribed hundreds of tomb stones! How long did that take?"

What I've accomplished in the several years I've been researching family lines would have taken me much-much longer the old-fashioned way. For all that I love the detective work and would have had fun camping out at the library, the information I found was easily transcribed by laying the book over the platen of the copy machine. Surpassing the copy function, I'm glad I was able to scan pictures and copy the image to a storage stick. Tromping through graveyards to find relatives who have been dead for almost two hundred years was fun (even with the humidity and chiggers), but recording what I found on the tombstone was as easy as <clicking> my digital camera for an image I could verify on the spot.

It only requires a passing thought to express the opinion: "doing all this stuff without a PC and the internet? bummer" Having it in your hands and knowing a bit about the drudgery (even if it is enjoyed) of compiling that information brings it home at how easy it has been for us modern researchers.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 11,354,671 times
Reputation: 5839
Let's see. When I started doing genealogy, the 1880 census was the most recent one we had available. And they were only beginning to produce indexes to the census. If there wasn't one, you had to read page by page, and hope they were where you expected them to be.

But yeah, you really have to take your hats off to all those little old ladies (which most of them were) who sat there and hand indexed old records for us. Only to have computers come along and make all the hard work they did more-or-less of obsolete.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
34,007 posts, read 36,133,861 times
Reputation: 40479
Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
I've been doing genealogy for several years and have 14,283 people in my tree now but I had more before my PC was lost sevral weeks ago.
Back up your data frequently, folks!
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,796,277 times
Reputation: 3372
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwing View Post
And my hat is now officially tipped to the people doing ancestral research before PCs and the internet

It's one thing to acknowledge it in a general term, another to see it in practice.

I got to spend a day at the Ohio State Genealogical Society library in Bellville. Awesome place; with the smell of dusty books, aged periodicals, and a scent of what could only be called history. With an escort I was allowed access to some of the First Family files locked away in the archive room. Sifting through those pages, I was constantly reminded of how much work it was compared to today. There were typewritten letters and forms, copies of records that required the researcher to actually work a manual device to create a request, send off, then wait who-knows-how-many-days to get a return.

When I hit the stacks, I pulled out a few census books at random, then had to just plop down on the floor and read through them. Someone actually typed out all that information, using a honest-to-gosh typewriter, then hole punched each page and compiled it in book form. Now, I'm no youngster, I remember my Business Classes from back in the 70s and how I thought it was such drudgery to have to practice typing out business correspondence. I finally splurged on an electric typewriter to do homework and thought I was in heaven, but that still didn't relieve one of the horror at biffing a word and having to shift to the correction ribbon, knowing that it would be obvious. However, I'm glad to have had that experience to better appreciate the upgrade to word processors and, now, PCs.

Another book of cemetery records was laboriously handwritten. I took that one over to spouse, patiently ensconced on the couch with a magazine while I roamed the library. "Wouldya look at this!" I exclaimed. "Someone, in very neat copperplate, transcribed hundreds of tomb stones! How long did that take?"

What I've accomplished in the several years I've been researching family lines would have taken me much-much longer the old-fashioned way. For all that I love the detective work and would have had fun camping out at the library, the information I found was easily transcribed by laying the book over the platen of the copy machine. Surpassing the copy function, I'm glad I was able to scan pictures and copy the image to a storage stick. Tromping through graveyards to find relatives who have been dead for almost two hundred years was fun (even with the humidity and chiggers), but recording what I found on the tombstone was as easy as <clicking> my digital camera for an image I could verify on the spot.

It only requires a passing thought to express the opinion: "doing all this stuff without a PC and the internet? bummer" Having it in your hands and knowing a bit about the drudgery (even if it is enjoyed) of compiling that information brings it home at how easy it has been for us modern researchers.
I have relatives who have been doing genealogy for decades. One recently published her work. It's amazing how much work that is without the internet. It's still work today, but not nearly as much.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:24 AM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
45,445 posts, read 27,161,301 times
Reputation: 130094
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwing View Post
...Me - I'm in it for the history aspect as well. One example: I was tracking down the death date of a g-g-g uncle. I found his death certificate, listing ....
Yes, understanding what life was like in the past is its own reward in a lot of ways. It always teaches you something.

A few years ago I started looking closer at city directories, visiting cities and driving to the places my ancestors lived at. Even drawing some of my own maps of where they lived, went to church or worked, if known, along with some modern overlay. For instance, the row of churches where my great-grandparents were married is now the site of Autozone Park.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:12 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,735 times
Reputation: 15
I know some of you are going to disagree with me but, that is ok. I track back usually to my fourth cousin. Some people go to 16th and 24th but that is far for me. I go back to my 25th great grandparents. I have their children and their children and soforth. My total is almost 34,000 people but I ahve been doing this for years.
How do I prove my information? usually with birth and marriageand baptism records. I find church records and courthouse records are the most accurate. Once you find an ancestor in the British Isles it is easier because their records are so complete.
When I got to Germany a genealogist there went to the area where my family lived and found church records but they only go back to the 1500's.
There is one family I cannot trace beyond four generations but that is not unusual.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:42 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,643,725 times
Reputation: 4344
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
I've solved so many of my "brick walls" by going through sibling, or even cousin, lines.
Missed that sentence

I agree, in fact right now I'm working with someone whose ancestor was the brother of my g-g-g-grandmother. She has family information that will hopefully fill in some blank spots from my family line.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:34 AM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
45,445 posts, read 27,161,301 times
Reputation: 130094
True, a record for a sibling may contain information missing for a direct ancestor.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 19,619,449 times
Reputation: 32487
Well, looking out the window right now at my family's tree, I see three people on it. There are two neighbor kids and my nephew who is pruning some branches. There are a few other people in the backyard but they are not on the family tree right now. That could change in the next five or ten minutes, of course. I'll keep you posted.
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