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Old 08-08-2017, 12:50 AM
Location: USA
1,758 posts, read 709,425 times
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Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
It's just for fun. Many of us enjoy the detective work involved. There is satisfaction in tracing the next set of parents, seeing where they came from, breaking down brick walls, and, if we are lucky, finding out a bit more than just names and dates. For me, it provoked an interest in history I had not had before. I was amazed to find that my lines pretty much all go back to the colonial era, far before the American Revolution. I had expected to find Scots Irish folk who came over in the 1800s. The Salzburgers who were in GA at the time of Oglethorpe and the Huguenots were a bit of a shock.

My favorite author has done a series of novels in which her characters end up in North Carolina just before the Revolution. She plunks them down into the War of the Regulation, which I had never even heard about. I found that I had ancestors who were in NC at that time, including one with the same surname as one of her characters. That particular person is mentioned in British military dispatches. Her fictionalized account of what went on made my ancestor's contribution come alive.

The Regulators - North Carolina Digital History

But, yes, the families who recycle the same names over and over with all the brothers and sisters naming their kids the same thing makes it frustrating. On the other hand, the occasional unusual name can be very helpful.
So fascinating, Suzy. Thank you for your reply & I'm glad you found unexpected treats in your family tree. That must be exciting.

The chiropractor's wife I mentioned in a previous post in NEPA used to teach local classes on how to begin looking up charts. She was used on a few Brit TV shows long ago to assist with looking up royalty charts. I know some felt she guided them when they were stuck in their charts. I wonder if there are others around to teach, like at adult education centers. Sounds like a good idea.

Well, thank you for so much info on the subject, everyone. This is a nice thread & I learned a lot.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:04 AM
16,217 posts, read 8,505,899 times
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Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Start with lots of afternoons having tea with the grandmothers.
Bring a nice cake. Not too sweet.
I agree with this and would include all great aunts/uncles as well and their cousins if they are still alive.

I started researching when I was 16 and luckily at that time my 2nd great grandmother was still alive so I got some info from her on cassette tape. I also interviewed her daughter (my paternal great grandmother) and one of my other living paternal great grandmothers at the time. I went through both sides of the family and interviewed all my, then living great grandparents. Then I interviewed their brothers/sisters and some of their cousins.

I recently re-interviewed a 1st cousin of my paternal great grandfather who is over 100 years old and still alive and in a good frame of mind.

I like to collect family stories as I'm interested in documenting the individual lives of people in my own tree.

I honestly never had a goal in regards to genealogical research. I just find history interesting and wanted to explore my family tree. When I was a teen I thought I might find which slave ship my ancestors were brought from, like in "Roots" the miniseries. I've never discovered that and ironically discovered a large amount of my black ancestors have been in America since before the Revolutionary War and that a lot of them have been free since that time period (some since the late 1600s).

This connected me with the very interesting history of Free People of Color (FPOC)in the US.

I have a very extensive tree. Sometimes I do research "exes" or deceased spouses like you asked about earlier and especially so on my "free" lines since many of these families intermarried with each other and oftentimes those exes or a spouse who passed away young before having children, I've discovered many of their siblings married siblings of my actual family members as FPOC lived in very intimate communities for the most part.

I now focus on particular topics and family lines each year. This year I'm focusing on some of my maternal 2nd-4th great grandparents and their service in the US Colored troops during the Civil War.

Next year I plan on honing in on some of my enslaved ancestors who lived in TN since we are going to have a family reunion for this side of the family - the surname of my maternal great grandfather, who unfortunately died a couple years before I got into genealogy so I never got to interview him. Luckily we had a good relationship so I wrote down a lot of the memories I have of him and his wife also told me a lot about his family. She also left me his family's photo album. Most of the pictures are not labeled so I get mad at both her and him while they are in the grave because I don't know who these people are lol. I'm narrowing them down though as many are postcard pics and they have some messages written on them speaking about Mama Payne or Mr. Stinson and these are surnames in his maternal line so I'm hoping one day to be able to at least 80% confirm who these people are.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:15 AM
16,217 posts, read 8,505,899 times
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Originally Posted by A.Typical.Girl View Post
I'm curious, BB. Are there groups where people get together & members investigate others' family trees? Might be an interesting Yahoo group to start, imho. I think it might be easier for me to investigate your tree than mine... I might have wants & desires attached to my outcome, but would readily accept whatever I've found of yours, if that makes sense.

BTW, I think having traced to 1851 is amazing. With no expertise whatsoever, I wish you well in uncovering more.
On the bold, I've discovered a LOT of online groups and individuals that investigate FPOC in particular. There are also specific groups dedicated to particular states and/or counties. I recently joined a group for descendants of "free black Canadians." Some of my ancestors moved to Canada between 1840 and 1860. I also research, in general, free black families who lived in my hometown area of NW OH and SE MI and many FPOC moved back and forth from Canada to this area. I write a blog on black history of the area and I am creating trees of all the families that have lived here in the 1840s-1870s. I also research families who lived in what was then called "Hinson Village" in PA which was an area where a line of my maternal ancestors I'm focusing on this year lived.

Ironically, my paternal great grandmother's paternal line, I was at a roadblock on until I did a general google search a couple years ago and came across a Facebook page of a woman who documented the history of the town and the families that my 2nd great grandfather on this line was born in. She turned out to be a cousin of mine! And she does a LOT of research on families who lived SE IN and SW OH both black and white families.

Facebook has been a great resource for me in genealogy. I find that people who start private groups with a focus on a particular population or geographic area are a wealth of knowledge. They also are happy to assist in breaking down walls on family trees and they provide a lot of tips in what I call "old school" research. Today many people stay online predominantly. I love that we have so much available online but at this point in my own research, I don't get very far just reviewing things online. I have gotten a lot of tips about what to look for at historical societies and county archives and the national archives available to researchers that has been very valuable to me. I started researching in the 1990s back when ancestry.com was free and so I've always had access to online resources and didn't learn the very valuable lessons in how to research off-line until I was in my 30s.

I also am a member of a variety of off-line genealogical societies and historical societies which provides me access to a variety of sources that are not online at the moment. Some of the items they do have online, you have to be a member to gain access to all of the information they post on the internet. I also go to genealogical conventions when I can and network with the people in person I've met online.
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