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Old 03-14-2021, 03:10 PM
 
11,935 posts, read 9,872,756 times
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It's stories like some of these shared in this thread which keep many of us interested in what we may discover about our ancestral families, what their lives were like, how and why they came to America (not to mention when and where), and to catch hints of their personalities and what their lives were like.

A younger first cousin once removed who lives several hundred miles away and I were just discussing this on the phone last night. An older distant connection of her grandmother (my late uncle's late wife) had "met" her online and a friendship resulted. It culminated in the newfound older cousin giving her a kitchen dresser made by her g-grandfather, who died when her grandmother was only four years old.

My younger cousin emailed me a photo of the dresser, which she of course cherishes - and which she never knew about prior to connecting with her older distant relative. I don't think she even knew that her g-grandfather was a cabinetmaker, as the records show him working for the railroad and in construction. Now she has tangible proof of his talents, along with a handsome and functional heirloom. It's almost as great a treasure as is her newfound older distant relative!
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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My family has lived in the same place for a long time. While I have greatly enhanced my knowledge through print research, the backbone of what I know comes from "living history" and was given to me through stories from older relatives.

So, learning about my family is learning about local history and vice-versa. Not only is it interesting, it is unavoidable. I also feel a duty and joy in keeping alive the family information and stories that were told to me as child, and as an adult. I can keep this heritage alive by teaching my own kids, which I do.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
1,956 posts, read 1,914,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Loving history, I found out something cool!

I found out that I am related directly to Nicholas Martiau. Now - he is the architect that designed much of Jamestown and Yorktown, VA. He was a French Hugenot (however you spell that) who took refuge in England during the Reformation, and then he came to the new world. I thought that was cool.

I mean, I am Catholic but still...I think the whole era of the Reformation is very interesting. Wow, the killing and torture and all that that went on - crazy times!
Oh, that's really awesome! Jealous. I've yet to run across someone noteworthy or mildly famous in my tree (though I have run across some other people's trees that included my ancestors who made some fantastic leap to being related to royalty--so apparently one of the Plantagenet's daughters married a Dutch peasant--okay, I know it is possible, but I think with something like that you would need to have some evidence to back it up. Like a record, document, family story???? But nothing).
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:04 PM
 
Location: New York Area
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People want to know how they are built, such as where the red hair comes from or from what a streak of genius arises.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
2,049 posts, read 930,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
People want to know how they are built, such as where the red hair comes from or from what a streak of genius arises.
Yes. People do have an intrinsic need to know from where they came. I've always been surprised when meeting someone who became a friend & was adopted... they told me they were adopted within 5-10 min of meeting them. I often wondered why, cuz they all said they grew up in wealthy families, with very successful parents, who loved them, sent them to college, helped them in anyway... yet, because they were told they were adopted, the never stopped wondering who they were, genetically.

As a kid, I was jealous... I had parents who hated their 7 kids & never stopped telling us so. They literally beat it into us. This was an only child, loved, pampered & cared for... yet, they felt a sense of being incomplete by not knowing their heritage & kin. I felt I would have traded places in a sec.

Another issue, but... maybe it's best not to tell adopted kids they're adopted? I know that's a can of worms, but I've know several adopted kids & they've all been the same in regard to wanting to know what came before the loving adoptive parents.

I think most of us like solved mysteries.
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Old 03-14-2021, 09:31 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
10,632 posts, read 5,732,434 times
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Through family history, we learn certain "facts" about our ancestors that sometimes fall into a pattern of behavior and life decisions that we wonder if they're just coincidental or they were somehow drawn together. I have a curious bunch of religious dissenters in my ancestry. A bunch were on the Mayflower and traveled from Leiden as part of the Pilgrim congregation of dissenters to Plymouth in Massachusetts. A group later further dissented and broke away from the Boston Puritans and followed Ann Hutchinson into Rhode Island, founding Portsmouth. Yet another group were Huguenots with a long and troubled history of persecution and bloodshed in France. They fled to Mannheim where they met the plague and their numbers were further diminished. They later sailed to New Netherlands and settled in the Hudson Valley, founding New Paltz, NY. Maintaining their religion was difficult at that distance from the Huguenot church hierarchy and, in time, they merged into the Dutch Reformed church and mostly embraced NY Dutch culture. Then there were the "Old Lutheran Germans" -- conservative Lutherans who refused to conform to the German "Prussian Union" state religion. This family bunch migrated as a group or a trickle in the 1800s to Missouri (St. Louis) and helped establish the Missouri Synod Lutheran sect. The burden of all this dissent rests on my shoulders and I'm doing my best to conform to that pattern.

Was this a coincidental ancestral joining up of dissenters? I've decided no - it isn't. It is due to the notion of religious freedom and tolerance that was foundational to the 1600s settlements (at times, not always) in New England, a sense of tolerance in the Dutch colony, and religious freedom protected in the later constitution of the United States. I suspect that the pattern of dissent is not all that uncommon if we search through our ancestry. I have other ancestors who settle in America for economic reasons or for survival after extreme hardship or famine in their country of origin.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:33 AM
 
Location: NJ
16,173 posts, read 24,830,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
My family has lived in the same place for a long time. While I have greatly enhanced my knowledge through print research, the backbone of what I know comes from "living history" and was given to me through stories from older relatives.

So, learning about my family is learning about local history and vice-versa. Not only is it interesting, it is unavoidable. I also feel a duty and joy in keeping alive the family information and stories that were told to me as child, and as an adult. I can keep this heritage alive by teaching my own kids, which I do.

I'm sure the same is true of my family but in Hungary. I'd have to travel there which will be a cold day in hell due to my back unless my doctor will prescribe something to knock me out during the flight



Quote:
Originally Posted by Basiliximab View Post
Oh, that's really awesome! Jealous. I've yet to run across someone noteworthy or mildly famous in my tree (though I have run across some other people's trees that included my ancestors who made some fantastic leap to being related to royalty--so apparently one of the Plantagenet's daughters married a Dutch peasant--okay, I know it is possible, but I think with something like that you would need to have some evidence to back it up. Like a record, document, family story???? But nothing).

I have a famous children's book author in my tree but he's not famous in the US, he's famous in Hungary. Unfortunately, the Ancestry DNA app for finding someone famous in your tree, doesn't connect him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Typical.Girl View Post
Yes. People do have an intrinsic need to know from where they came. I've always been surprised when meeting someone who became a friend & was adopted... they told me they were adopted within 5-10 min of meeting them. I often wondered why, cuz they all said they grew up in wealthy families, with very successful parents, who loved them, sent them to college, helped them in anyway... yet, because they were told they were adopted, the never stopped wondering who they were, genetically.

As a kid, I was jealous... I had parents who hated their 7 kids & never stopped telling us so. They literally beat it into us. This was an only child, loved, pampered & cared for... yet, they felt a sense of being incomplete by not knowing their heritage & kin. I felt I would have traded places in a sec.

You and me both but I was the only one not wanted or liked. When I was 30 I found out my mother gave my brother up, why not me too? I thought that every time she looked at me she saw him because we were both blond. Then at 40 I learned my mother cheated on my dad. We did DNA 2 hours before he passed. He died not knowing I was his bio daughter. I can't believe he questioned it because my son and I look like blond versions of him plus I have the same genetic defects as him.

As for adoptees feeling incomplete, I can empathize with them because I never knew any of my family since both my parents were immigrants. Every now and then we'd see her aunt at a funeral, I'm not sure why we didn't get together with her aunts grand kids because we're all similar ages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Typical.Girl View Post
Another issue, but... maybe it's best not to tell adopted kids they're adopted? I know that's a can of worms, but I've know several adopted kids & they've all been the same in regard to wanting to know what came before the loving adoptive parents.

I think most of us like solved mysteries.

I don't agree that maybe it's best not to tell them. How would you feel if you didn't know your history? You didn't know any of your family medical back ground?

For some adoptees, they can never travel out of the country because their adoption was illegal. They can never get the real ID. Thankfully now with DNA some can get answers to why their adoption was illegal, with some, it's because the medical staff stole them, telling their mother they delivered a deceased baby.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:54 AM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,450 posts, read 20,436,575 times
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I got into genealogy when I received my paternal grandmother's obituary. I had no knowledge of her side of my family. My grandfather, her husband, died before I was born. My maternal grandparents died when I was 4 and 5. I only knew my Dad's mother enough to remember her. She died when I was over 30 years old so we had a lot of time together. After that information hit my hands, I felt an importance to become familiar with her ancestors. If heaven exists as my religion suggests it does, I'll need to know who all these people are. In so doing, I located a branch of her family that had been lost. Seems they didn't like the bootlegging going on in the family so they moved far away. I remember my Aunt's joy when I asked her "do these names mean anything to you?" Thankfully, that was before Alzheimer's took much of her memory.
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:10 AM
 
784 posts, read 514,140 times
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I have always loved history, so genealogy was a natural hobby for me to pick up. I'm always amazed when I find that my family was actually moved by history in small and big ways.

For example: I helped a line of my distant cousins to actually see their relationship to the Civil War. It was not a dull event in a history book but an event that actually changed the course of their lives. Many of them a Civil War buffs today.

Long story short: That family was living in Cass County, Missouri, in 1860. By 1870, they were living in Iowa (and remain there today). For decades other people who had traced that tree saw absolutely nothing. >>Yawn<< But since I was a history buff and knew the history of that Missouri county, I said: "HOLY SH*T!!"

With a little investigation, I was able to give them one of those remarkable family stories. Cass County, Missouri, was a hotbed of Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War. In 1863, the Union Army marched through, evicted everyone from their homes, and burned the whole county to the ground (in retribution for the Lawrence Massacre.). Most of the survivors were forced marched out of Missouri and ordered to resettle in either Iowa or Nebraska, swearing allegiance to the Union along the way. I found info on their g-g-g-grandfather, using local history books. He was one of the biggest Confederates in the county, a recruiter for the Southern Army who was a Bushwhacker and who rode with William Quantrill.

In the end, I was able to show them why their family lived in Iowa. History had an impact that changed the direction of their lives. Their family played a role in a historical event.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera..._No._11_(1863))
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Old 03-15-2021, 03:45 AM
 
Location: New York Area
22,734 posts, read 8,985,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Typical.Girl View Post
Another issue, but... maybe it's best not to tell adopted kids they're adopted? I know that's a can of worms, but I've know several adopted kids & they've all been the same in regard to wanting to know what came before the loving adoptive parents.

I think most of us like solved mysteries.
In the best of all possible worlds maybe. But sometimes people will be asked to fill out medical information. Filling out information about adoptive parents is interesting but irrelevant.

On a side note my father's sister had a daughter by way of her family doctor in 1956. She didn't get divorced until 1969. She looked like the doctor, not her mother.
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