1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Ancestry...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by JJ_Maxx, Nov 25, 2012.

    Three years ago I didn't know my great grandfather.

    I couldn't tell you anything about him. His name, where he lived, nothing. I began a journey of self-discovery that took me (virtually) to many places.

    I filled in my family tree to roughly five generations. Some were easy to find, and others eluded me for years. I've extended branches of my tree farther, finding a grandfather and grandmother aboard the Mayflower. (My g-g-g-g-g-grandfather actually fell off the Mayflower.) I'm a seventh-cousin to George Washington and many of my ancestors fought in the Civil War.

    I believe my ancestry goes back to the 1400's in England, and I even know the town. One day I hope I can go and visit the ton in England where my ancestors came from.

    I am in the long, arduous process of trying to apply to the official 'Mayflower Descendants Society', but you must have birth, marriage, divorce and death records for all the generations going back to the 1600's. (I have the bulk of it, but still need more, as they are flexible, but strict.)

    There's a lot of stories to be told in my family tree.

    Have any of you done research on your family?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    That's pretty cool Maxx. :)

    My family line can be easily traced back to at least 1300 on one side. I'm related to the Armstrong Clan, the 'border reivers' as they are called, and as a child I was taken around Armstrong Clan museums in Scotland. On another side (my parents are actually doing one of those ancestry, treeline things) we can easily trace it back to the year 1748 and to southern Devon; a man who was connected with the church and who may have also been a smuggler. After that it gets very hard to find anything.

    My physique is primarily Celtic, but I also have something of a Jewish nose, so I might have Jewish ancestry, and my dad thinks we might also have Italian ancestry somehow but he would know more than I would.
     
  3. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    One of my ancestors wrote Shakespeare's first biography or something
     
  4. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Armstrongs aren't Celtic, Lemex - they're Germanic Lowlanders ;)

    One branch of my family can be traced to 1284 - Alexander de Tysoe, priest of the village of Tysoe in Warwickshire. We were apparently the local 'go-to' family in those parts, though there's no hereditary noble title on record. The direct line can be traced from the late 1580s, when a girl called Rachel Tysoe stole a loaf of bread. A few other thieves in the colonial era were sent to India, so there's a few relatives knocking about over there.

    The other side of my family is Gaelic. The only named ancestor prior to the 1800s is a 15th century toiseachdeor, or military governor, in Argyll, but that's an oral tale. They'll never be any evidence as to whether he actually existed or not. Given that he was supposedly defeated by the Lords of the Isles and was then exiled by his Campbell employers, I'm none too fussed...
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Ah well, shows how much attention I payed when I was a child. :p I've never been too interested in my family history because it was always forced on to me. There is some thing about me also having Campbell blood, and that some of my ancestors were present at Glencoe, but what they did I don't know.
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've taken my Norwegian ancestors back to the late 1200s. The German and Scots I haven't gotten quite so far with, simply due to availability of (ie, money to spend on) sources. Amazing what one finds, though, just in trying to find one's ancestors.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    From what I know...

    - One of my ancestors sat in the First Continental Congress.
    - One of my ancestors fought with Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812.

    ...That is all I know. D8 I'll have to look deeper and see what other ancestors I can find.

    <gasp>

    It's like Assassin's Creed, only I'm not strapping myself into the Animus!
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Warning: Genealogy can be addictive. It's like researching for an intricate story, only you develop this tie to these people, no matter how far back you go. They belong to you. And if you're lucky enough to find letters, newspaper articles, photos - you'll never let go. (But hey - I've found some fascinating story ideas in all that research - like the gggggg-something grandfather who was hauled before the magistrate for "performing strange acts" with his cattle...)
     
  9. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Yeah, my family comes from Massachusetts and I had a relative that was tried and found guilty as a witch in Salem. Unfortunately, it was near the end of the trials and she escaped with her life.
     
  10. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Genealogy can indeed be fascinating. For a writer, studying where and how your ancestors lived can provide ideas and settings.

    You've done it right by filling in recent generations before getting distracted by a supposed line back to the middle ages. I measure success by generations. Knowing the story of a parent's life is worth a half a generation each. Learning about a grandparent is a 1/4 generation, a great grandparent 1/8 generation, etc.

    So back in colonial America, each ancestor was perhaps 1/2048 generation for you. In the middle ages each ancestor was less than a millionth of a generation. And that's assuming all the nominal parentage was biologically true, ignoring unrecorded adoptions and straying relationships.

    It can be very interesting and educational to learn about early people and times, but each one didn't contribute much to who you are.
     
  11. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Why is that unfortunate?
     
  12. Dagen
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    Dagen New Member

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    When I've found the time (which is next to never) I've been trying to pick up the torch by filling in the gaps of my uncles genealogy of my father's side of the family. I've also been looking into my mother's side, which no one really kept track of. Unlike most of you though, my family was rather unremarkable. On my Father's side we were all illiterate farmers in northern Nova Scotia. We've been there, and some still are, since 1810 when we came over from northern England or southern Scotland. My mother's side ran a cigar factory for years and for generations lived a few blocks over from where I am now.

    I haven't actually bothered to expand the tree beyond immediate ancestry. I just haven't really had any interest in learning who is my 6th and 7th cousin because it doesn't seem to matter at the moment, but I might check into that someday. I've always been more interested in my roots and learning more about my own story at what brought me to where I am now. I generally agree with B93's comments above, but I do think there is some value in learning about generations further back than grandparents or great grandparents. The way your ancestors raised there children, and the lives they led together affected how the next generation raised their children and the opportunities that generation and their children had, and so on down the line until that chain of events come to you, affecting, at least in part, how you were raised and the opportunities you were given.
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I agree. If she were my ancestor, I'd be thanking the Lord for sparing her, and asking Him to watch over the ones who did not make it through that needless hysteria. I'm happy she survived, and hope she got the hell out of Salem and never returned!

    EDIT: I'm assuming you meant fortunate? If so, disregard the above.

    @ ShadowWalker- Okay, that thing about your ancestor being brought before the magistrate for doing 'strange acts with his cattle'? I just chuckled and went, 'damned, what was going on through his head'. xD
     
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly! I keep wishing the account had been a little less circumspect. :p
     
  15. MJR
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    MJR New Member

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    Family history has been something I've become interested in lately. Unfortunately the only research I have been able to do thus far is talk with my grandparents. I will be traveling to Ireland, where my family is from, next semester and I plan on visiting the town my family is from. Who knows, maybe I'll find something interesting.
     
  16. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Talking to your grandparents, recording (audio or in writing) EVERYTHING you can learn from them, is the most important and time critical step. They won't always be around to ask.
     
  17. RHK
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    RHK Member

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    So far, we've traced my family (on my mother's side) back to 19th century Holland (which didn't surprise anyone since my grandfather is Dutch: I'm only the second generation to hold a British passport). They were farmers, blacksmiths...generally craftsmen. Then in the late 19th century, encouraged by government sponsorship, our family emigrated en masse to Argentina along with many other Dutch farmers and craftsmen. A lot of the family has remained over there, but my great great grandfather decided to return to Holland.
    My grandfather then married an English woman while working here and, after a few years of living in Holland together, they decided to settle in England.

    I think family history can be really fascinating. Not only do you come across interesting characters in your own family (plenty of colourful folk in mine) but you also inevitably become drawn into the broader socio-historical context of their experiences. I'm quite interested in my grandfather's experiences during WWII, for instance: because he was a 'foreigner' he was treated with a lot of suspicion and had policemen wrapping on his door every week to make sure he wasn't up to anything.

    I've got tons of old sepia photographs and items that have been passed down from one hoarder to the next. I have even got my grandfather's (on my father's side) collection of shrapnel. Which er, I find a little grim. :/
     
  18. Knarfia
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    Knarfia Member

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    My great great (possibly great great great) grandpa invented the push-up pop, but a friend of his stole the idea and took full credit for it. So began the curse of step-on-meism in my family. But I hear we'll be inheriting the earth, so that's cool, if you believe in that kind of thing.
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My mother's family was five generations in Canada. They were and are Ontario farmers.

    My father's family were German Mennonites who were living in the Ukraine. My grandparents on that side fled the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and came to Canada in 1920 or so.
     
  20. Pauly Pen Feathers
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    I don’t think genealogy applies to me because I was adopted and know absolutely nothing of my genealogical parents. However, my adopted sister did some work and found Davy (King of the wild frontier) Crockett, hanging around one of my dad’s family tree limbs. You know Davy Crocket; he’s the guy who used to run around with a raccoon tail sticking out of the back of his head.

    As far as I can tell, I think I must Irish. I had the blazing red hair in my youth, I have the temper of a drunken sailor, and I love me some Guinness. Oh, and I’m a huge fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.
     
  21. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know that my great-grandmother was a Whittington off the same family as Dick Whittington of pantomime fame and there are a couple of infamous ancestors - but the least said about them the better.
     
  22. Em_Anders
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    Em_Anders Member

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    My Great-Aunt did a lot of the Genealogy for her side of the family (My father's side), and found we are related to a Lemuel Glascock who murdered his neighbor over livestock... Or maybe it was an issue of fence placement?... and wrote his own biography while in prison, shortly before he was hung. Also on my father's side, we traced a branch back to 1700's Norway- dead ended at an Astrid Olsdatter, Ole Jorgensen, and Ole Tjostofsen, and my paternal Grandmother's side back to 1820's Madaria, Spain.
    Anyone know of the Van Swearingens? Because according to my Great-Aunt, I'm related to them, too.

    Another one of my ancestors was in the American Civil War, fought on the Confederate side and died in a union prison in central Ohio of dysentery.

    On my mother's side, I did the majority of the digging and found that my mother and father had even less in common than we had all thought. My father's side being all military men and military family, my mother's side were draft dodgers of WWII, and so that is where the trail ends, sadly. Of course, dots could still be connected but without viable proof that Dot B is the son/daughter of Dot A, the connections are only educated guesses.

    And I can't remember who, but someone in this thread said Genealogy is addicting and I thoroughly concur!!
     
  23. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    My family got rich from inventing post it notes.







    Obscure movie reference can you figure it out?
     
  24. Em_Anders
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    Em_Anders Member

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    Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion!
    Can't quote 90's chick flicks man, I get'm every time!


    And talking Genealogy got me rooting around my Ancenstry.com account. I have an ancestor named "Torquat". I haven't stopped giggling for the past five minutes.
     
  25. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    How many children did she have?
     

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