Genealogy thread

relantel
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Genealogy thread

Postby relantel » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:39 pm

Saw some old stories in the Randomness Dos thread from back in April, but so far behind in that thread there's no hope. So thought of starting a separate thread for such things. Genealogy is an avocation for me, something that has become quite a bit easier with the advance of the internet, Ancestry, and LDS's FamilySearch.org. Fortunately for all, the LDS microfiled hundreds of records and has made them available for free.

https://familysearch.org/search/collect ... TED_STATES

For me, I have used Brother's Keeper as a software since the mid 1990s, when I had access to the vast Genealogy resources in West Pattee at PSU. Lots of old volumes on microfiche, and slews of bound periodicals such as the New England Historic Genealogical Register dating back into the 1800s. CS71 they had about any book one could imagine back then.

I've also had great help from local genealogical societies, such as the Blair County group in Hollidaysburg. After years of searching my wife's lines, I finally made a link recently tracing her father's paternal grandmother back to a Revolutionary War ancestor named John Bowser of Bedford County. It's the first SAR or DAR proof I can make via my father-in-law, with another 10 through my mother-in-law. Now, my wife hasn't had time to actually join the DAR, but we at least have the necessary proof data in hand for when she does.

http://services.dar.org/Public/DAR_Rese ... /?Tab_ID=0

The DAR itself has a nice Library in DC, with a research room second to none, and access to all of their past member proofs over the years, including source documentation. They are only recently beginning to make some of that supporting info downloadable online, with a $20 charge but instantly available. I used this option yesterday on a Jonathan Danforth, another of my wife's lines. Helped me to identify other sources to look at that may not have been evident by the record copy application itself.

Myself, I made a SAR proof 15 years ago, and a supplemental based on my patriot ancestor's son-in-law in 2008. I have several others I could prove, but the charge is up to $60, and it was not a high priority.

Algernon
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Genealogy thread

Postby Algernon » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:39 pm

Are you a mormon?

dodint
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Postby dodint » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:45 pm

My interest comes in waves. Looking forward to doing some hands on research when I move back to PA.

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Genealogy thread

Postby count2infinity » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:39 am

I had a 7th or 8th grade assignment where we were to look into our genealogy. About all I found out was both sides of my family are from the Germany, Austria, Switzerland area. I'd be interested to find out more at some point. Just haven't had the time to investigate.

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Genealogy thread

Postby Freddy Rumsen » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:28 am

My Dad's mom spent her whole retirement years collecting all this information before the internet. Her and my grandfather even went to Germany twice. Once they figured out my Great-Great Grandfather (the one with my last name) changed his name when he got off the boat to hide from the authorities back in Germany the search became easier. He was evidently some court official in the Wurtemmberg duchy that was not going to be welcomed into a united German state.

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Postby eddy » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:57 am

I saw something at one point dating my ancestry back to Robert the Bruce being a landlord of some type of relative. I enjoyed that.

Gabe
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Genealogy thread

Postby Gabe » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:06 am

My mom is half-German/half-English.
On her English side, they came to Pittsburgh from Stoke-On-Trent in 1906. My grandfather was born there.
On her German side, they have been in the US since the mid-1700's, we think from the Hamburg area. Were PA Dutch people in Holidaysburg, PA.

My dad was half Swedish/half something else
On his Swedish side, they emigrated to Pittsburgh from Frolunda, Sweden.
don't know about the rest.

relantel
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Genealogy thread

Postby relantel » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:47 am

Are you a mormon?
No. Just taking advantage of the data they have made available!
My Dad's mom spent her whole retirement years collecting all this information before the internet. Her and my grandfather even went to Germany twice. Once they figured out my Great-Great Grandfather (the one with my last name) changed his name when he got off the boat to hide from the authorities back in Germany the search became easier. He was evidently some court official in the Wurtemmberg duchy that was not going to be welcomed into a united German state.
This has been the bane of some lines. Some are truncation, some are transliteration, and some are cases of spelling changing over time. And then don't get me started on Sweden or Wales and their naming conventions!

MR25
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Genealogy thread

Postby MR25 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:47 am

Paternal great-grandmother was born in Finland. She married a man from Greece. My paternal grandfather was adopted, and we vaguely know the family name he was adopted from, but don't really know where (we think Germanic).

Maternal grandparents were born in Austria. We have a genealogy book that has clippings dating back to 1633 for my grandfather's side, but it's in German so we have no idea what it says.

CBear3
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Genealogy thread

Postby CBear3 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:04 am

Great Grandfather ran the Tamaqua Billiards Academy, which also served as a speak-easy during prohibition. Kept the alcohol underneath the ice cream containers.

Family came from near Polish-Lithuania and the Alsace-Lorraine primarily.

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Genealogy thread

Postby MalkinIsMyHomeboy » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:21 am

I feel like Genealogy gets a hell of a lot harder when the family ties go out to Europe or wherever. I was able to get back to my great grandparents on Ancestry and then had to pay a hefty amount to advance which, I'm not even guaranteed to find anything

CBear3
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Genealogy thread

Postby CBear3 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:02 pm

I feel like Genealogy gets a hell of a lot harder when the family ties go out to Europe or wherever. I was able to get back to my great grandparents on Ancestry and then had to pay a hefty amount to advance which, I'm not even guaranteed to find anything
Agreed:
Names changed a lot upon immigration, along with not being able to read the European documents, makes it really hard to come up with anything.

MR25
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Genealogy thread

Postby MR25 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:05 pm

We did find the Ellis Island ship manifest from when my paternal grandmother's father came over from Greece about 10 years ago. I know we printed them off and gave them to my great-aunt (who died in 2009), so I don't know what happened to them.

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Genealogy thread

Postby Factorial » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:32 pm

From my Mom's family, he was English and came over in the 1600's and from my Dad's family they came over in the late 1700's from Germany. I've seen census forms of my Dad's family from 1810 or so.

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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:26 pm

Ancestry.com was started by the LDS as a way to facilitate 'proxy baptisms' into the Mormon church. (Everybody ever being baptized as a Mormon is part of their end days belief) I don't know if they're still involved with the operation of the site, but my great-grandmother was proxy baptized four or five years after her death. So that's fun.

That said, the German side of my family came from a village between Hamburg and Bremen. They arrived in the U.S. sometime in the 1840s, originally settling in Gallitzin, PA. The Irish side hails from Donegal, and came to the U.S. during the famine after spending about 10 years in Quebec before moving to Blair County. The last new immigrants from Ireland came to the U.S. in the 1950s aboard RMS Queen Mary, so it was kind of a treat when Mrs Tif and I got married there. (The ship has been a hotel for 40+ years, permanently moored in Long Beach.)

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Postby dodint » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:20 pm

Mine came over on the SS George Washington in 1910.

Image

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:37 pm

My maternal grandmother was heavily into genealogy for years, and she actually wrote multiple books detailing that side of the family. I know ancestors on that side going back many generations. I had ancestors on the Mayflower, and my grandparents on that side were in the Mayflower Society. IIRC, I'm a descendant of Myles Standish. When I was a child we took a couple trips up to Plymouth for meetings of the Mayflower Society. Those grandparents were also active in the DAR/SAR.

I know much less about my father's ancestors. I believe my father's grandparents were all immigrants from the part of Europe that would be Poland today, although I remember my paternal grandmother saying her father spoke German and not Polish. I believe they all came to the US in the later 1800s. I know one of my great-grandfathers was essentially abandoned by his father after his mother died, and he came to the US as an illegal alien by stowing away on a cattle ship. The ship docked in Boston, and he jumped overboard and swam to shore. He walked around Boston until he heard other people speaking German, and he asked them where he could get work. They told him a lot of German/Polish immigrants were working in the mills in central New York, so he used what little money he had to buy a train ticket. That's how he ended up in Utica.

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Genealogy thread

Postby Tico Rick » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:25 pm

Ancestry.com was started by the LDS as a way to facilitate 'proxy baptisms' into the Mormon church. (Everybody ever being baptized as a Mormon is part of their end days belief) I don't know if they're still involved with the operation of the site, but my great-grandmother was proxy baptized four or five years after her death. So that's fun.
Yeah, the Mormon's have this crazy habit of baptizing dead people as Mormons. That's why they have records of a zillion of my ancestors, even though none of them were Mormon.

I did a lot of genealogical research back in the old days, looking at microfiches in the New York Public Library and at the Hartford State Library. Good times.

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Postby Freddy Rumsen » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:35 am

I had a four hour long discussion with a Mormon missionary about 6 months ago and he came by the other day to let me know that he had me baptized.

So I have that going for me...

CBear3
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Genealogy thread

Postby CBear3 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:14 am

Went to a Temple open house with one of my best friends since high school (he Being Mormon). It was an interesting experience.

relantel
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Genealogy thread

Postby relantel » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:24 pm

In a weird twist, I stumbled upon the obit yesterday (on find a grave of all places) of a 3rd cousin of my Dad's I had corresponded with a number of times over the years and had exchanged Christmas cards with as late as 2011. Turns out he had died just short of Thanksgiving 2015 at the ripe old age of 101. The obit gives confirmation to other data I had been given by his niece in later years, as well as giving names for 5th cousins to my kids' generation as well as noting that some of them have grandchildren. I knew we had time-gaps in the generations in the family - the deceased was 36 years older than my dad despite being in the same generation - but that puts it in a whole new perspective.

The lesson is all contacts are fleeting - just fortunate to have gotten info from him when we did, and in a form that we can then pass on to the younger generations when they are ready to take up the mantle.

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Postby dodint » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:09 am

Source of the post The lesson is all contacts are fleeting
Absolutely. There was a really great older woman, mid-80s, that was doing some parallel research. I had some light correspondence with her for a bit, and then the urge left me for a while. When I picked it back up again she had passed. :(

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Postby dodint » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:21 am

Mine came over on the SS George Washington in 1910.

Image
On 14 April 1912, George Washington passed a particularly large iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and radioed a warning to all ships in the area, including White Star Line ocean liner Titanic, which sank near the same location.
Whoops. :pop:

dodint
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Postby dodint » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:18 am

hmmmmmmm.

I may have extended my reach back to 1782 from 1829. I'm a huge stickler for primary source material in this research, and I don't exactly have any in this instance. Just the findings of two different and reputable researchers (one I know does it professionally) whose published findings corroborate each other but do not cite an actual source.

Might have to shoot out some e-mails. If true, the paternal side of my tree has been in the Westmoreland/Indiana area nearly since the Revolution. Since before Indiana county was even formed.

relantel
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Genealogy thread

Postby relantel » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:42 pm

@dodint :
You're getting into the range where DAR may be of help, even if only in the resources they have in their library, which is one of the most comprehensive genealogical libraries in the US. Their online GRS databases of their members' ancestry might be able to yield clues of where else to search. I know I've looked up some Westmoreland resources in their library - don't recall exactly what but we had lines through there around that time. (Saltsburg before removing to McKeesport). Some associated were even involved in the Block House incident. The researcher that kept me motivated on those lines passed away last year as well, at a far younger age, down in Texas. For him, I was the closer one on the scene, with the ability to make it to DC to go to the DAR Library.

90% of genealogy is knowing where to look. And even though you come across other records that aren't primary, they may help locate where to look for desired primary records. I find I have a much greater threshold now when thinking I have confirmation of data than when I was researching 20 years ago. I probably have pages upon pages of notes on stuff I had looked up, so at least I could find my way back, but most early notes aren't digitized so some of it is finding new ways to prove some links, and others it's scanning the photographs I took of some of those handwritten notebooks. Then you never know when something new comes up and proves you've been looking in the wrong place for 30 years!!

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