Author Topic: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage  (Read 46232 times)

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Offline Bigun

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Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« on: June 03, 2016, 09:57:28 AM »
Genealogy - Getting to know your Heritage.

This Thread is posted for  discussion of Genealogy or the study of one's Heritage.

I personally think it to be one of the most important undertakings one can engage in and besides that I LOVE it!

Free accounts available at http://myheritage.com

Offline don-o

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 10:12:31 AM »
Great! Thanks for starting this.

I am the keeper of my family tree, bequeathed by my mother. She had gotten all the material into Family Tree Maker. When she passed it to me, I had a couple years to ask her many questions. It amazed her (in her early 90's) that she could remember things that she had not thought about in years.

She's gone now and there's answers that only she could give me that will remain questions.

Anyone who has thought about doing this...Do not delay.

Offline catfish1957

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 10:13:33 AM »
Thanks for setting up the thread.  As I said earlier, In my retirement, I occasionally teach genealogy classes for the local genealogical library.  My class, focuses mostly on making sure students realize that the internet is probably the best and worst things ever to happen to genealogy.  Good, in that we now have the ability to research in weeks what used to take a lifetime, Bad, in that there is so many mistakes on databases, that seem to perpetuate, it is near impossible believe half what are shown on many family trees.

Secondly, I provide what I feel are the best sites on the web for research, and then provide a navigational tour through those sites so the students can get a leg up in researching.  Third, I like to give a good bit of time of ways, means, and suggestions on how to deal with those brick walls that we all have in extending our tree.

I also volunteer at our genealogical library when time permits, helping patrons with research.

So just as a starter, here is the list I provide students.  I hope we can have some good discussions from there.

google
Genweb
Rootsweb
Ancestry
familysearcg.org
Cyndi's List
Heritage Quet
Genforum
Vitalrec.com
Higginson's Books
Find A Grave
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Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 10:17:49 AM »
Great! Thanks for starting this.

I am the keeper of my family tree, bequeathed by my mother. She had gotten all the material into Family Tree Maker. When she passed it to me, I had a couple years to ask her many questions. It amazed her (in her early 90's) that she could remember things that she had not thought about in years.

She's gone now and there's answers that only she could give me that will remain questions.

Anyone who has thought about doing this...Do not delay.

How many times have I figuratively kick myself for not taking the time to write down things I was told or asking questions of the people who knew the answers while they were still around!!!

Offline ScottinVA

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 10:21:37 AM »
Thanks for setting up this page. 

In the late 1990s, I got into a genealogy hobby, as I started tracing my Irish family roots.  It's a great (albeit time-consuming) pastime!

Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 10:24:28 AM »
Thanks for setting up the thread.  As I said earlier, In my retirement, I occasionally teach genealogy classes for the local genealogical library.  My class, focuses mostly on making sure students realize that the internet is probably the best and worst things ever to happen to genealogy.  Good, in that we now have the ability to research in weeks what used to take a lifetime, Bad, in that there is so many mistakes on databases, that seem to perpetuate, it is near impossible believe half what are shown on many family trees.

Secondly, I provide what I feel are the best sites on the web for research, and then provide a navigational tour through those sites so the students can get a leg up in researching.  Third, I like to give a good bit of time of ways, means, and suggestions on how to deal with those brick walls that we all have in extending our tree.

I also volunteer at our genealogical library when time permits, helping patrons with research.

So just as a starter, here is the list I provide students.  I hope we can have some good discussions from there.

google
Genweb
Rootsweb
Ancestry
familysearcg.org
Cyndi's List
Heritage Quet
Genforum
Vitalrec.com
Higginson's Books
Find A Grave

Excellent list!  I have personal accounts at both Ancestry and Family Search.  I also use Family Tree DNA (it's the best there is) for DNA testing and GEDmatch.com for comparing my dna with that of others.

Offline catfish1957

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 10:27:42 AM »
How many times have I figuratively kick myself for not taking the time to write down things I was told or asking questions of the people who knew the answers while they were still around!!!

Even better, is to see if your elderly relatives will allow you to interview them by video tape.  My FIL drove a Halftrack in the Normandy invasion at Omaha Beach.  Right now he is 92 and has dementia.  Thank goodness my wife and son videotaped him about 15 years ago, and he spoke on his experience for about an hour.

Another neat example, is several years ago, I got a wav copy of a audio tape of my great grandmother from back in 1948.  My great uncle's family kindly shared it with relatives.  Irreplaceable family artifact.  Hearing about her life from about 1885- 1945 was fascinating to hear.
I display the Confederate Battle Flag in honor of my great great great grandfathers who spilled blood at Wilson's Creek and Shiloh.  5 others served in the WBTS with honor too.

Offline catfish1957

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 10:32:21 AM »
Excellent list!  I have personal accounts at both Ancestry and Family Search.  I also use Family Tree DNA (it's the best there is) for DNA testing and GEDmatch.com for comparing my dna with that of others.
Have used FTDNA and Ancestry's dna tests with great results.  I think FTDNA is more competent in the field, but Ancestry's tools for matches beat FTDNA hands down.  Have you taken the plunge at FTDNA with Big Y yet?  Been a bust here so far.  My drilled down to a finite haplogroup that has about only 3 other members, and none have my surname.  :(
I display the Confederate Battle Flag in honor of my great great great grandfathers who spilled blood at Wilson's Creek and Shiloh.  5 others served in the WBTS with honor too.

Offline Timber Rattler

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 10:32:57 AM »
My wife is a professional genealogist, so I'm very pleased to see this post and thread.  I don't have much to add to what has already been said, but it is important to write down the memories and reminisces of your elders before they pass on, or else, that history will be lost forever.  Better yet, sit down with them and do recorded oral histories.  Your families will be very grateful in the future for it.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 10:35:49 AM by Timber Rattler »
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Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 10:37:16 AM »
Thanks for setting up this page. 

In the late 1990s, I got into a genealogy hobby, as I started tracing my Irish family roots.  It's a great (albeit time-consuming) pastime!

You are most welcome!  When I saw that someone had suggested doing this I jumped right on it!  One of the main reasons I thought it might be useful here is that there are folks from all over the place on TBR and we may be able to help each other in overcoming roadblocks! 

For instance I need help with a man named Alexander Wren who was born somewhere along the James River in Virginia around the year 1772.

Offline catfish1957

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 10:42:26 AM »
You are most welcome!  When I saw that someone had suggested doing this I jumped right on it!  One of the main reasons I thought it might be useful here is that there are folks from all over the place on TBR and we may be able to help each other in overcoming roadblocks! 

For instance I need help with a man named Alexander Wren who was born somewhere along the James River in Virginia around the year 1772.

You are right.  Scant info on this guy.  I will look further.
Alexander Wren

Birth:  1772 - USA
Death:  Virginia, United States
Marriage:  21 Dec 1785 - Greensville, Virginia, United States
Spouse:  Lucy Lawrence
I display the Confederate Battle Flag in honor of my great great great grandfathers who spilled blood at Wilson's Creek and Shiloh.  5 others served in the WBTS with honor too.

Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 10:42:41 AM »
Have used FTDNA and Ancestry's dna tests with great results.  I think FTDNA is more competent in the field, but Ancestry's tools for matches beat FTDNA hands down.  Have you taken the plunge at FTDNA with Big Y yet?  Been a bust here so far.  My drilled down to a finite haplogroup that has about only 3 other members, and none have my surname.  :(

No I haven't. I have done the 67 marker test and see no reason to do more than that at this time.  (I am lucky enough to have a friend from my former place of employment that has a PHD in genetics and he advises me on such things.)

Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2016, 10:47:06 AM »
You are right.  Scant info on this guy.  I will look further.
Alexander Wren

Birth:  1772 - USA
Death:  Virginia, United States
Marriage:  21 Dec 1785 - Greensville, Virginia, United States
Spouse:  Lucy Lawrence

They are my fourth great grandparents on my father's side and any help you can provide in finding out anything more about him will be greatly appreciated.  (I suspect that not much will ever be found unless we find a family bible or something like that as I doubt there are many official records from that area in that era.)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 10:48:07 AM by Bigun »

Offline catfish1957

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2016, 11:16:21 AM »
They are my fourth great grandparents on my father's side and any help you can provide in finding out anything more about him will be greatly appreciated.  (I suspect that not much will ever be found unless we find a family bible or something like that as I doubt there are many official records from that area in that era.)

I noticed that there are several Wrens in the Greensville County area in the 1700's.  Hmmmm....

1. Any dna matches to other Wrens?
2. If he was a land owner, have you checked the land plat maps of that county, and see if there was a neighboring Wren?  Back in those days, chunks were often cut off the father's larger section, and dispersed to children
3. Any siblings or children which may have surname sounding first names?  Often a clue.
I display the Confederate Battle Flag in honor of my great great great grandfathers who spilled blood at Wilson's Creek and Shiloh.  5 others served in the WBTS with honor too.

Offline pookie18

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2016, 11:18:33 AM »
Genealogy - Getting to know your Heritage.

This Thread is posted for  discussion of Genealogy or the study of one's Heritage.

I personally think it to be one of the most important undertakings one can engage in and besides that I LOVE it!

Free accounts available at http://myheritage.com

Thanks for starting the thread, Bigun!

My wife's tree (3,513) as well as my mother's (706) is at Ancestry/Family Tree Maker. My Dad's (179) is on My Heritage/Family Tree Builder.

I started doing this about 6 mos. after my mother died in 2008. My first cousin had been doing it for years & had interviewed my mother several times, but neither had ever told me that any of that had been going on. After I found out, it was too late to discuss things with my mother.

On my father's side, I have a first cousin whose second marriage was to Lawrence Cowen.

This was Lawrence's father:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Lionel_Cowen
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 11:19:11 AM by pookie18 »

Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2016, 12:05:15 PM »
I noticed that there are several Wrens in the Greensville County area in the 1700's.  Hmmmm....

1. Any dna matches to other Wrens?
2. If he was a land owner, have you checked the land plat maps of that county, and see if there was a neighboring Wren?  Back in those days, chunks were often cut off the father's larger section, and dispersed to children
3. Any siblings or children which may have surname sounding first names?  Often a clue.

1. Unfortunately no (unless I'm missing something)!  My grandmother was a Wren and I have not yet found any male Wrens from that line who have submitted a DNA sample.  No luck with the Autosomal test either although I have found some cousins that way.

2. I know that both the Wrens and Carters (my father) owned large tracts of land that nearly adjoined each other along the James River in the pre revolutionary war era but my grandparents are the first that I have been able to find who married.  Unfortunately I have NOT yet been able to get to Virginia and do the kind of record research needed there. That's part of why I brought it up here.

3. Not that I have been able to find.  There are two different George Washington Wrens (Descendants of Alexander) in the line but nothing else like that.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 12:09:37 PM by Bigun »

Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2016, 12:19:18 PM »
You are most welcome!  When I saw that someone had suggested doing this I jumped right on it!  One of the main reasons I thought it might be useful here is that there are folks from all over the place on TBR and we may be able to help each other in overcoming roadblocks! 

For instance I need help with a man named Alexander Wren who was born somewhere along the James River in Virginia around the year 1772.

Bigun, thanks for setting this thread up.  I have accounts at ancestry.com and myheritage.  The DNA at ancestry has linked me to a number of cousins from first on through fourth.  BTW, my heritage does have some records on Alexander Wren:

https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-1/myheritage-family-trees?s=148604651&itemId=175863341-5-2225&action=showRecord

Apparently there are multiple trees and some records that have him listed. 

Thanks again for starting this thread.  :patriot:
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Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2016, 12:35:47 PM »
Bigun, thanks for setting this thread up.  I have accounts at ancestry.com and myheritage.  The DNA at ancestry has linked me to a number of cousins from first on through fourth.  BTW, my heritage does have some records on Alexander Wren:

https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-1/myheritage-family-trees?s=148604651&itemId=175863341-5-2225&action=showRecord

Apparently there are multiple trees and some records that have him listed. 

Thanks again for starting this thread.  :patriot:

Thanks MAC!

I had an account there as well until recently.  They have what I have but no more that I could find. (I find that site much more difficult to use than the others for some reason.)

Offline ExFreeper

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2016, 12:54:53 PM »
Thanks for starting this discussion.  I have been researching my family history for many years including hours upon hours at the DAR library in DC as well as the Archives in Annapolis, MD.  I've traced my American ancestors back to early 1650s in MD/VA.  Thus far, I just can't prove the official (i.e. documented) link to the old world as of yet.
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Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2016, 01:31:38 PM »
Thanks MAC!

I had an account there as well until recently.  They have what I have but no more that I could find. (I find that site much more difficult to use than the others for some reason.)

You're welcome and good luck on your search.  I do use that site from time to time, and I did notice they had some links to other sites for Mr. Wren.  Anyway, I agree with those here who recommend talking to the older ones in our family.  That would now be me, and I'm trying to answer any questions my family may one day have.  I wish to this day I would have followed that sage advice, but in any case, working through both Ancestry and Heritage as well as DNA, have put together five generations complete, and some going back farther than that.

My mother's side was Irish and all came over in the late 1840s on the famine ships.  My father's side was almost all English.  What a difference.  The Irish side is extremely difficult to trace earlier than the late 1700s; the English side on some names can trace back to the Normans.  Better record keeping I guess. 
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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2016, 02:13:51 PM »
I went all in for genealogy around 1996 when my father died. Had some great elements of data on both sides of my family, and it was early days for the internet.

Got to about 2,000 entries in the tree. Then burnout. My interest changed from names, dates, places, to the history of regions and groups of people.

I started reading non-fiction history, and historical fiction. Even some actual writings by family. Like about two direct ancestors killed by Indians. (Maternal side-George Ricker, Maine killed  1706; Paternal side-Athe Meeks, Indiana, killed 1812)

And then a couple of months ago learning from DNA that I am 4% "indigenous north American" as they said. The problem is we do not know who or where in the tree they are.


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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2016, 02:20:27 PM »
A great deal of my family comes from either the Isles or right across the Channel. Notable exceptions are my gg-grandparents, who where Cherokee Indian, another set of gg-gpts were from the now Polish part of Prussia I believe. Possibly some Jewish and African blood too.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 02:24:30 PM by Free Vulcan »
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Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2016, 02:23:48 PM »
I went all in for genealogy around 1996 when my father died. Had some great elements of data on both sides of my family, and it was early days for the internet.

Got to about 2,000 entries in the tree. Then burnout. My interest changed from names, dates, places, to the history of regions and groups of people.

I started reading non-fiction history, and historical fiction. Even some actual writings by family. Like about two direct ancestors killed by Indians. (Maternal side-George Ricker, Maine killed  1706; Paternal side-Athe Meeks, Indiana, killed 1812)

And then a couple of months ago learning from DNA that I am 4% "indigenous north American" as they said. The problem is we do not know who or where in the tree they are.

Pretty interesting.  Transitioning from names and dates to historical context is a good thing.  I did that too, and yet come back from time to time to the names and dates as new information comes my way.  Do you match anyone in the DNA database that also has Indian blood?  It likely can't go back farther much than the 1700s.  Are there any suspect locations such as areas in or near reservations where your ancestors might have lived?  If you could possibly get it to a tribe, many of them have excellent databases.  That would really send me into search-land, lol. 
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Offline Bigun

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2016, 02:31:25 PM »

Offline musiclady

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Re: Genealogy - Getting to Know your Heritage
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2016, 02:33:13 PM »
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