Saturday, June 30, 2012


Have you thought about joining If genealogy is your hobby, or if you
want to check out your family background, you will find very helpful in
 many ways.  I had no idea how helpful until my daughter and her husband joined and
started adding family.  Since I had some 70 years accumulation of genealogy from my
paternal Aunt's life-long hobby as well as more information from my Grandma Susie
on my mother's side, I was set to add to the family tree BIG TIME! And since I never
 seem to do anything half measure, I started adding name, dates, etc. which added up
 to thousands.

My motive was to get all that information online for others to have and not just let it be hidden away in file cabinet and boxes.  My Aunt wasn't ready to try a computer yet when she died, but she had a treasure of information collected from years of telephone calls, snail mail, networking, newspapers, visiting family near and far, and just plain detective work of researching in numerous places, and even states. 

I discovered I could extend those family member's information from other family trees on Hints via those iconic green leaves popped up and I could go for
generations finding those elusive ancestors. I was hooked on genealogy in no time. Hundreds of hours later, there were lots of branches on our family tree. And now that the 1940 census is available, I'm off and searching again on lots of those people. Can you tell I'm passionate about this hobby?

A word of caution, you can get hints from all of the information offered, but you really should double check that information when possible and use just plain good old common sense. Others COPY and take that information for gospel truth. If you look closer, you may find a mother with a later birth date than her child. Hey, I've found it more than once!
Children appear twice in line ups, and spouses that can't possibly be spouses appear. That is just for starters. Check and double check.

With naming children the same name, generation after generation, not to mention siblings using those names as well, you sometimes end up with a giant puzzle. You HAVE TO go by the dates of birth and death if you are fortunate enough to have one or both. Then there was the practice of naming a later child the same name of a child that had previously died. That proved the case with my own Grandma Susie.

I thought I had my Brooks line all set only to recently discover when sending that to a new found cousin in Kansas that I had my 3 times great grandfather mistakenly entered. I had listed a brother Benjamin instead of the father Benjamin in the line of descent.
So, it pays to check and recheck your information. In the process, I discovered my 2x great grandfather had married his first cousin!  Surprise!

Another cousin who found me via, and was excited to discover we lived 10 miles apart, pointed out that I had my 2x great grandmother Elizabeth Walling's birth date wrong. I sure did. In the process of getting together with cousin Sally, she was in possession of a family treasure, a hand written 100 plus page notebook done by my beloved Grandma Susie. I had no prior knowledge of that notebook's existence.  It was mainly on our Walling line, but also contained several connecting lines as well as info copied from family bibles.  Do you see why I referred to it as a 'family treasure'?  So, here again is another reason I really enjoy  I doubt I would ever have known about that book otherwise.

And by the way, other cousins have also found me via information they found on my tree and all are interesting stories.  It is always fun finding more relatives with a common ancestry and developing a friendship with them. You immediately have a common base for a friendship. As well as being related, they generally share the same hobby of genealogy which makes it even more fun.

Another way I use my information is for an online reference book. While doing Find A Grave Memorials and other projects, I have the Ancestry window open on any relatives I have worked up and switch back and forth for stats on that person. Perhaps you are more organized than I am about being able to put your finger on the exact person or line, but in the huge collection I own, well let's just say FORGET THAT ONE! I find it eventually. With all my information entered on, I just open up the tree I want and there it is. That saves a lot of frustration and it should always be safe online in case of unforeseen disasters or a computer crash. You haven't lost your treasured family history.

Did you also know that adding to is free? However, to research you need to have a subscription. Speaking personally, I didn't have a subscription for about a year and you don't know how many times I was frustrated not being able to check out details further. I'm loving having that ability to research again. Give it a try. You will really like it.

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