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Anybody doing genealogy?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Starman, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I am dubious of ancestry.com.
    My feeling is they would tell everyone their ancestors include Michelangelo, Charlemagne, King Arthur and Jesus if it meant another membership.
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well YMMV of course.

    From my own experience, I did not discover my "famous" ancestry through Ancestry.com, but through the legal-boxes full of paperwork my mother's cousin used to document her DAR application 40 or so years ago.

    As mentioned above, I go in fits and starts on Ancestry. Some months a lot of juicy leads come up, the next month most of them are dead-ends.

    My own somewhat-minor objection to Ancestry.com is that it feeds into LDS attempts to posthumously baptize long-dead generations way back in the past.

    One thing I do know about my Irish Catholic forebears is they tended to be quite devout (one paternal grandfather and one maternal GGF studied for the priesthood, while one grandmother went to convent school) so I am pretty confident they'd respond to that with a hearty "eff you."
  3. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    Well, you mentioned you are related to one of those executed in the Salem witch trials.
    I don't doubt the veracity of it- but many Americans claim to be descended from the principals in this conflict.
    It just seems like too wide a swath for what was a fairly narrow slice of American history.
  4. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm just jealous because a quarter of my tree is essentially lost.
    One of my immediate descendants was a love child- whoever was the sire that secret went to the grave.
    My best get was Charles Carroll, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration, and the longest-lived.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well, here's the descent chain from Giles Corey to me (names of recent generations redacted):


    All the birth dates and birth places check out -- no mothers 48 (or 8 ) years old when they gave birth, etc etc. No blazing red flags to me.

    Would I bet my life on it? Nah. But it appears plausible, plus it's not like I set out to prove I was related to Giles Corey.

    In fact, four years ago I couldn't have told you who Giles Corey was. I read "The Crucible" back in HS or college, so if somebody said, 'he was the guy who got crushed under rocks,' I would have said, 'oh yeah,' but I never walked around wondering if I was a descendant of Giles Corey.

    Funny thing is, the one thing I WAS trying to 'prove' when I set out to dig into the family tree was our relations to the Adams presidents. Family legend had it we were within one or two degrees of consanguinity -- a descendant of one of John Adams' brothers.

    No such luck. Sad but true but after all this genealogical digging it appears they were our fifth cousins, 8 and 7 times removed. Woohoo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    As far as one-quarter of your tree being "lost," as noted before, seven of my eight great-grandparent trees dry up almost instantly after they go back to Ireland.

    It's really only the one tree that traces back to New England colonial times which has exploded into all this information for me.

    I suspect all this information will only be for entertainment and vaguely educational value for me and my family members, until someday down the line when somebody with a lot more money to sink into it gets interested, and of course as the years go by more and more information gets digitized and sent into the intertubes, so for all I know in 20-30-50 years one of my nieces-nephews will get into it, pick up the stuff I've been working on, and start kicking open some of those locked doors in Ireland.
  7. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I remember Giles Corey very vividly from the Salem Wax Museum. It really threw a scare into my 12-year-old self.
    Read much more about the trials and he really did suffer more truly and extensively than any of them.
    I seem to remember them having to stick his tongue back into his mouth intermittently, with a cane.
    Anyway, it is interesting stuff.
  8. Fly

    Fly Well-Known Member

    There is a LOT of GIGO working with Ancestry.com (how can someone get married 150 years after their birth, or how can someone born in the 15th century be parents of children born in the 14th century). Take it for what it's worth...like Starman said, if you happen to have an even somewhat-famous/notorious ancestor there will be loads of great info out there. For my Custer side, there are books written on their ancestry, since they were part of the group that founded Germantown, PA. Lots of wormholes to be found, too...

    Oh, and Starman, at least Mrs. Fly's ancestor worked furiously to help Mr. Corey and the others accused in Salem.

  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Giving this one a boot after a few months, I found one of my ancestors apparently served under George Washington at Dorcester Heights in 1776 and the siege of New York in 1778.

    In the course of digging this one up, it turns out that his parents were Tories who fled the country in 1775 for Nova Scotia. They never saw each other again.

    In the Ben Affleck vein of having some ancestors to be proud of ... and some not so much.
  10. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    My paternal side has been traced way back and my direct ancestors came to Massachusetts in 1633 or thereabouts. There is a prominent building in Boston, and cities in Massachusetts, New Mexico and Utah named after my ancestors. The western cities were named for a side of my family that went west with the migration of LDS church members.

    It's pretty neat stuff. Have also seen photos of the headstones of several direct relatives on my mother's side who were killed fighting for the Union in the Civil War.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    My family appears to have completely dodged the Civil War. Most of my G-grandparents were too young and my GG-grandparents, too old.

    However, for one of my GG-grandfathers, there is a discrepancy in his listed age in several sources which suggests he might have fudged his age (added 10 years) right about the time the Civil War draft came around.

    If so, good for him; if he goes and eats a bullet at Gettysburg, there's never any me.
  12. linotype

    linotype Well-Known Member

    My family and I did some research a year or so ago, and found two presidents (technicaly, three, I suppose) in different branches of my tree. On my paternal grandfather's side, my 7th great-grandfather was also the great-grandfather of James Buchanan. I don't have the exact lineage, but in my paternal grandmother's tree are Christopher Reeve, John Adams (which would seem to put JQ Adams in there as well) and further back, Miles Standish.
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