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Geneology/Tracing family tree

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Someone mentioned on the royal family thread tracing their roots back to French royalty.

    For those of you who have done the family tree thing, wondering how one might begin? I've always wondered, and from time to time Googled around the Interwebs to see how one might begin. But that just unleashed a torrent of different services, and it's tough to tell who is legit.

    Experiences? Successes? Failures? Time put in?
  2. Machine Head

    Machine Head Well-Known Member

    There have been a couple of threads. Search SportsJournalists.com for "familysearch.org" and they should show up.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Go with the one the Mormon church puts out.

    It will take some time but depending on your country of origin, you should be able to get back a couple of hundred years without many problems.

    Where it gets confusing is playing detective and trying to figure out what variation of spelling you should follow.

    Like you might be named Green, but you might have a branch that spelled it Greene or it might be a more Americanized version of an ethnic last name.
  4. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I've been able to trace my family back to the early 1600s in France. It helped that just one member of the family came over as a helper in the founding of St. Catherine's (ie. Montreal). From there, the branches divide out as part of the family went to south and entered the USA via Windsor, ONT while another branch went in through Sault Ste. Marie, ONT/Mich.
    I was shocked to discover this past June that a member of my clan founded a town a mere 20 minutes away from where I live now. None of my family had heard of this and we loved the news. Of course, the fact that you can spell our last name about half a dozen ways has hindered searches. Stupid French to bad 17th Century phonetics spelling in English!
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I concur with JayFarrar's suggestion: The great thing about Ancestry.com is that there are millions of people registered who might have already done some of the work for you.

    Sign up for the free trial and spend two weeks seeing what you can find on that site -- do NOT forget to cancel if you don't want the full subscription, of course. Take each of your grandparents' lines and see how far back you can go. There are a lot of great resources on the site: census records, military records, birth and death indexes ... and also, other members' family trees. Take 'em with a grain of salt, but you can often find some pretty accurate ones. Sometimes they include sourced stories that can help you flesh out details of your ancestors' lives.

    It took me only a couple days to trace my paternal grandmother's family back to 1635, when they came over from England on the Angel Gabriel. It's a lot of fun and can be quite addicting.

    Any information that you already possess -- names, dates, places, etc. -- will help your searches produce more. Talk to family members, see what they may have already compiled.
  6. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Both branches of my maternal grandfather's family go all the way back to Puritan Massachusetts. I had one ancestor on the Mayflower, but he was a biggie - Governor William Bradford.

    I also agree that in many cases the work has already been done and is just waiting for you to find it. Someone actually wrote a book on the royal descent of Massachusetts colonists, which allowed me to go all the way back to William the Conqueror and even Charlemagne.

    I've read that we're actually all descended from Charlemagne; the trick is to prove it. :)
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