Saturday, February 19, 2011


I spend too many nights awake with nothing to do :)
I've been trying to find out more about my dad's side of the family. My relatives, like most, are full of "stories" with no validity and are most of the time TALL tales :) so I am going to enlighten you on my journey so far!
But before I start let me tell you that I am a nerd :)
I love this stuff! I get so excited and it really just lights me up!

My dad has 2 middle names and that was said to be the "key" to the family history. My parents divorced when I was young and unfortunately my grandpa passed away before any of this sparked my interest and so I was stuck searching manually. It started with finding obituaries which held spouse and childrens names and birth dates and places lived. From there it was ordering birth and death certificates to obtain other vital parent information. I was at this point working at a college library with a microfilm reader and a librarian that ordered any newspaper I thought relevant! I then went online. was too expensive for me back then when dial up was cool :) unless I went to the Family History Center at the LDS church where you could pay .01 a minute to search. I spent hours there! I contacted people through email asking questions and got this response, "It is so great to hear from you. We knew that (my ancestor) moved out west but never heard from him again. It is wonderful to hear from you." She was a professor at a college in the midwest and sent me all kinds of information and verified or rejected what I had found so far!
The trail went cold when I reached my 3rd great grandfather. I had all kinds of information on my 3rd great grandmother's side which is where I found the little information I had. It wasn't until recently I picked up the trail again. I found a contact that made me realize another I was following a "story" which I had taken for fact.

One frustrating thing is that names change.
From immigration changing the name completely, the person going by a nickname or middle name or initials.
I wanted to know how I could prove this person was my long lost relative. I contacted the family responisble for the name and they enlightened me and pointed me to some census records which showed this same relative had 3 different aliases on 3 different records, first it was full foreign name, then a nickname, then initials. But all had the same spouse and children's names etc.

So I took off. I made it 9 generations back when I turned on the TV tonight.
I was in the middle of multitasking :) reading an OLD document about my Bowman line when the TV was interfering. I read the name then heard it on the TV!
Who Do You Think You Are on CBS was featuring Tim McGraw tonight. He discovered his 8th great grand father is my 9th great grandfather! So the last 30 minutes was about my roots! AMAZING! I learned so much from listening to what the professional researchers dug up for this music icon but knew it was meant for me :) 

I learned that George Washington stayed the night when he was 16 at my 9th great grandfather's home.
I learned that my ancestor was one of the most prominant men in the settling and pioneers.
I learned that he was hoodwinked by a book that promised a free trip and brought over to America and forced into indentured servitude for a period of time.


Sallie said...

THAT IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!