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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone tried to trace their ancestors starting with your parents back to as far as you can? I love to do it with my own family as I learn so much about history and how people lived in the "olden days'. I've gone as far back as Charlemange. I use ancestory.
 

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Ive been an avid genealogist for around 30yrs. I have ancestors traced back to about 1200 on some lines. I spent 15 yrs travelling around the country visiting court houses graveyards etc. Then ancestry and familytreemaker came along and I couldve found the same stuff in a few hrs. I currently have close to 11k people in my family tree.
 

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I have an ancestry as well BTW. I have like 12k dna related matches on there. I found out that a guy I had become friends with in Texas turned out to be my 3rd cousin. I was from Alabama and moved there in 7th grade. He had been in Texas all his life. We never knew until a year ago we were related
 

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I have an ancestry as well BTW. I have like 12k dna related matches on there. I found out that a guy I had become friends with in Texas turned out to be my 3rd cousin. I was from Alabama and moved there in 7th grade. He had been in Texas all his life. We never knew until a year ago we were related
I’ve found family members in a similar fashion.
 

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I have used Ancestry for both my family and my husbands family. I've "met" a few new relatives thru it. I find it pretty interesting. We have also cleared up a couple of family mysteries. Mostly stuff people knew but we could fill in some details.
 

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Ive been an avid genealogist for around 30yrs. I have ancestors traced back to about 1200 on some lines. I spent 15 yrs travelling around the country visiting court houses graveyards etc. Then ancestry and familytreemaker came along and I couldve found the same stuff in a few hrs. I currently have close to 11k people in my family tree.
My uncle did that too. He traced us back to the 1500's. Most in Texas.
 

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I find genealogy very interesting. I also use Ancestory for much research. Found that my gggggrandfather was at the Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill) battle.Found that my ancestors were here since 1649 and my +Ggrandmother was Rebecca Towne. I love history.
 

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Heaven forbid you find out that someone co-opted a member of your family and added it to theirs! It pays to CHECK all the "free" research and make sure they are right.

Mon
 

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I think I mentioned in a thread here a while back my mothers brother had traced my Irish and Scottish side back to around the 1500-1600’s He did this the hard way back in the 70’s and 80’s. My dad’s German side- heh, not anything before they got off the boat about 125 years ago.
 

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Unless your ancestors were royalty or fairly famous, most people aren't going to be able to reliably trace their ancestry back much farther than the 1600s. The records for "regular" people to prove kinship just aren't there. Depending on where & when your ancestors lived, many lines can't even be traced back that far. The consensus among most genealogists is that the 1600s is about the limit.
 

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Unless your ancestors were royalty or fairly famous, most people aren't going to be able to reliably trace their ancestry back much farther than the 1600s. The records for "regular" people to prove kinship just aren't there. Depending on where & when your ancestors lived, many lines can't even be traced back that far. The consensus among most genealogists is that the 1600s is about the limit.
Thats not been my experience at all. Out of all the lines in my family there are only a handful that I cannot trace back past 1600s. Land records tax records etc go waaaay back. Whenever I hit a roadblock back that far it is almost always because the surname spelling was different for whatever reason or they moved far away or even to another country. It took me almost 2 years and probably 5hrs or so a week to hunt down one ancestor. A couple examples are on my Duncan family. At the time I had traced my Duncans to the late 1800s and then nothing. Then my great grandfather who was 89 at the time told me that during the civil war a family member had deserted and was hanged when caught by the home guard. Then left hanging for a week in his home area as a warning to other deserters. It was such a shame on the family that they changed the last name from Dunklin to Duncan to distance themselves from that scenario. His generation denied relation publicly up until their deaths and he died in 1982. With that I was suddenly able to make it back to 1623 in about 3 hrs of research online. After 2 years of trying to figure it out.

Usually its something as simple as being illiterate. I have cousins who are direct descendants of of a common great great great grandfather. They live in the same town. One spells his name Panter the other Painter. All because when asked their name for a legal document theyre ancestor(s) couldnt spell their own name and the person writing it down spelled it however it sounded to them. Ive had my direct line on my dads side have my last name spelled 3 different ways. Sometimes for the same person. On documents like tax records land records etc.

It is ironic how easy it is to trace most lines back 3 4 or 500 years and some are a dead end in the late 1800s or early 1900s. One can only assume someone may have gotten into trouble etc and just moved and went from James Smith to James Johnsons and started over.
 

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STILL not Alice
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My maternal grand-aunt Edith (and she was grand, God rest her soul!) did all the tracing the old-fashioned way. She went back a few centuries, and the bits and pieces I got were delightful.

Sadly, after Edith passed, her research seemed to vanish. By the time I realized it was gone, it was too late. My mom's cheese was pretty well slid off her cracker, and Dad had no interest in helping me find what happened to Edith's hard work.

Dad did send me a big old tube one day. I was so stoked when I opened it, only to find that it was an early rough draft of the family chart for my mom's aunt Katy and her husband, Max.

If you're doing family geneology, please be sure to share your discoveries far and wide. Then you won't have a grand-niece Pony weeping from time to time, because she can't go any further back than GGG grandma Catherine Bailie.
 
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Thats not been my experience at all. Out of all the lines in my family there are only a handful that I cannot trace back past 1600s. Land records tax records etc go waaaay back. Whenever I hit a roadblock back that far it is almost always because the surname spelling was different for whatever reason or they moved far away or even to another country. It took me almost 2 years and probably 5hrs or so a week to hunt down one ancestor. A couple examples are on my Duncan family. At the time I had traced my Duncans to the late 1800s and then nothing. Then my great grandfather who was 89 at the time told me that during the civil war a family member had deserted and was hanged when caught by the home guard. Then left hanging for a week in his home area as a warning to other deserters. It was such a shame on the family that they changed the last name from Dunklin to Duncan to distance themselves from that scenario. His generation denied relation publicly up until their deaths and he died in 1982. With that I was suddenly able to make it back to 1623 in about 3 hrs of research online. After 2 years of trying to figure it out.

Usually its something as simple as being illiterate. I have cousins who are direct descendants of of a common great great great grandfather. They live in the same town. One spells his name Panter the other Painter. All because when asked their name for a legal document theyre ancestor(s) couldnt spell their own name and the person writing it down spelled it however it sounded to them. Ive had my direct line on my dads side have my last name spelled 3 different ways. Sometimes for the same person. On documents like tax records land records etc.

It is ironic how easy it is to trace most lines back 3 4 or 500 years and some are a dead end in the late 1800s or early 1900s. One can only assume someone may have gotten into trouble etc and just moved and went from James Smith to James Johnsons and started over.
Yes, land and tax records go way back but birth, death and marriage records often do not depending on location. The family trees listed on Ancestry are only as good as the person uploading the information and often those folks don't back up their research with documentation. Take any genealogical information you get online with a grain of salt unless you see the document the information is based on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My maternal grand-aunt Edith (and she was grand, God rest her soul!) did all the tracing the old-fashioned way. She went back a few centuries, and the bits and pieces I got were delightful.

Sadly, after Edith passed, her research seemed to vanish. By the time I realized it was gone, it was too late. My mom's cheese was pretty well slid off her cracker, and Dad had no interest in helping me find what happened to Edith's hard work.

Dad did send me a big old tube one day. I was so stoked when I opened it, only to find that it was an early rough draft of the family chart for my mom's aunt Katy and her husband, Max.

If you're doing family geneology, please be sure to share your discoveries far and wide. Then you won't have a grand-niece Pony weeping from time to time, because she can't go any further back than GGG grandma Catherine Bailie.
You can still do it . Join Ancestry and start there. It is a boatload of fun.
 
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