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MercurialCannibal

Who Are We Anyway: Tracing Our History

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I too would love to know all the juicy gossip of my ancestors. Only thing I really know of any interest is one of my great uncles was a famous Welsh medium who was good friends with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I was only so excited because like others said above I had the name from my father and I had to do some digging and it was really fun to find old medium journals and accounts and even a photograph (!!) of him.

I may be mad, but didn't they do a TV series on this? With Doc Martin in?

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I have found another unusual name in my tree and am adopting it for myself as it greatly amuses me (especially with the Strangeways name) :rofl:



"Freelove" was indeed the given name of a sister of one of my ancestors .




THIS is the real reason to do the research...find all the fun/unusual names :P





eta: on a serious note, I have been adding siblings of my ancestors to my tree in hopes of matches when they process my DNA. Have so many more to do, but I get distracted by interesting things that pop up


Edited by Lany Freelove Strangeways

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I want so badly to find some freaky names in my research, but no ... they are all John, Thomas, Sarah, Elizabeth etc. even the slavic names are tame. Just one is kinda strange - Philemon, but not that fun. There is a line of Archibalds though, and that's probably my favorite.

Someone asked up thread why my mom thought she was part Cherokee. Just oral tradition. Who knows why or how it got started. Why did they call Lany's grandfather Indian Jack?

My mom did find some stories about her family, not the direct line, but a branch. One of the younger brothers married a much older widow. The newspaper clipping was fantastic as it was written in that sensationalized rumor mill style. He paraded around town in fine clothes flashing cash and having fun, but they were rarely seen together. That same guy and his brother also escaped from the new jail with honest to god bedsheets. Like in a cartoon. Those are the fun things to find.

And yes, the main benefit of Ancestry is that it's popular and they match you with other people. We've got a good few hits, it confirmed something my mom suspected, and strongly suggested one of our leads is a bust. Mostly people don't respond to messages, though, so be prepared for that. There aren't a ton of hits (for us) but enough to be helpful.

Edited by Gertrude

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I have found another unusual name in my tree and am adopting it for myself as it greatly amuses me (especially with the Strangeways name) :rofl:

 

"Freelove" was indeed the given name of a sister of one of my ancestors .  

 

 

THIS is the real reason to do the research...find all the fun/unusual names :P

 

 

 

eta:  on a serious note, I have been adding siblings of my ancestors to my tree in hopes of matches when they process my DNA.  Have so many more to do, but I get distracted by interesting things that pop up

 

There were 971 women named Freelove in the 1850 U. S. census. 

 

Submit was a very common name for girls in colonial Connecticut.

 

Decades ago when I was first using census records to research names I discovered that in Washtenaw County, Michigan, in 1850 there were two women who had married the wrong men and become Freelove Ball and Submit Crouch. :)

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I have found another unusual name in my tree and am adopting it for myself as it greatly amuses me (especially with the Strangeways name) :rofl:

 

"Freelove" was indeed the given name of a sister of one of my ancestors .  

 

 

THIS is the real reason to do the research...find all the fun/unusual names :P

 

 

 

eta:  on a serious note, I have been adding siblings of my ancestors to my tree in hopes of matches when they process my DNA.  Have so many more to do, but I get distracted by interesting things that pop up

I have a great great uncle whose first name was "Theodor Rosevelt" :P

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I have not done any serious genealogical research in my family. One of my cousins on my mother's side has, though, and generously shared much of what she has found. Most notable finding is that we have an ancestor that came over in the Mayflower. we know that branch originated in Scotland but don't have details.

In my father's side, no one has done any research to my knowledge. Family lore says that one of our ancestors was a Hessian mercenary brought over by the British to fight in the revolution and who stayed in the country after the war. that's about it for interesting stuff from my genetic past.

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I have not done any serious genealogical research in my family. One of my cousins on my mother's side has, though, and generously shared much of what she has found. Most notable finding is that we have an ancestor that came over in the Mayflower. we know that branch originated in Scotland but don't have details.

In my father's side, no one has done any research to my knowledge. Family lore says that one of our ancestors was a Hessian mercenary brought over by the British to fight in the revolution and who stayed in the country after the war. that's about it for interesting stuff from my genetic past.


That same story is in my family Davos. Although it wasn't a story until my great uncle Leo's wife had a family tree done by a professional. Georg Loder was my 7x Great-grandfather and I've found out that when the British brought them here they landed them on Staten Island. My birthplace and current home.

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I haven't done any research myself, but both my sister and dad have been digging around through ancestry.com, mostly on dad's side of the family.

 

None of us have done any DNA tests, because it's never been a mystery where we're from. This little place in northern Sweden/Finland called Tornedalen (Torne Valley) where everyone's related to everyone. Yay. Dad's managed to get back to the 13th century on his father's side and the 15th on his maternal side. Most of it is church records, since they were the ones who kept everything. A good part of it I believe he found through checking other people's research. I was going to say "surprisingly" but I don't know why it would be surprising, he hasn't found any criminals. The closest is someone who got burned for witchcraft in Salem.

 

We've got a couple notable people in our history though, a bunch of noble finnish families (from when Finland was a part of Sweden of course) and even Gustav Vasa, King of Sweden, who I guess sort liberated Sweden from Denmark after his father was killed in the Stockholm Bloodbath (a bunch of Swedish nobles getting their heads chopped off basically). He was elected king and then started the whole "hereditary monarchy" thing in Sweden. I believe we're related to him through his son Erik XIV who married a commoner and then died of arsenic poisoning.

There was also this long line of people with the surname Stugukarl, descended from Gjurd Bodakarl, who had an inn for pilgrims on their way to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

 

More recent relatives include Gerda Antti, a Swedish author, on my father's side and Nathan Söderblom, Archbishop of Uppsala who received a Nobel Peace Prize, on my mother's. Since I'm engaged to an American, dad's also checked people who left for the US and hasn't found anyone who may be related to my SO's family. Which genuinely IS surprising due to the pretty large amount of Swedes who moved to where he lives (Chicago area).

He did find someone with some connection to Walt Disney, but I don't know if we'd be blood related or not.

 

I've definitely got Swedish, Finnish and Sámi roots, and possibly some Russian on my mother's side. Unless my maternal grandfather (whose side is relatively unresearched as of now) has some other ethnicities in his background, it's pretty safe to say we're about as Scandinavian as they come.  :D

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My mother's grandfather had a bunch of documents around his family tree. It went back to early 1800's (family having come from Scotland around 1850). The place names in Scotland were older names that I had trouble locating. One ancestor had farms in two different parishes, so that helped narrow the search. I emailed ... someone (forgot how I got her address) probably close to 15 years ago about finding where the places were. Probably through ancestry.com or a similar site. I didn't give the researcher all the info I had, but she was able to return modern names for the parishes AND gave me back some of the withheld info, which validated the results.

 

SO, my Scottish side hails from the Scottish Borderlands, around Kelso.

 

Ancestry.com has added records over the years, so I've been able to trace the family back to mid 1600's, still around the same area in Scotland.

 

My brother did some research on our father's family tree and was able to trace the family backward from Ohio to Indiana to Pennsylvania to finally over the pond around 1770 to the Bern area of Switzerland, where the line extends all the way to 1550's. It's just a Name and Place and Dates trace. No juicy stories. Yet. 

 

I want to continue researching those two family lines, as well as start back through my maternal grandmother lines. My wife and I have both talked about doing DNA tests just fro fun.

 

I was walking my 9 year old son through the family trees a few months ago, and we talked about making a trip to the places our family is from. Start by visiting my uncle who still lives in the same town he and my dad grew up, then work backward through Indiana and over to Pennsylvania. Not to knock on peoples doors and say Hi! We're related! but just to see where our family lived. Then a second trip would be over seas to Switzerland to visit the 4-5 small towns our ancestors lived. 

Edited by Myrddin

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I have not done any serious genealogical research in my family. One of my cousins on my mother's side has, though, and generously shared much of what she has found. Most notable finding is that we have an ancestor that came over in the Mayflower. we know that branch originated in Scotland but don't have details.

 

I'd always thought all the people on the Mayflower were English.  

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I got my ancestry DNA results.  They are pretty exciting.  Shows more Western Europe than I thought it would, but it is still kind of typical. I also matched with 138 1st through 4th cousins :eek: and about 4600 more distant relations (I already knew my 1st cousin was on there...she has done most of the research on our grandfather)

 

Europe99%
  • Europe West60%
  • Great Britain17%
  • Scandinavia13%
  • Ireland8%
  • Trace Regions
     
    1%
West Asia1%
  • Trace Regions
     
  •  

 

 

 I am now busy PMing 2nd-4th cousins who don't have public trees and asking if they have any of the 3 surnames I have for my grandfather's family in their lines. :lol:  I feel like such a creepy stalker (but then that is how my cousin found me :P )

 

So far all the public trees with DNA matches are cousins on my mother's side. (I will get to those...I am very close to completing the Reade line...just one link to prove and George Washington is my my 3rd cousin, 8 times removed :rofl:  that totally cracks me up)  Link is from the mid 1700's, in the lead up to war.  I have the records back to 1790 (or was it 80) and George Reade's kids and grandkids were well documented (his daughter is the grandmother of GW)  Getting a link on that side of the chain would totally rock (but they would be among the 400 distant relations found)

 

 

edit:  major math fail by a factor of ten.  No clue what I was thinking when I wrote that :lol: (92 pages with 50 matches per page= 4600 matches)

Edited by Lany Freelove Strangeways

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That's awesome, Lany. I need to do this...

 

Well, not need. Just want. :)

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It is pretty cool.  A random 6th cousin invited me to view their tree (made it visible for me)  :rofl:  I feel less creepy now since I had sent messages to much closer relations (only one has responded and the match was actually to her daughter in law, so now I am waiting to hear from her...but she is a second cousin, so could be important to helping me solve my mystery)

 

I also have to relook at hundreds of profiles because I screwed up and was not marking  (for later analysing) those who had a lot of names and yet no surname matches at all.  Since I only have 3 generations on my dad's side, it is very possible they might belong there.

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At work with nothing to do, so I am working on alternate ancestry theories.  Today's wild goose chase is the Miller family.  Miller is the 6th most common surname in the US, and 600 of my DNA matches have Miller in their family trees. Luckily I have marked all the family on my dad's side that I have found so far.  I haven't paid attention to Millers previously as that wasn't really my grandfather's last name.  Or was it?  We were always told it was really Jackson, but his social security application listed his father as Theodore Miller.  Funny thing is, Theodore Jackson and Theodore Miller lived in the same town (Population 19,400 in 1900)

The DNA matches are constantly updated and I now have about 5,600  with 185 being 4th or close cousins.  Seems at least 50 get added every week.  The majority are still on my mom's side, but the new feature of "Shared DNA Matches"  has let me narrow things down.  Started with my known first cousin on my dad’s side and have gone on from there.  I have placed one of the three 2nd cousins we have in common on my paternal grandmother's side and can now narrow down a lot of the matches.  Problem is, I haven't gotten any responses from the other 2 second cousins (or a listed as 3rd cousin, but I think is also a 2nd because she is rated a higher match than a  known 2nd cousin on my mom's side with whom I share only one great grandparent (they have her listed as 3rd cousin by DNA match, but 2nd on the "shared ancestor" chart, which is accurate).  I assume the only one g-grandparent is why the match comes in lower?

Anyway, it is all very fascinating and I can't help laughing at the number of relations it has come up with (and not just in the US, but in England and Australia)

Anyone who has had their DNA done and wants to know if we are related, send me a PM and we can check.  :lol: (also have it at GEDMatch, but I don’t really understand the information they provide)

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Oddly, my mom was talking about researching Millers the other day and I had never heard her talk about that name before. It's not in my direct line, just a side branch by marriage.

So an update on my earlier story (which got eaten by the board restructure). Short version - a completely random encounter with a man from the Czech Republic with our same last name, which is a rare name. He was with an American cousin who translated between us and my mom kept in touch. My parents finally took their trip to the Czech Republic and the cousin was going to be in the CR at the same time. The man, Vladimir, lived in the same region our family was from so the American cousin, Sharon, arranged a local tour for my mom's genealogy research.

In the meantime, Vladimir's son is also interested in genealogy and using info from my mom, found our connection - we have a common ancestor who was born in the mid 1600s, so a very distant cousin. The son also had info on a few generations back from there and at that point he has not been able to find anything else. Considering he is a native speaker in the region, we're pretty confidant we've mined that direct line out. Satisfying and disappointing at the same time.

As I said, Sharon arranged a tour for my parents and she found someone who was able to research old property records and show them the land where our ancestors lived. In a few cases, there were some old buildings left. One was a barn/house that would have been standing when his grandfather left the country. My dad was pretty excited to see it, knowing that someone he knew in his lifetime would have also known this building. They saw the towns two of my dad's grandparents were born in.

They also got to meet the mayor of ... something and she told them they have a reunion every five years for people from the region who have scattered elsewhere. They got an invitation and really want to go back for it :p. They also got a personal tour of a local church that has been standing since the 1300s with some interesting history.

They enjoyed themselves immensely and my dad has a deeper appreciation for his heritage. He grew up listening to the old folks still talking Czech and keeping their customs, and now he feels like he gets it. We've been sprinkling a lot more Czech words into our conversations and drinking more beer and Becherovka and it's fun. Na zdravi!

Edited by Gertrude

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Oh, that is so very cool! I am glad they enjoyed it so much and love that the family is adding in som Czech words.

 

 I would love to travel to the places my ancestors are from! Currently, that amounts to England   :lol:

Edited by Lany Freelove Strangeways

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Did some research today with dad after looking at a very old photo of an unknown ancestor.  

We quickly found family back to 1791 in virginia.  My middle name has been given to males of my family name for many generations. 

That was cool!

Finding my great grandmother on my mother's side was born in Canada and died at 30 on an indian eservation in Montana of malnutrition and pneumonia was not cool. 

When I get back home i will continue my quest. 

Edited by MercifulChief

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I have a cousin on my dad's side who is big into geneology, and she traced out our direct paternal line back to the late 18th century. Unfortunately, it stopped there because one of my paternal ancestors along that line was a bastard whose mother never left any record of who the father was, and they couldn't find more about her family to keep it going.

On my mother's side, it just goes back further and further into northwestern Germany, with decreasing amounts of reliability as to who is who. We used the Mormon church's database to trace it back to the early 18th century, and that was it.

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