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SO, I blame the show Who Do You Think You Are - it got me interested in tracing my genealogy - not so much my mother's... because someone had done that and I'd heard all about it growing up. But I decided to trace my Dad's family. Let's just say I've found out LOTS of interesting shit!

Like through my Grandmother - I'm a descendant of Pocahontas - I checked it three times cause I didn't believe it but she's back there! Also through her I traced back to the American Revolution where a Grandfather signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in May of 1775 then further back all the way to 1160 in Scotland. Along the way my Grandmother's family entertained Queen Elizabeth I, Attended the Wedding of Henry VII and Lady Anne, Negotiated a marriage between King James's daughter and the Dauphin of France in 1425, Knew Robert the Bruce...

WOW! This is like the dream family tree and I SWEAR I just followed the clues and it all blossomed in front of me!

EDIT: Sometimes you have to check 4 times... so I lost Pocahontas BUT I gained a printer!!! The writer in me is more impressed by that.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
I've been wanting to do that, but it is a bit more difficult. I've been TOLD that we are descended from John Ross, leader of the Cherokee nation during the trial of tears, but recently I have discovered that other things I was told were not true, so now I"m trying to find out if it is true or not and running into a lot of dead ends. . . no pun intended.

How did you go about doing your research?
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
Ancestry.com is a godsend!

I won't say you don't hit brick walls - I have an ancestor who married an American Indian according to family legend but can't find records to confirm it - other than she has no husband listed...
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Forgot to mention familysearch.org - it's a great place too
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks I'll give them a try.
Mar. 17th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC)
My family (and our local/religious) culture is pretty big on genealogy. It's amazing what you can find out.
Mar. 17th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
Any time anyone is interested in their family history, it's a great thing... but you really need to take all those famous names generated by those online searches with a large grain of salt. Nobody wants to be related to anonymous cowherds, milkmaids, fishermen, miners or servants; everybody wants to be descended from somebody important. It's human nature.

We've done our family tree back to the 1400s with hard evidence like birth/baptismal records, marriage documents, immigration papers, census & tax rolls, death certificates, etc. so I tested the site by typing in my ancestral information. Apparently we somehow missed quite a few famous relations when we were slogging through all those dusty archives. I did some more poking, and it quickly became clear that the only connection I had to any of them was the same last name, as they didn't even come from the same part of the Old Country as my ancesters, so yeah... be careful.
Mar. 17th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oh definitely! I've found some errors by double checking with google. Luckily I've come across reliable proof from other sources by googling who I was sure of and working back that way. In fact one of the biggest errors was someone had a connection to Margaret Tudor, Henry VII's elder sister - BUT when I started looking closer - that marriage (and they were married) produced no children. My relationship came through another wife.

Edited at 2010-03-17 08:59 pm (UTC)
Mar. 17th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
The other thing to remember is that sharing a name doesn't automatically make for a blood relation. Think of the hundreds of thousands of 'Smiths' living in North America today; they all aren't descendents of Captain John Smith because he'd have to have sired dozens and dozens of kids to spread his bloodline so far in three hundred years... but his name comes up with surprising regularity in the searches. Just for fun, I put in my Uncle Smith's information, and the famous captain popped up. Trouble is, Uncle V's family didn't emigrate from England until the 1900s, and they came straight to Canada, so the likelihood of him being related to Pocahontas' boy is slim to nil.
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Quadruple checking now.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )