August 18, 2006
After talking at length with a friend last week I have decided to trace back our family roots. I know so little about my family history. Since having children I feel like I would like to be in touch with my past. I want my children to know who they are and what their families members gave up for the freedoms we have today. Addtionally, HHfamily would like to make a trip to Europe with the kids and I would love to go back and see where our family actually lived.
I started my search and already located an Oregon Passenger and Crew Lists, from 1957 that included my grandfather. There is so much more excitement- I just don't know where to begin. First I think I need to buy a new printer so I can actually print out what ever I find,. Given my career as a paralegal we can see the attraction to conducting research, but this runs deeper. This is a part of me.
From what I been told it's easiest to start with the present and work back. Using family resources, pictures, legal documents, anything I have. In the past, bibles had a place to record family info, so there is typically a plethora of information in the book itself. I've also heard that message boards are a good place. However, I've also heard you are never supposed to take a family "tree" at face value because you don't know if the person actually did the research correctly or just made assumptions. I feel like we don't have a very common last name, but I guess once I delve into my search I will know a little more. It appears I hear a lot.
Another research tool that has helped my friend in her search is to read genealogy books that focus on history. Once you know where people were born and where they ended up, you can research how they actually made their way across the country. It is amazing to see that people essentially walked across the country and you can find the trails from Iowa to CA online or in old books.
My friend also told me this story about her family and what she has found.
One day, she came across her great great grandparents grave and looked at all of the
info. It was the coolest find! The next picture had a name and no one knew
who it could be. It turns out that it was her great grandmother's brother.
He died at 1 year(probably shortly after the picture) and no one in her
family had ever heard of him. She found his obituary through the SF Call
newspaper (the guy in Sacramento) and then found his grave. She was the only
person that has given little Peter D. Some history.
I am very excited to start this journey through the past. Has anyone out there done any type of family history search? If so, did you find out something interesting about your family.
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