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Thread: Genealogy obsession...

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  1. #1

    Genealogy obsession...

    I'm not scrapping much right now, because I've become totally addicted to Genealogy! Or, as my husband says - totally posessed... But he likes it, because one of my projects is his family.

    On my father's side I'm finding mostly peasants and farmers. But also emigrants. One of my father's great uncles was a soldier in the US Army during WWI.

    On my mother's side I'm finding loads of nobility and some über famous people! We had absolutely NO idea! I find myself calling my mother almost every week, saying "Mom, you will not believe what I've found!!!"...

    On my mother-in-law's side, they are mostly farmers and have been in the same area since around 1650 at least. It's extra interesting since that is the same area where we have our summerhouse. One of her ancestors was sentenced to death for killing her own, illegitimate, child. But pardoned and "only" served time. Dear husband and I are heading to the National Archives one of these evenings to get all the paperwork we can on her!

    And on my father-in-law's side, nobody has ever thought it was worth doing any research... Because my father-in-law never knew who his real father was. He found out that the man he called "dad", adopted him when he was 14. He asked his mother several times about his real father, but she refused to answer!

    Now, I found out this morning who his real father was... And I also found out that he has a half-brother, alive and well, here in Gothenburg!
    All I have to do now is to find the perfect time to break the news...
    Thess

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  2. You've embarked on a fascinating journey, Thess. The new information you've uncovered about your father-in-law is huge. I wonder how he will react? I would think it would open up a whole new world to him if he and his half brother could meet each other.
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  3. #3
    It is such a fun journey. I wish I had more time right now to really jump in... possibly travel. We traced my dad's line back to the 1650's and we have documentation that we had a revolutionary patriot in the family. REALLY cool! We also found all the documentation of my Italian and Irish side coming through NY in the early 1900's.

    Some day I will pull it all together


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  4. #4
    What a lot of interesting information you're finding, Thess! My son is our family's genealogist, and he's uncovered some interesting stories.
    Linda

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  5. Wonderful stories from you, Thess! This must be fascinating . . . are you using one of the on-line genealogy data base programs?
    Mollie

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by readstoomuch View Post
    Wonderful stories from you, Thess! This must be fascinating . . . are you using one of the on-line genealogy data base programs?
    Mollie, I do use Ancestry.com/.se and have their "big" worldwide membership since there are quite a lot of emigrants in my family, and their software "Family Tree Maker".
    But I also have subscriptions to another site here in Sweden that has re-photographed all the Swedish archives that Ancestry has, but in COLOR!!! No scans of old micro-films, but "real" newly taken digital photographs of all records!!! So much easier to read!
    I also have a membership with the National Archives here in Sweden to access what they have available on-line.

    The "only" things I can't access on-line are the records of Swedish Nobility - have to go to Stockholm for that...
    The sailors in our family I can research at the National Archives here in Gothenburg as well as the Court documents.
    Military records and war records are just an hour from where I grew up, so me and my best friend will co-ordinate our research there with me staying with her!
    Thess

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  7. #7
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    very interesting..

  8. #8
    I have become addicted myself, and discovered some VERY surprising things! It's surprisingly exciting isn't it?

    What an amazing discovery for your father!

    (My DH would use the word "obsessed" as well!)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn Grieveson View Post
    I have become addicted myself, and discovered some VERY surprising things! It's surprisingly exciting isn't it?

    What an amazing discovery for your father!

    (My DH would use the word "obsessed" as well!)
    Yes, it is exciting!
    It doesn't matter if the discoveries are quite grand (as in my mother's family), or simply learning more about my paternal grandfather's family in Lappland!

    And my husband and I have told his father today, that I found his biological father! Now he wants my help to try to set up a meeting with his half-brother... My father-in-law is 81, and his newly found brother is 62...
    Thess

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  10. Quote Originally Posted by thessh View Post
    Yes, it is exciting!
    It doesn't matter if the discoveries are quite grand (as in my mother's family), or simply learning more about my paternal grandfather's family in Lappland!

    And my husband and I have told his father today, that I found his biological father! Now he wants my help to try to set up a meeting with his half-brother... My father-in-law is 81, and his newly found brother is 62...
    I think it is marvelous your fil will meet his brother! Good work, Thess! Much good is coming from your obsession! How wonderful to get bit by the genealogy bug early in life as you are doing.
    Merrilee







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  11. I know how you feel. After we bought our first PC back in 1997, my husband gave me Family Tree Maker for Valentine's. One of the best gifts I ever recieved. I think I have traced our lines back as far as I can go. And, like you and others, have found some very interesting stories. I just wish that my parents could see what I have found. My daughters have a passing interest, but, hopefully, one day they will appreciate my work. I do have one great grandmother who must have been hatched because there is no info on her. Have fun with your research. It is addictive.

  12. #12
    It is absolutely "possessing"... we have been digging in ancestry.com and have hit some dead ends but have found some surprises also... I'm working on my father's side now as the leads are more substantial but I was able to find info for my mother who grew up in an orphanage... it's amazing to be able to trace our past and put the pieces together... have fun!



  13. Quote Originally Posted by cstaff View Post
    It is absolutely "possessing"... we have been digging in ancestry.com and have hit some dead ends but have found some surprises also... I'm working on my father's side now as the leads are more substantial but I was able to find info for my mother who grew up in an orphanage... it's amazing to be able to trace our past and put the pieces together... have fun!
    Carol, your pages about your mother's amazing story growing up in an orphanage are outstanding. I'm so glad you shared them here.
    Merrilee







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  14. #14
    Such an exciting journey!! My dad has been into geaneology most of my life. My in-laws are actually serving a mission teaching others how to search their ancestry! I haven't caught the bug yet!
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  15. I've been obsessed for years! Had a disappointing adventure with the 1940 US Census. My mother, grandmother and two aunts were missed in their home state and in the state they were visiting because one census was taken after they had left and the other one before they got there!
    Patsy

  16. Quote Originally Posted by ptabbert View Post
    I've been obsessed for years! Had a disappointing adventure with the 1940 US Census. My mother, grandmother and two aunts were missed in their home state and in the state they were visiting because one census was taken after they had left and the other one before they got there!
    How disappointing! I volunteered as an indexer for the 1940 US Census because I was eager to see the 1940 records when they finally were available. I was able to locate grandparents, aunts and uncles for my family and my husband's family.
    Merrilee







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  17. Quote Originally Posted by digigrandma View Post
    How disappointing! I volunteered as an indexer for the 1940 US Census because I was eager to see the 1940 records when they finally were available. I was able to locate grandparents, aunts and uncles for my family and my husband's family.
    I did have some successes and I haven't searched for all of the individuals I have in my tree but this was a disappointment! Thank you for indexing. I've done some indexing for ancestry and familysearch. It's actually a lot of fun!
    Patsy

  18. #18
    All this makes me really want to do some of the searching but I know it would be another rabbit hole as fascinating as it is. Do I dare??
    Maureen
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  19. Maureen, it is addicting!!
    Patsy

  20. #20
    Funny you should say that Maureen, because whenever I get another certificate or piece of information it raises more questions than it answers and I say to DH "Aaargh, I've fallen down another rabbit hole" !!

  21. #21
    I think the "rabbit holes" are what makes this so exciting!!!
    My very best friend (we've known eachother since kindergarten), also started researching her family about a month ago. She blames me for leading her down this neverending path... LOL!
    She compares this whole thing to "the most suspenseful crime novels she's ever read". Lots of digging, following up on leads and you never know what skeletons you'll uncover!
    Thess

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  22. It's so exciting and fun ... and definitely a "rabbit hole". A friend showed me the family tree information her cousin had put together and as I was reading it I found a familiar name. Small world ... this man was also an ancestor of our SIL.
    Patsy

  23. what a fascinating journey...i dream of finding the time someday to have my grandma (our family genealogist) share all her 'finds' with me!
    heather

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by schnerbear View Post
    what a fascinating journey...i dream of finding the time someday to have my grandma (our family genealogist) share all her 'finds' with me!
    Not to be rude or anything - But don't dream about it, DO IT!!!
    I waited too long to ask some people and now it's too late...
    Just ask questions, talk to the older relatives and write it down or tape it!
    Take old photos with no notes or names and ask about them and get the names and occasions written on the back!!!

    You don't have to use the material right away - but you'll have it when you can find the time!

    I was too late when it comes to my paternal grandfather... He passed away too quickly before my sister and I realised that we wanted to know so much... And since we do not have ANY contact with our father - we are in quite a "pickle" with that one...

    I'm also too late when it comes to one branch of my maternal grandmother's family... I have tons of material! Letters and old photos. But in 80% of the photos - we have absolutely no idea who the people are...

    My mother is scolding herself for not taking these things up with her mother early on in life... Then my grandmother suffered a serious stroke when I was about 7, and passed away about 8 years after that. I wasn't too interested at the time, and she lost a lot of her memory and most of her ability to speak with that stroke... Then her sisters passed away in rapid succession and I find myself being - too late!

    When it comes to my husband's family - I'm lucky enought to have both of his parents very much alive and very well! They are both in their 80's, so they have seen and heard A LOT! Every time I see them, I ask loads of questions that have come to mind since last time!

    My mother's cousin (she is 84), has done research on her father's side, which is also my mother's father's side.
    She's been asking me for years to come to her home and take all of her material before it is too late... She lives kind of "off", so it's quite a trip just getting there...
    But my sister is coming home from the States for a visit in about a month, so I've booked airfare for us to travel to Gotland and my mother's cousin will turn over all of her material to me! She was an only child, with no children of her own and she's chosen me to take care of the "family legacy"...
    Thess

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  25. Oh, Thess, such good advice about interviewing relatives while you can! Like you say, you can return to the material later as long as you've acquired it now from asking questions. It's sad once those living ties are gone.

    You and sister will have a good visit with your mom's cousin in Gotland. She must be so pleased you are interested in the family history.
    Merrilee







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  26. Thess, that is the best advice you can give someone who thinks about starting their research "when they have time". It's kind of like having children - there's never enough time or money, so you just go ahead and have them! I do understand that it's another obsession when the time is just not there but if you, at least, collect what data you can then it's there when you do have the time. Besides, it's just plain fun! Congratulations on being chosen to receive the information from your mother's cousin...what a treasure!
    Patsy

  27. #27
    I carry a small digi recorder (or smart phone) with me in my purse and have used it often when visiting with my mother. At 90 her mind is quite sharp and she knows much of my father's story... he had early dementia so left us years ago. When reflecting back on something with Mom, I grab my recorder and have her just speak what's on her mind. We've collected several digi files that I can refer back to when working on family history and I'm in the process of compiling info and photos for a book about my father... just need to find the mojo which simply disappeared this past year. Thess, you are so right on... get the memories down now... tomorrow may not come.



  28. #28
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    Wow, how exciting Thess!! I always said that too, by the time you have the interest or time to do Genealogy a lot of people that you would like to talk to are already gone!! So sad!

    After my dad's parents died he obtained a suitcase full of old photos of people he had no idea who they were. He was an only child and and now he is gone too. It makes me really sad to think about all the stories that will never be told!!

    Both my mom and FIL are into Genealogy and my hubby took an interest in it a while back for a short period when he was helping my mom retrieve some files on her computer.

    Well we found out that we have the same maternal grandfather 5 generations back! And my FIL found out our ancestors came over on the Mayflower.

    Very cool stuff once you start digging for sure!

  29. I am another "obsessed" and I have been finding so much lately in branches I thought I had hit brick walls... I have recently received the picture of a portrait of an ancestor of mine I did not even know existed. Post on forums, ask questions, distant relatives are sometimes very informative ! I just love that quest for the past !

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Christinas View Post
    I am another "obsessed" and I have been finding so much lately in branches I thought I had hit brick walls... I have recently received the picture of a portrait of an ancestor of mine I did not even know existed. Post on forums, ask questions, distant relatives are sometimes very informative ! I just love that quest for the past !
    Christina, I saw the fantastic painting of your ancestor and the lovely LO you made with it!

    It is amazing how interesting the past can be!
    Thess

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