General Question

flutherother's avatar

Have you ever tried to research your family tree?

Asked by flutherother (30653points) 1 week ago

If so then how far back did you manage to get?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I have not. I sometimes think it might be a good idea, but then fail to care about it that much.

My aunt, on the other hand, spent quite a bit of time on it over the years and traced relatives back to the 1500s.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Mother’s side of the family 1790s around Bremen Germany, done by my mom’s cousin 1975 (update of one done in 1930s).

Sister did one of my father’s side back to 1805.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

My grandma on my mom’s side did most of the work. She said that we’re related to Donald Sutherland.

I believe her.

I traced my dad’s side. Irish/Arcadian.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Forgot to add – 1600s for both sides.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes, 1728 is the last update I have on one side. Rowan County, NC to TN and KY. Moved to Mo.
One of my ancestors born in 1813 was names Alexander Hamilton (surname.)
Mostly blacksmiths, farmers and soldiers (Union and Confederate both.)

My birth father won’t give me any information at all on his side. He sucks.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

In high school I got into it. I had documentation back to a branch in 18th century Connecticut. One day in the local library (in Michigan, nowhere near Connecticut) I found a book with that family name, which extended back a few more generations into 17th century Massachusetts.

Another branch were early 19th century settlers in Kansas and Colorado. My cousin-in-law is a historian and has used family records to write about the family store on the Santa Fe trail in the 1850s.

We don’t have specifics about anybody before they came to America, but we do know people came from Germany, Scotland, Bohemia, England, and Ireland.

Brian1946's avatar

My mom did.
She traced her side back to some French dude in 1687.

My father said up until 1818, our surname was Abbot.
Leading up until then, Abbot was under impressment to the British navy.
He supposedly jumped ship and somehow made it to Michigan, where he changed his surname to what it is today.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, a friend’s mom helped me with it. Only tried on my dad’s side. Only went back to my grandpa’s generation. We were trying to find some cousin’s more than anything.

filmfann's avatar

I’ve worked on my family tree since the early 70s.
I think we’re back to the dark ages on some branches.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Anyone interested should check out Finding Your Roots on I love it.

Inspired_2write's avatar

yes and still researching.

Its one thing to find an Ancestor but another to have proof ( sources).

on my late father’s side of the family his parents, both maternal and paternal sides completed back to 1700’s ( maternal side)

1630’s ( paternal side and found further back to early times however not proved ( good legitimate sources as yet)

On my late mothers side:
Her paternal side back to 1700’s
Her maternal side back only to 1800’s and blocked ( we think a single mother but no information as yet)

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Make that Acadian, not Arcadian. Haha

JLoon's avatar

Lots of nuts on those branches.

Mimishu1995's avatar

No, and I wish I had enough resources for that. It’s something in my bucket list.

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

I was fortunate enough to have a great-grandmother who was into tracing our family’s tree when I was maybe in my mid-teens. She eventually lived to be 103 and her stories of her family going west, which was basically the Ohio Territory at that time, fascinated me. I’d always sorta like history as a school subject, so guess it was a natural extension of an interest I already had.

Although I’ve documented some of the lines more than others, pretty solid evidence and/or documents that trace my lineage back to the Pilgrims in America, ie John Alden and Priscilla Mullens primarily. Did you know one of their sons, an ancestor of mine, was accused of witchcraft during the witch mania in Salem. Fortunately, he had friends in high places and was finally released from jail without trial if I recall correctly. Another ancestor of mine, however, was hanged as a witch. Like most, the basic story of the Salem Witchcraft trials was part of the history I studied as a kid tho’ had no clue at the time how much of a personal involvement I had with it or, for that matter, with the Pilgrims.

One thing I’ve discovered, common sense obviously, is that once you have found the connection to early settlers in “the New World”, you’re going to find out that not only are you related to many “famous” folks but many of us can claim the same ancestors. I’ve gone back further in time than the Pilgrims but given the sheer magnitude of numbers of ancestors that gradually builds up have decided to focus on the first 10–12 generations mostly, although if memory serves, I’ve gone back with pretty solid confidence to the Tudor era. One thing I’ve always known but only found names/dates recently was of a Confederate soldier that was with Morgan’s Raiders when they crossed into Ohio and died and was buried on the edge of what became my families farm in Ohio. That fact may have played into my eventually getting so into the family tree tracing.

In any case, haven’t worked on it much of late but was obsessed for awhile. Then it got rather overwhelming with all the sheer numbers of ancestors, many with names I couldn’t even come close to pronouncing or remembering, tho’ it has been fascinating to discover the stories behind the names. They range from historical figures, often some I’d rather just as not claim, presidents, and such. Heck, I discovered I’m even distantly related to a cousin who was “Born in the USA”. Bet most of you can figure out who that cousin however many time removed is. Ha

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’ve done a bit, here and there. The farthest back I’ve traced is my maternal grandfather’s line. Gloucestershire, England, about 800 years or so back. Turns out I’m related to a family of nobility there.

YARNLADY's avatar

I started, but early on, I found relatives who had done a complete job and were willing to share, back to the 1700’s on both sides.

ragingloli's avatar

I have zero interest in doing that.
Nothing of value is to be gained from such an endeavour.

SavoirFaire's avatar

My maternal grandmother was adopted and spent many years finding her parents. After finally succeeding, she decided to trace our family back as far as she could. It was half hobby, half obsession. The best records available were for my grandfather, whose ancestry she traced all the way back to the 9th century. Her own ancestry was fully traceable back to the 16th century, and partially traceable back to the 14th century.

YARNLADY's avatar

@ragingloli The same could be said about watching sports events, yet millions of people do it.

Pandora's avatar

To my great great grandparents. After that it was difficult to trace because there were so many family members with the same names and the rest was handwritten. I know some came from Spain but there are several different ports they could’ve come from and it doesn’t list where the people originated from. My paternal and maternal family’s last names are very common. So I can only trace them back to Spain. And one great grandmother family really is a mystery. I think she may have been native to the island. There is no trace on her line that I can follow. No list of parents or siblings or any other relatives.

tedibear's avatar

My cousin has gone back to my paternal great-great-grandparents. Another cousin has gone that far back on my maternal side.

The paternal side had a name change when they came to the US from Canada. There was a cousin who was hanged for being a horse thief. They left Canada to escape the shame of being related to a criminal, and changed their last name. This was a recent discovery my cousin made.

ragingloli's avatar

Millions of people are stupid.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ragingloli Alternatively, people’s interests are personal and not subject to objective rankings.

Strauss's avatar

My father’s side has oral history going back to his grandparents leaving what’s now Slovenia in the 1870’s. I know we have some relatives still living there.

My mother’s side has oral history going back to Ireland in the early 1800’s.

Haven’t really done much more research into it, but I was think there would be church and/or municipal records.

flutherother's avatar

During lockdown I traced all my ancestors back four generations using digitised births marriages and deaths, census reports and valuation rolls. Not so long ago you had to go in to Edinburgh to do this now it is all available online.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Both an aunt on the paternal and one on the maternal side did the research. Most of the relatives came to the US from Germany back in the 1600’s. The surname’s side came from England.

The genetic test conducted awhile back says that the ancestors go back to other nationalities. I’m fine with that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Father’s side: 1748 – Germany

Mother’s side: 1850 or so, Pale of Settlement

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