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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What is your oldest family heritage knowledge?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) April 19th, 2010

Have you used one of the Ancestor.Com sites? Did you find anything interesting? Does your family pass down tales?

My Great Grandfather was a Baptist Preacher on Sundays and a Moonshine Bootlegger during the week. He used to tell me stories of hiding in the Arkansas Mountains from the Regulators Mon-Sat, and then seeing them in church on Sundays.

He was German/Cherokee mixed mutt and that’s the extent of knowledge I have on my family heritage. I feel obligated to learn more. Do the Ancestor sites work?

What’s your oldest family heritage story?

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15 Answers

thriftymaid's avatar

My nutty family keeps it all a secret.

meagan's avatar

I wouldn’t trust the Ancestor sites. I hear they don’t work well. My Grandmother is big into family history and says that they aren’t worth it. Shes written a book on everyone in our family tree. But we’ve got a lot of old photos of our families in log cabins, and copies of small biographies some people have written. Mostly everyone talks about mange ridden animals and how they kept their food clean / cold.

MissAnthrope's avatar

We have lots of family legends, at least on my dad’s side. He’s used MyHeritage.com to set up a family tree and such. I see they’ve traced one branch back to England in the mid-1500’s.

Your_Majesty's avatar

The secret family recipes. I won’t tell you(it’s a secret).

Arisztid's avatar

The oldest heritage I know is that my Gadje side was in service to the Polish king in a warrior capacity in the 1200’s.

Most people would think that the fact that my family line is chock full, actually consisting mostly of, Gypsies is unusual. It is rather hum drum to me.

I have had various tales passed down by my father (my mother died birthing them) that go back a couple of generations. Hearing about how my Clan went into the midlands of the Translyvanian Alps to escape Hitler (thus only my grandmother’s family being taken to the Camps) was interesting, in a scary way. This was no happy camping trip… the climate during the winter up there is not temperate and many died. All of them would have died if they had not gone up. How my Gadje side came to marry into my Rroma side was also interesting.

My father also wrote out our family line, including my Rromani Gypsy side, the box I had it in was stolen during a move in the 80’s. I cannot reach my Rromani family so, since this information was kept orally until relatively recently, it is permanently lost to me. Ancestor.com does not cover my people.

I might retrace my Gadje side some day.

You might have trouble tracing your Cherokee side because, unless they happened to be on the Tribal roles, older members of the tribe were recounted orally, just like my Rroma side.

Frankie's avatar

My mom’s side of the family has a family tree and records that go back to the 1400s, mainly in England and Scotland. Also, my great-great grandmother on that side was a member of the DAR, which means my family has been in America since before the Revolution; and her husband’s ancestors were originally from France and came to either England or America (I forget which) after they were kicked out of France during the revolution. On my dad’s side, I know my uncle has done a lot of genealogy stuff and has found an extensive amount of information about our family, but I haven’t seen any of it, so I don’t really know what he’s found. But I know we’re from Germany!

faye's avatar

My grandfather was a fenian raider, I’ve got his medal. My grandfather was born in 1847, my dad in 1896. My dad was in WW1 and I have his medals and discharge papers, and some pictures. Both parents ancestry was Irish with a Brit in there occassionally.

loser's avatar

I’m adopted so I really don’t know anything about my birth parents or their families. My adopted family seems to have some weird mysteries on both sides. I’ve only been able to trace as far back as my great grandparents. My maternal grandparents were farmers in Cornwall England and my paternal grandparents owned a plantation in Louisiana.

Sarcasm's avatar

I know that I am Polish and Irish. That my Polish great grandfather came to New York through Mexico. I know that my Polish grandfather built helicopters.

Those are the most significant facts about my heritage that I know. And to be honest, I don’t care about heritage. What my great great grandfather did for a living is of no consequence to me.

DominicX's avatar

Don’t know it too far back. Both of my parents’ families pretty quickly go back to Russia and from there, it’s not easy to trace. I know that my mom’s family can be traced to people in Karelia and the area around St. Petersburg (I have relatives there as well). Despite the fact that I have a royal last name, I can’t seem to trace my dad’s family to a royal family. :(

But I know I have Czech Jewish relatives who bypassed the Holocaust by living in Russia at the time.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I use Ancestor a lot to access source data, like census records, immigration, birth and death records. Any research done by other people I always cross-reference and ask for sources. Sometimes it’s good to use other people’s work as an outline, and often if you combine several people’s records, you get at a more complete picture. Most genealogy research still needs to be done on location, at courthouses, churches, cemeteries, libraries, etc. Lots of people copy other people’s work and pass it off as their own.

For my family, I have my dad’s side of the family back to 1745, and my mother’s to 1908. I have a family that I work on for someone else, and we have that back to 1721. It’s taken us 8 years, and it’s really irksome to see our work passed off as someone else’s.

The Later Day Saints family trees are not very well done.

filmfann's avatar

I have a collection of dates and names of my ancestors, but no real personal information.
The only relative I have who is famous is my great great grandfather’s cousin was Robert Ford, who shot Jesse James.
On the other hand, my wife’s 2nd cousin is Marilyn Monroe.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My families pass down tales. In fact, since I was a 3yr old, my grandparents and their siblings would tell me the same stories year after year not to annoy me but so I’d remember and learn to appreciate different parts of our history as I aged and matured. It also helped to have physical field trips of places people were born, worked, lived, built, etc. I’m lucky to have a very rich verbal history because not much was ever written down except on the backs of photos and in a few church records.

Jill_E's avatar

On my father’s side..we came from the Mayflower. John Carver was my great x 26 or is it 28 grandfather. He lived to be first Governor of Plymouth for a few months before he passed on. We are not sure if he was there for the first Thanksgiving or not with the pilgrims. We hear this story every thanksgiving from dad. :) My mom teased him recently that we have no branches on our family tree because long ago we had first cousins married each other (We all shudder at this thought) and my mom said she is sooo relieved not part of the blood of our family only married to them. :) So we would tease our dad once in a while about the missing branches (one of us kids would twitch) when he would brag about our family line at thanksgiving. We are all humble.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have gone back about five generations and have yet to find anyone who is doing anything worth writing a book about… well I am sure there are things but using Ancestry.com etc, you aren’t going to find all the dirt etc. I did find out that along with my Scottish heritage, I have Irish heritage too. Where is the member of the royal family??? That’s what I want to know? Where is the rich ancestor that should have left me a fortune….

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