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How far back have you traced your family history?

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posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:47 PM
My great uncle spent 4 years travelling Europe researching my Mums side of the family, apparently we were English nobility at one stage but fell on hard times around the 1600's.

A few notables were an English nobleman whos complaints that the king had to much power lead to the Magna Carta being signed, a few kings cup bearers and advisers and also a bishop who was found uncorrupted after the great fire of London even though hed been dead 200 years.

Also Related to Fletcher Christian of Bounty fame (or infamy) but after all the Pitcairn Island incest stuff I tend not to tell people that one LOL

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 09:42 PM
I can't swear to it and would really like to get a copy of the research a distant cousin on my mother's side did. My grandmother thought, that when they contacted her for information and shared some of their findings, that she is apparantly related to Johnny Appleseed. And yes I do have some Chapmans in my ancestory.
Like I said I really would like to do or see the research for my self.

I would also love to do the research on my father's side. But it would be very difficult. My paternal grandmother would not talk about her history or family much. I believe that she was ashamed of being half Cherokee. (Which I think is awesome). The other difficulty in tracing the bloodline of my father is that although she was married several times (4 I believe) she did not marry my father's father. But she did name my father after him.

So basically all I know about my paternal line is that there is Cherokee and Appalachia.

I wish that I could find a Good Free site to do my own research.

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by gypsycat

Try I have others if you really want them. is free for two week trials. I did three trials before I finally signed up. Sometimes if you just get the info and start on paper it is cheaper than paying for the storage on a family tree site.

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 10:39 PM
reply to post by Doodle19815

Thank you I will try that. And yes I would be interested in the others that you have. I have done the two week free trial, but I am never good at taking advantage of those things and my two week expire before I go very far.

I am very good at procastination.

I have a pile of papers somewhere that has a few leads but nothing in any type of logical order. And I am not sure where those papers are

edit on (4/12/1212 by gypsycat because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 11:12 PM

Originally posted by pheonix358
My great great Grandfather eloped with a Tunisian princess and dodged assassins for a while. It is amazing what you find out.


Isn't that the movie, 'Secondhand Lions?'

I think my ancestors were probably peasants since the beginning of time. Most likely when they heard...
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door"
...they felt it was a call to them.

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 04:22 AM
reply to post by Doodle19815

Here is another one that I have found fantastic and was VERY instrumental in me finding my birth mother - It costs to get the full benefit but is well worth it.

I don't like all the hints on Ancestry, they really annoy me. You can store your on line tree on Genes Reunited, but don't get sucked into the other Reunited sites.

Genes Reunited is cheap to join and whilst Find My Past help me find my family the initial contact came because of Genes Reunited and an enquiry there.

Family Search is also useful, but a word of warning here (and please LDS members do not take offence) where records have been submitted by LDS members you will find many inaccuracies. I am not going to elaborate the reasons here but there are reasons why this is and in 14 years of working with this site (I am also a transcriber). Records that are marked as transcribed from Bishops Transcripts (for earlier UK based records) are normally OK, but there are some counties - notably Gloucester (
- the one I need ) that the Bishop refused access. Family Search is of course LDS- The Church Of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints but that should not be a reason for you to shun the source. They are good record keepers.

LDS also do a simple and free Genealogy program. It has no whistles and bells but as a simple place to keep you data it works well. Not so easy to find on the site so here in the link to Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Version 5.2 Windows Unfortunately i think it is only available for Windows.

I use Family Tree Maker 2006. It upgraded two or three times from the original version I bought but I stopped there as the persistent on-line connection in the new versions and the change of layouts was not to my taste.
edit on 13/4/2012 by PuterMan because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 05:18 AM
I've been doing my family genealogy for almost 20 yrs now and I'm not much further ahead than when I started.
My mother's side was fairly easy to get information and go back to the 1700's, but my father's side is a whole other story.

On my dad's side, I can't get any further back than my great-granddad. It took years of searching just to find my grandfather. I have lots of documents, but really they don't say a lot. It's hard when you're dealing with spelling variations, and in my case, not only the first letter in my surname changes-- from an "S" to a "P" and the last few letters change drastically, it makes a whole new surname. It's a guessing game as to what spelling or name I'll find next.

I prefer Legacy for my gene software. You can download it for free.

edit on 13-4-2012 by virraszto because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 06:56 AM
reply to post by PuterMan

Good to see you here! Thank you for offering up some sites I have never seen before. They look like a great start for beginning researchers to plant the roots of their tree. Hopefully you will get your records from Gloucester soon. There is no reason for the Bishop to withhold long ago records. I don't think those people need their privacy any longer. (Unless he is covering a conspiracy.

reply to post by gypsycat

One of the reasons I use is because I have over 26,000 names and it is great for storage. Also, it is more widely known so I have been able to reach out and communicate with long lost relatives and collaborate with them. The easy access to the censuses makes this site a good choice. (It isn't so easy to use once you get oversees though.)

I assume that since you have American Indian in your blood that you are in America. Another good site is but be sure you search using rootsweb and not an advertiser. Please U2U if you need a little help getting started. I love to dig through the censuses and maybe I can point you in the right direction.

*****Just realized the site I gave you in my first reply is faulty! It is Tribal pages. Sorry about that.
edit on 13-4-2012 by Doodle19815 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 07:17 AM
reply to post by Doodle19815

Thank you guys, it has been on my mind to dig deeper for a while now. I connected with many famlily members on my fathers side through facebook after many years of no contact, including the aunt who is most likely the only person that can give me any information about my paternal grandfather, since there was no marriage certificate to rely on. I just have not really had the nerve to approach her about it. This might be the push that I have been waiting for.

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 07:51 AM
On my father's side the family has only been able to trace back to when my ancestor immigrated to the US from Scotland in the 1700's. Family has a record listed as his birth and his parents name, but from there we have not been able to find anything else. One day I hope to visit Scotland and try to research further.

On my mom's side the trail runs cold with my great grandfather. Seems he was the man of mystery.

reply to post by gypsycat
gypsycat you might want to take a look at It deals with families from the Smoky Mountain area. If you need help navigating the site let me know. I have Cherokee in my family too and I know it can be difficult to trace.

edit on 13-4-2012 by OneisOne because: formatting

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 07:55 AM
reply to post by OneisOne

If / when you get to Scotland, best place to start is Parish records. I assume you will have the names and ages, etc, of those first settlers in the US from your family? If so, it should be fairly simple to work back through Parish records. If not, you may have a problem!

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by Flavian

Thanks Flavian!!

All I have to go on is Roxburghshire, Scotland and an approximate year of birth. Some of the research I have read questioned the location because it was the wrong area for someone with our clan name to born. Then the record popped up on Family Search.

Thanks again for the advice, someday I hope to put it to good use!


posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 03:01 PM
Got back to about 1500 for sure, and with a leap of faith (there's a gap) back to 1066. It's nailed back to Jamestown about 1620. After that you really can't be sure. On the other side I have it to about 1803.

You really have to take anything past the census tapes (1790 was the first) with a grain of salt. Records just weren't that good. People made stuff up. It's fairly easy to find a "line" that plugs into someone famous where more work is likely to be done. I got back to 1620 because I found a book published in 1885, a genealogy of the Montague family that had my great great grandmother in it. People have been working on the Montague genealogy for several hundred years.

But think through this. There's a generation every 25 years or so on average, four generations per century. If you go back a mere 1,000 years, to approximately 1,000 AD (close enough to 1066 in my example above), that's two to the 40th power. Your number of ancestors? 1,099,511,627,776. The world population estimates for 1000 AD vary, but are around 275 million.

Obvious conclusions?

1. There has been a lot of overlap.
2. You are related to nearly everyone who lived in 1000 AD, including Kings & Queens.
3. We're cousins.

Why are you related to everyone who lived in 1000 AD? because all it takes is one guy, one Marco Polo to go to China and have offspring, one Dr. Livingstone to father children in Africa. Those people's genes flow throughout the population in time. So someone from China has just a little bit of Western European DNA, and vica versa.

So at a certain point genealogy becomes meaningless. Even if I try to go back to 1620 and Jamestown, that's two to the 32nd power, which is over 4 billion ancestors in just 400 years.

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