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crazyforkate

On my mom's side we only traced back to my great-grandfather, who left England sometime in the 1870's, but my dad's side is another story. My aunts are absolutely crazed genealogists, traveling to England to look up old church records and the like (my family showed up in Manitoba sometime in the 1880's), and have managed to discover that we are direct descendants of William the Conqueror. We're related to quite a few prominent British people, including Sir Alexander Ball and Lord Baden-Powell (of Scouting fame).

 

However, the biggest thing is - since our surname is Crawley - Downton Abbey has suddenly made us an object of curiosity. I have a Crawley sweatshirt, and if I wear it in public people think it's merchandise from the show. I think I even got a better mark on a paper recently because I may have implied to my prof that it was a true story about my dead great-aunts. We do have an abbey somewhere in the family lineage (Flaxley Abbey), but my dad says it's not nearly as nice as Downton. Oh well, next life.

 

Recently, I took a DNA test, which adds more mystery into the equation. There's evidence of North African ancestry (which I imagine has something to do with my Portuguese greatxsomething grandmother) and South Asian ancestry. I'm not that big into genealogy - most of this stuff was learned from my aunts - but I do want to explore England and look up family history at some point. I'm also of Danish, French, Norwegian, Irish, Portuguese, Welsh, and Icelandic ancestry, but those are less established links. I'm eternally grateful to my aunts, who have worked hard to give us all this information, though to most of us it's simply an interesting quirk.

 

Anyone else into genealogy here? What kind of stuff have you done to look up your ancestry? How far back can you trace your family? What sort of obstacles have you encountered?

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terranova

All of my info comes from other family members doing the leg work, but still!

-On my Mother's side I can trace back to some of the first European settlers in New Zealand. I am 7th generation. My ancestors arrived from Nottingham via Sydney with 3 kids under 5 and she was 8 months pregnant. They raised 12 children living in a reed shack on the beach while trying to bring the natives to God. His brother and his wife also came over and raised 11 children on the same beach!

-My Father's side has been traced back to 17th century French immigrants to Canada. She was a woman paid by the king of France to go to Quebec to be a wife to a settler. As good Catholics they had a gazillion children as did their children and so on. It's pretty amazing to read the history. My Grandmother was one of 22!

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crazyforkate
All of my info comes from other family members doing the leg work, but still!

-On my Mother's side I can trace back to some of the first European settlers in New Zealand. I am 7th generation. My ancestors arrived from Nottingham via Sydney with 3 kids under 5 and she was 8 months pregnant. They raised 12 children living in a reed shack on the beach while trying to bring the natives to God. His brother and his wife also came over and raised 11 children on the same beach!

-My Father's side has been traced back to 17th century French immigrants to Canada. She was a woman paid by the king of France to go to Quebec to be a wife to a settler. As good Catholics they had a gazillion children as did their children and so on. It's pretty amazing to read the history. My Grandmother was one of 22!

A fille de roi! That's amazing! Those women are such a fascinating - and under-studied - part of Canadian history. You have some incredible stories in your family.

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NovemberRain

On my Mothers paternal side it is done as far as people can go. 2 German brother that came to Canada from Germany in the 1700's. My Fathers side is a different story. I can get as far back as a great grandmother from Scotland but alas her Fathers name was David Smith so that is going to be a chore and a half!

Also on my Mothers side, her Mothers maternal family is said to be related to Jane Seymour of Henry the 8th fame, but I have yet to see any concrete proof.

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I had my DNA analyzed...that was interesting. I also join Ancestry for a month or two every year, when the mood strikes. Anyone else have their DNA analyzed? I learned that I have 2.9% Neanderthal DNA. I'm waiting for my dad to get his results so we can compare, and so I know which bits of me came from which side.

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Joan of Snarc

I've got the test sitting on my counter. I ordered it a month ago and I just haven't sat down to spit in the tube, yet. I'm really excited to see what percentage Neanderthal I am, though!

I started doing genealogy when I became a SAHM. The first few years I made so many discoveries, it was so exciting. The last few years everything has ground to a halt. I found everything easy and for the most part I'm stuck on the same people I've been stuck on for 15 years. Pisses me off. I have to take breaks from it because it gets so frustrating not finding anything.

It's nice that there are a lot of records online now. But people's trees on ancestry are just so much rubbish. People just copy shit without sources and they end up with children born before parents, etc. Never trust unsourced trees -- always go check it out for yourself.

I've belonged to ancestry from 15 years, and I also have access to fold3. Those crazy Mormons' site, familysearch.org, has a nice set of free records too.

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crazyforkate
I had my DNA analyzed...that was interesting. I also join Ancestry for a month or two every year, when the mood strikes. Anyone else have their DNA analyzed? I learned that I have 2.9% Neanderthal DNA. I'm waiting for my dad to get his results so we can compare, and so I know which bits of me came from which side.

2.7% here, and I'm getting my mom the test for her birthday, so we'll have fun with that. Mostly we want to know where the cystic fibrosis gene comes from, but the ancestry stuff is really interesting too!

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Joan of Snarc, you're right, but I'm afraid I'm one of those people...some of the other trees have mistakes, but some add a lot of good information. I've learned a lot that way. But yes, it is frustrating when there are mistakes and it's hard to tell what's true and what's not.

Crazyforkate, my cousin's daughter has cystic fibrosis, too, and that was one of the things I was curious about. I don't have the gene, though, so I think it must have come from my aunt's side. 2.7% Neanderthal, huh? Cool! I'm oddly proud of my percentage, lol.

I envy those of you who've had an easy time doing your tree. I have branches in England, which is fairly straightforward, although there was an illegitimate child by an unknown nobleman, so that's been a sticking point for me in that branch. Someone had a tree that said the nobleman was "R. Pilkington," but I have no idea if it's true or not. My other branches are in Italy, Austria (now the area is part of the Czech Republic), and Russia. Those I find nearly impossible to trace. I just have no idea whatsoever.

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Does anyone know anything about a bluish mark on the lower back/tailbone that has to do w/ancestry?My husband says it comes from Hunn(?sp) blood,who were Mongolians?I know Im French Canadian on Dads side -apparently the Hunns lived in France at some point because the terrain was similar to the Mongolian steppes..Idk anything much about my Dads side cause his father left-I only have a very french name to go by

On Moms side we have my grandmother with the maiden name Smith.My aunt spent years on that one..lol.She traced back to the 1500s,to a Duke of Wales(?which one)

Really curious about the blue-mark though

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Does anyone know anything about a bluish mark on the lower back/tailbone that has to do w/ancestry?My husband says it comes from Hunn(?sp) blood,who were Mongolians?I know Im French Canadian on Dads side -apparently the Hunns lived in France at some point because the terrain was similar to the Mongolian steppes..Idk anything much about my Dads side cause his father left-I only have a very french name to go by

On Moms side we have my grandmother with the maiden name Smith.My aunt spent years on that one..lol.She traced back to the 1500s,to a Duke of Wales(?which one)

Really curious about the blue-mark though

Do you mean Mongolian Spots? They're pretty common in people of Asian descent, but occur in Caucasian populations as well and seem to run in families. They don't really have anything to do with Mongolia other than they are prevalent there; they were named for the "Mongoloid" race (Asian, Japanese specifically in this case) in the 19th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_spot

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Joan of Snarc

Some people get upset when their beloved family stories get disproved -- and it happens all the time.

I've been trying to figure out if parts of my family might be "melungeon." We have some of the surnames and are from that part of the Appalachians. There are lots of romantic stories about the origin of melungeons, such as:

I contend that the remnants of Joao (“Juanâ€) Pardo’s forts, joined by Portuguese refugees from Santa Elena, and possibly a few stray Dominicans and Jesuits, exiled Moorish French Huguenots, and escaped Acadians, along with [sir Francis] Drake’s and perhaps other freed Turkish, Moorish, and Iberian captives, survived on these shores, combined forces over the ensuing years, moved to the hinterlands, intermarried with various Carolina and Virginia Native Americans, and eventually became the reclusive Melungeons.

See here for an article from 2003 which describes the melungeons and various theories of their origin:

http://melungeons.com/articles/jan2003.htm

However, when DNA was tested more recently, all the romantic stories of lost Portugeuse explorers and survivors from Roanoke Island, etc. turned out to be false and a lot of people were upset:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/2 ... 44489.html

Me, I just want the truth -- whatever it is.

Interesting note from the first article: Walter Plecker, The head of Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics in the first half of the 20th century, made sure that Melungeons and Indians were classified as nonwhite and discriminated against -- excluding those prominent Virginia families who fell under the "Pocahontas Exception." His work in eugenics was later used by the Nazis.

http://hamptonroads.com/2004/08/blackan ... by-plecker

http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Ple ... tart_entry

What a vile person.

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I too am lucky that there are several genealogists in our family (on all sides). The farthest back we've gotten is the 1500's and 1600's in various branches. The most interesting things we've found are a distant relation to the Younger bros (through a gr gr gr grandmother Millie Younger) and that my great grandfather "William James Connor" (Millie's son) was actually one Joshua Marksberry - who ran for the border with is wife after shooting his father (we always thought he was Irish - nope, from Kentucky). The bottom is a brief from the time - but he was eventually caught and released in ill health later on

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ky/state/co ... aper2.html

MURDER

A Grant County Murder. Letter received by marshal of Williamstown from Chief of Police of Detroit, Michigan advising William Conners, about 50, is a fugitive from justice; right name said to be Joshua Marksbury [Marksberry], who about 23 years ago [1868] killed his father, Willis Marksbury [Marksberry] about seven miles from Williamstown, with a rifle over a dispute; was arrested but broke jail [with eight other prisoners while court was in session]. He fled to Canada and was later joined by his family. His wife's maiden name was Laura Tungate who he married in Kentucky. He had a sister, Mary Ada Marksbury [Marksberry], who married a Fenchman named Alex O'Lee. Joshua is the son of Millie [and Willis] Marksberry, who lives above town and a brother of T. J. and Hawkins Marksberry; many of the witnesses are dead and others are widely scattered: his return will probably not be called.

Also had someone hanged for treason (joined some Americans in cross-border squirmishes in the early 1800's).

I tend to focus on the infamous rather than famous LOL

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Bethella
I too am lucky that there are several genealogists in our family (on all sides). The farthest back we've gotten is the 1500's and 1600's in various branches. The most interesting things we've found are a distant relation to the Younger bros (through a gr gr gr grandmother Millie Younger) and that my great grandfather "William James Connor" (Millie's son) was actually one Joshua Marksberry - who ran for the border with is wife after shooting his father (we always thought he was Irish - nope, from Kentucky). The bottom is a brief from the time - but he was eventually caught and released in ill health later on

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ky/state/co ... aper2.html

MURDER

A Grant County Murder. Letter received by marshal of Williamstown from Chief of Police of Detroit, Michigan advising William Conners, about 50, is a fugitive from justice; right name said to be Joshua Marksbury [Marksberry], who about 23 years ago [1868] killed his father, Willis Marksbury [Marksberry] about seven miles from Williamstown, with a rifle over a dispute; was arrested but broke jail [with eight other prisoners while court was in session]. He fled to Canada and was later joined by his family. His wife's maiden name was Laura Tungate who he married in Kentucky. He had a sister, Mary Ada Marksbury [Marksberry], who married a Fenchman named Alex O'Lee. Joshua is the son of Millie [and Willis] Marksberry, who lives above town and a brother of T. J. and Hawkins Marksberry; many of the witnesses are dead and others are widely scattered: his return will probably not be called.

Also had someone hanged for treason (joined some Americans in cross-border squirmishes in the early 1800's).

I tend to focus on the infamous rather than famous LOL

Have you thought of joining the Black Sheep Society? http://ibssg.org/blacksheep/

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RosyDaisy

I got involved in genealogy after a 7th grade class project. Of course, all I knew were my parents, grandparents, and cousins. Then I was told my paternal grandfather was an orphan who was passed around from home to home and treated like shit. One day while I was working in the records room at a county courthouse, I found marriage records for my grandpa and his sisters. After years of research this is what I have uncovered. My great-grandfather was most likely a criminal. He married my great-grandmother and they had 2 kids, my grandfather, and my aunt. When grandpa's mother died, his father re-married within weeks and had another daughter. Around this same time, he got a 12 year old girl pregnant (I call it rape even though back in those days young brides weren't uncommon). Then he disappears of the face of the earth. I recently tracked down relatives of grandpa's half-sister, and to my surprise they were looking for us! We met up, and had a good time. We are now really close.

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Mary C Doates

Have been into genealogy for a few years. Keep getting bogged down with my mother's side of the family, who are French Canadian (so limited access to records since I'm in the US). They seem to have multiple spellings of their surnames, as well as huge families--Michelle Duggar would be jealous--and a tendency to randomly Anglicized their first names. I have to take breaks from it from time to time as it gets so confusing!

I got into photographing old cemeteries in an effort to locate information on my father's family, only to discover that they apparently didn't believe in headstones. I still enjoy exploring cemeteries and helping others locate headstones and information on their family members.

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I used to work at a public Library and occasionally staffed the Local History Room. I started doing my family genealogy when things were slow. In my experience, Genealogy is a good starting place and some dumb luck. In one book I was able to trace back to my 6th great grandfather. However, half of my great grandparents were immigrants so I haven't been able to trace hose family lines.

I loved using Ancestry.com Library edition. I wish I still had access to it. FamilySearch.org was also useful. (Fun fact: It's run by the LDS Church). And yes, I'm one of those people who were overly excited when the 1940 census was released last spring.

I have plans to visit the Genealogy Society in the County where my Grandma grew up, the next time I'm in the area. The last time I was there, they were closed for a Holiday.

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Joan of Snarc

If anybody doesn't currently have access to Ancestry and you want me to look something up for you, just let me know. I'll be happy to search for you.

:techie-typing:

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psycho-hope

I got interested in genealogy about 4 years ago after hearing a story about my great great grandfather and wondering if it was true, turned out it was and it all went from there, ive traced my grandmothers side of the family back to glasgow in scotland in the 1840's, my grandfathers side im back to about 1870 in the wicklow mountains. Unfortunatly granddads family have a fairly common name from northern Ireland and an obsession with the name peter so ive hit a brick wall there.

If anyone wants a hand working out where abouts in ireland their ancestors are from or just a hand with irish records in general leave me a message and I will do my best to help :)

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RosyDaisy
If anybody doesn't currently have access to Ancestry and you want me to look something up for you, just let me know. I'll be happy to search for you.

:techie-typing:

I'm offering the same. I only have a US. subscription though. PM or email me.

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Do you mean Mongolian Spots? They're pretty common in people of Asian descent, but occur in Caucasian populations as well and seem to run in families. They don't really have anything to do with Mongolia other than they are prevalent there; they were named for the "Mongoloid" race (Asian, Japanese specifically in this case) in the 19th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_spot

Yep-That appears to be what Im talking about.It doesnt sound like they come from any place in-particular.Aside from some NA,Im totally caucasian.

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Yep-That appears to be what Im talking about.It doesnt sound like they come from any place in-particular.Aside from some NA,Im totally caucasian.

FWIW, Native Americans share a lot of genes with Asian populations.

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cindyluvs24

There used to be a show here in the US called "Who Do You Think You Are?" where each week, they would take a Hollywood person and trace a relative. My favorite was Rob Lowe who was very proud of the fact that one of his ancestors fought in the Amercan revolution. After research, he was told that, indeed, the gentleman had fought, but as a Hessian!

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My Dad recruited me as his assistant in his genealogy quest and I got bit by the bug. On my Dad's side, I'm descended from some of the early settlers of New England. One of my cousins is a mad genealogist who traced the family to England and back into the middle ages. On my Mom's side, I've been doing a lot of work on the family tree by myself. Right now on stuck on a great-great-great grandmother who married three times (at least) and was referred to in various records by all of her multiple last names. To complicate matters, the father of my ancestor is the only husband of hers that I don't have a first name for.

Personally, I love finding all of the "bad" ancestors. My personal favorite is a great-great grandmother who was called as a witness in a divorce case because the wife claimed my g-g-grandmother seduced her husband (who was 25 years younger than my g-g-grandmother). G-g-grandma was a cougar!!

Most of the work I have done is with southwest Virginia records. If anyone needs any help with area records or needs a lookup, I would be glad to try to help!

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Joan of Snarc

Most of my family is from southwest VA too. I wonder if we're related? I spend a lot of time working on records from Wise, Scott, Lee, Washington, Smyth and Russell counties.

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PennySycamore

Joan of Snarc, I think it's interesting that you might be part Melungeon.

I've done a little genealogy, but haven't pursued it much in the last few years. One my mother's side we are mostly English and German as far as I know. One of our ancestors was the brother of Daniel Boone.

My dad always thought her was part Irish. He's not, but a lawyer from Maryland wrote him in the early 70s saying that he traced the family to England. They emigrated to Maryland and eventually dispersed north into Pennslyvania, south to Savannah, and west. The western branch of the family settled in Harper's Ferry and then moved on into Kentucky. My dad had always wondered if he were descended from General John Sevier on his mother's side of the family. When I first started climbing the family tree, it took about 15 minutes to discover he was descended from John Sevier, the first Governor of Tennessee, only Governor of the Lost State of Franklin who represents Tennessee in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. Going a little further back on the family tree, the Sevier family were Huguenots and were originally Basque who'd been counsellors to the King of Navarre. (Navarra is a Basque province which straddles the border between Spain and France.) When the last Navarrese king, Henri I, became King Henri IV of France, some of the Xaviers became Seviers and moved to Paris. Eventually they left France for London and then to America. I think that John Sevier's mother was a Quaker preacher so we have Quakers on both sides of the family. We also have Native American ancestry on my dad's side although I am not sure which side of his ancestry or which Native American tribe. It was probably Shawnee, but I'm not sure because there were no tribes with permanent residence in Kentucky.

Wildflower and Joan, I have Virginia roots too, but a bit further up I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley. My 7th great-grandfather, Valentine Sevier, founded the town of New Market

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