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Gerard Butler GALS

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Ever wish you could have known your great great grandparents?

Have you ever tried researching your family tree to find out who your ancestors are? Where they are from? How did they live?

Some of the GALS have been researching their ancestors for years and others might just be beginning their search or thinking about getting started. This is a thread to not only share tips in helping you in your search but to share those interesting tidbits we find out. Whether your ancestors are European, Asian, African or Native Americans, every family has a story. It doesn't matter where your history goes, it goes somewhere. The excitement is uncovering that story and finding our roots.

So for all those interested, let's start researching our family tree! Genealogy is a fun and fascinating hobby that anyone can enjoy. It is a lot like detective work, but it is highly rewarding. No other hobby can give you such a feeling of connection to your family and the past. It will reveal things to you about yourself that you never imagined.




hugs,

Sue





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Thanks for starting this topic, Sue! I've been doing ancestry research off and on for several years now, mostly using Ancestry.com where I started with a free trial 2-week membership. When that expired, I went on to purchase the deluxe membership because I wanted access to the US census original files and international records. I've been able to find out quite a bit of information, but have also had to go back and correct lots of stuff because it's easy to follow the wrong leads because so many names are similar and some of the census records are very hard to decipher. Also, beware of incorporating other researchers' data, especially if they have no documentation attached to their findings. I've also learned the hard way to remember the "family lore" that my grandmother told me. If the data doesn't seem to fit the "family lore", it probably is incorrect. Every time I've ignored the "family lore" I've ended up having to delete stuff and start over. :bonk:

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Thanks for starting this thread Sue.... Kathy got me off on the right foot cause I knew not one iota of where or how to search! This is really fun ... cept now I have to find info on my Moms side and I'm kinda still feeling my way around! :doh:

:kiss: Frannie

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I love this topic. I've been researching my family tree for 11 years. I'm also on the volunteer staff of the local Family History Center sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I've also chaired/co-chaired our annual Family History Seminar (we're having our 10th one this October: http://buffalofamilyhistoryseminar.blogspot.com/

Family History Centers are local branches of the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. FHCs are all over the world and are open for anyone to use (ie.You don't have to be LDS...aka "Mormon".) You can locate one near you (they are usually in LDS Church buildings but some large ones are in their own bldg) on this site--which is a free genealogy site:

http://www.familysearch.org/eng/default.asp

(Scroll down to see "Find a Family History Center")

The FHCs don't do the research for you but rather show you how to get started and then how to pursue research. We're a "teach a man to fish" kinda place rather than "give a man a fish."

Also, speaking of Ancestry.com, the LDS Church is putting it's vast microfilm, microfiche, and book archive on-line in a digitized & indexed format free of charge. You can see the current (and ever-growing collection) here:

http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start

This collection includes Census Records, Vital Records and other pieces of useful research records from various countries.

And, there are teams currently filming in many countries to gather and then make available more genealogy information.

Sorry to sound like a commercial but for those beginning (or getting re-started), FamilySearch.org, the FHCs and their staff can be very helpful. They can show you lots of things you can do at home as well as how to access the Church's records which are not yet on-line.

Sharon/beacon1 (PM me if you have any questions.) :wave:

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Genealogy is so much fun, and interesting. My ex-husband's mother was able to go back to the early days of American history and the boys each have a huge binder with lots of family history.

Unfortunately, most Jewish families who came to America have little or no genealogy records. Birth and death certificates were destroyed; cemeteries desecrated - and that's before the Holocaust. My great-grandparents came to America in 1908 (through Ellis Island) so I have some family history. When I went back to college I did a paper about my family history, and sat with my grandmother and great-aunt and got a ton of great stories about their parents who were born in Russia, lived in Paris and then came to the US settling in NYC. That's all there is. :)

I look forward to learning more about you guys' families!

Lisa

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I've been interested in family history since my pre-teen years because it's a big part of my family.My Grandma's sister has traced back most of our family lines back to the early 1700's or 1600's.I managed a few years back to find out something she had never found out. We had one family in our family tree that was down as being German and I couldn't find a trace of that name in any Germany name books or anythin.On a hunch I tried Russian instead and found them.When they had come here,either they didn't tell people they were Russian or whomever wrote their name down on this side,wrote what it sounded like instead of what it was. Upon further checking I found 3 times where this particular Scottish side of my Grandmothers family,married Russians.And there are various stories in family lore about the Civil War etc... On my Dad's side,being Scot and Native American,there is a history of keeping oral histories.Except there was one central figure missing this whole time.Lynn McG-----'s father.Who was he(he was a Scot who came here and married a Creek woman),no one knew what his name was.This last year I finally found him out.He had a plantation in Alabama in and arond 1811,and it was burned to the ground by the Red Sticks(war parties of the Creek confederacy,my family were White Sticks- peaceful part of the confederacy).But I'm trying to find records of his coming to the US and where from.Most of his family lived around Galloway,Scotland. That's some of what i've discovered.Only advice I can give is,keep digging.I've been after Lynn's father name since I was a teenager and other have been looking before me,and we just found it.So keep digging.

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I've got to buckle down on my Germans. My father's grandfather emigrated from Weurttenberg and I have only a few leads on the surnames in the first couple of generations. And, I get a kick out of the fact that he was a wood cutter in the Black Forest. Rather Grimms Fairy Tale, don't you think? :funnyup:

I had a breakthrough on my Irish lines. It's so important to identify the County so you can get Town Land records to see how property passed through the family. I need to look in Kerry, Cork, Limerick and probably Galway and Tipperary. There are some great surname/county sites and they cooraborate what I had found regarding where my lines had originated. Hooray!!!

I have a brick wall in the late 1700s on my mother's side. An Englishman with an uber common name who was not the oldest son (i.e. heir to property/$$$)emigrated to the US and married a woman who was either English, Dutch or both (upstate NY where Dutch and English settled.) Again, she had a common name and her place of birth is murky. The 1790 NY Census Index shows that surname in appropriate areas but those records only listed head of household and then grouped the rest of the residents by number with in a catetory (free white males aged 0-4 years, free white females age 0-4 years, etc.)... I keep wishing the two of them would just appear at the foot of my bed one night...each bearing a ledger of names from their lineage. Too much to ask??? :funnyup:

And, for those who are looking into Native American sites, most tribes have a website and they often have a genealogy section. Some will do free searches for Tribal Members. Some allow only tribe members to access records. Just a tidbit I picked up recently.

And, Lisa, in my area our local Jewish Genealogy Association is super active. They occasionally book time in our Family History Center on a Sunday afternoon. One of our staffers is also a member of their organization and acts as their host that day. In a week they are hosting a big seminar with a rep from Ancestry.com I'm hoping to attend.

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Hi all! LOVE this topic!

I love history, and I have this drive to know about where I came from. My maternal grandfather did a lot of genealogy research before he died, so I have a nice binder with info from that side of the family. Unfortunately, it doesn't go toooo far, and only traces back to rural Tennessee. I was hoping for something more glamorous!

Not to worry... my Dad is only second generation, the grandson of an English immigrant who came over around the turn of the century. Because of that connection I was able to hook up last summer with a guy who'd done a lot of research on the Kennerley's of Cheshire, England, and (although I don't know for sure that all of his research is correct), he has the line traced back to the 1300s in... SCOTLAND! :D One of my ancestors (with the family name of "Carrick") was a contemporary of Robert Bruce and was knighted by him at Bruce Castle during the First War of Scottish Independence!

Not to mention, once I provided him some information on the family tree going from that common ancestor toward the present, he was able to find information on my maternal great-grandmother's family! They were the Gaines family, which I'd always known from family lore was one of the oldest families in America and the ones who settled Gainesville, FL, Gainesville, GA, and Gainesboro, TN! So, I got to see that family line back to the early days of the American colonies in Virginia and beyond! Originally (back in Wales), they were "Game," not "Gaines," named after an ancestor who had a deformity (he was "game"). One of my ancestors even saved the life of the King of England in the Hundred Years' War, and was knighted as he lay dying on the battlefield! Apparently, a character in one of Shakespeare's biography plays (One of the Henry's... VII maybe?) was modeled after him!

So that's all I have, which is almost all based on what others have done. When I have a little more money I think I'll join one of these sites and start combing through the documents myself! And someday I'd love to visit the British Isles and research my family there, as all of the lines I've followed have traced back to England, Scotland, Ireland, or Wales! I have thick Celtic blood!! :D

Steph

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WOW....so many of you guys are so lucky....Andrea interested in her genealogy back in her pre teens!!!! Steph being handed a binder with her grandfathers reasearch! Sharon tracing her heritage back to the 1700's. I've spent most of the day on the computer looking into my family tree. Unfortunately, my parents both died before I was thirty and when I was younger all I cared about was the future...not the past....:tissues:.... and now all of my parents siblings are also gone. I have been able to come up with a few leads however and I'm going to keep digging. I now know that between my parents, grand parents and great grandparents I belong to:

Beatty (Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Bhiadhtaigh); Clinton; Bradley (Irish Gaelic surname of Ó Brollcháin was bastardised, against the wishes of the Irish people into Bradley); Finnegan and Stewart (oh my, maybe I do have some Scottish in my Irish blood).

hugs,

Sue

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And, Lisa, in my area our local Jewish Genealogy Association is super active. They occasionally book time in our Family History Center on a Sunday afternoon. One of our staffers is also a member of their organization and acts as their host that day. In a week they are hosting a big seminar with a rep from Ancestry.com I'm hoping to attend.

There are many Jews who came to America in the 1700's, so many of them have great family histories. Just that my family happens to be one that came when they did and don't have records. I've even gone to the LDS church to use their research facility and couldn't find anything. It's ok though becuase I have plenty of stories. Plus, my Great-Grandparents' names are in the book and on the wall at Ellis Island. I have the certificate, as well as their naturalization papers (looks like really big money).

I'm really proud of the history I have found. My Great-Grandparents took part in the Russian Revolution, and my Great Grandfather was sent to prison, etc. Really cool stories. Watch Fiddler on the Roof and you have my history. LOL

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One of my favorite all time movies Lisa. My dad (ok, he was Irish not Jewish) but he could do "If I was a Rich Man" to perfection!!! I have the DVD and I have to watch it at least once a year!

Question for you......how did you find your great grandparents names in the book and on the wall at Ellis Island? I'm sure my great grandparents came through Ellis Island as well when the immigrated from Ireland; and although I was born in New York...been to Ellis Island as a child (and even once not all that many years ago) I never thought to check any records.

hugs,

Sue

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One of my favorite all time movies Lisa. My dad (ok, he was Irish not Jewish) but he could do "If I was a Rich Man" to perfection!!! I have the DVD and I have to watch it at least once a year!

Question for you......how did you find your great grandparents names in the book and on the wall at Ellis Island? I'm sure my great grandparents came through Ellis Island as well when the immigrated from Ireland; and although I was born in New York...been to Ellis Island as a child (and even once not all that many years ago) I never thought to check any records.

hugs,

Sue

Years and years ago they had the dedication of the wall at Ellis Island, and my great-uncle went to the ceremony. I think everyone in the book got their name on the wall. I've never seen actually seen the pages (I've never been to the museum), but that's the impression that if the name is in the book it's on the wall. :)

HUGS

Lisa

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If you visit Ellis Island these days they have convenient computer terminals set up where you can search the digital records for everyone who came through. It doesn't have a huge amount of information there, but you can get name, date, ship, and port of departure I believe.

I did it for my great Grandfather when I went to visit a few years ago, but it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. There may be a way to search it online too, but I don't know for sure.

Steph

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Thanks Delene....after Steph's message I punched in Ellis Island Records into google and they took me I think to pretty much the same site that you suggest. Spent most of the afternoon looking and I did find one of my grandparents!!!! She came over from Ireland when she was 20 years old.

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Elissa and I spent a couple of afternoons trying to trace back my father's Irish family. Elissa was able to track them back to Donegal, Ireland in the 1670s. Along the way, I discovered my Great Grandfather Jerry, was from Butler County, Kentucky. (See? My love for our Gerry is genetic!) He was a doctor who served as a Colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil Way. According to the census records shortly before the war, I was horrified to discover he had three house slaves. Sometimes you find out things about your ancestors you wish you'd never known!

My mother is a Spaniard, and it's a good deal harder to get much information about her side of the family because of the LONG names of many, and the use of the SAME name for generations! GAH!!!

It really has been fun to find out as much as I was able. Now I can pass the information down to my kids and they won't have to work so hard to find info if they ever need to!

Suzie

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This is what I know so far about my ancestry. My biological father's family is French and Spanish. They all settled in southern Louisiana. Some of the French came directly from France, others were among the Acadians of Nova Scotia. The Spaniards arrived in New Orleans in the 1700s. My mother's father's family was also French. They too were in southern Louisiana and descended from two of the original Acadian families, the Carrieres, and the Johnsons, sometimes seen in the records as Jeansonne. The progenitor of this line was a Scot named William Johnson who married an Acadian girl named Isabelle Corporan in Nova Scotia. Their descendants ended up in Louisiana. I claim my membership in Clan Gunn through the Johnsons. My mother's mother's family was a mixture of Scottish, Irish, English, and Cherokee. My grandmother's maiden name was Poe. Among her ancestors are a cousin of Edgar Allen Poe and a sister of Jonathan Lindley, one of the fallen heroes of the Alamo. By a strange coincidence, after the death of Amanda Parrott Baker (my Cherokee great-great-grandmother), her husband, Jacob Baker, married a woman named Elizabeth Jane Gunn, so I can claim Clan Gunn from two different lines, although one of them is by marriage, not by birth. I'm still working on my grandmother's family tree. There are still several "dead ends". I'm definitely going to check out the Ellis Island and Castle Garden sites.

Edited by Lady Elissa
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WOW Elissa, what a wonderful legacy.

I've been able to trace my roots back only as far as my great great grandparents on my dad's paternal side....and my great grandparents on the rest of my family.....that's it so far.

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WOW!! You gals are flying with this genealogy thread. Glad to see it. Thanks Sue for starting this. Someone said it is like being a detective and that is SO true. It is also addictive. I spent 25 years with it and I'm complete except for actually finding more Scottish information on my Scottish ancestors. I have them so far back in Scotland I find I read Scottish history to find out why they left Scotland and what was going on in their area. That's the only clues I have. There is a wonderful genealogy network in Edinburgh. They promise to start putting it on-line. It's the General Register Office of Scotland ( which has records of birth, deaths, and marriages dating back to the 1500s). Also, the Scottish Genealogy Society of Scotland or the Scottish Record Office, all found in Edinburgh. If you find yourself in Edinburgh I hear they are very helpful in tracing your Scottish ancestors.

I'll be back when I have more time. Taking care of my granddaughter right now so my time is limited.

~HUGS~ Kathy

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When I was in Scotland, the tour guide offered anyone who was interested a look at a genealogy book. Also, when we were traveling through Edinburgh, the guide was talking about the family "estates" that were still scattered around Scotland and near Edinburgh. She mentioned the Murray Estate just north of there so the Murrays were mainly from the Northeast part of Scotland and still maintain the family name. I do believe I read something about Blair Castle as being part of that or owned by the Murray family, but Bothwell Castle just southeast of Glasgow was started by the Murray Clan but then the war broke out and it wasn't finished. Then it passed to the Douglas's through marriage I believe, and it was renovated and added on to and then some others took it over before it went back to the Murrays. I believe it's ruins are maintained by Historical Scotland now

Also, I was reading some more the other day and found an answer to my question about why my branch of the Murray's left Scotland and when. Seems that after the war, most of them left Scotland for other parts and America in the 1700's. So that explains it. Guess they were just fed up or running from persecution. They wound up going to Canada, Australia and South Africa also. The ones that came to America went to New York then down to Virginia, the Carolinas and Florida. I remember my Dad talking about our Seminole Indian connection and that there was a little bit of that running in the family along with the Cherokee. I believe the Seminoles originated in Florida but that's a branch of the family I'll have to trace after I find the Scottish side first. All I remember is my Great Grandmother, my Dad's Grandmother, living on a reservation in Oklahoma which I believe was Cherokee.

It's very interesting and it is addictive!

Kathy, did you say you used Ancestry.com in some of your searches? Just wondering if so, how good are they?

Delene

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Such an interesting thread! Thanks Sue.

WOW....so many of you guys are so lucky....Andrea interested in her genealogy back in her pre teens!!!! Steph being handed a binder with her grandfathers reasearch! Sharon tracing her heritage back to the 1700's. I've spent most of the day on the computer looking into my family tree. Unfortunately, my parents both died before I was thirty and when I was younger all I cared about was the future...not the past....:tissues:.... and now all of my parents siblings are also gone. I have been able to come up with a few leads however and I'm going to keep digging. I now know that between my parents, grand parents and great grandparents I belong to:

Beatty (Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Bhiadhtaigh); Clinton; Bradley (Irish Gaelic surname of Ó Brollcháin was bastardised, against the wishes of the Irish people into Bradley); Finnegan and Stewart (oh my, maybe I do have some Scottish in my Irish blood).

hugs,

Sue

My inlaws are Beatty's. Maybe you may be related to them :)

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I remember a comedian, I believe Gallagher, said that if we want to know who are ancestors were, "They were the fast little f**kers who got away from the sabertoothed tigers!" :p

Delene

Edited by GBPhanatic
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