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Advice on Tracing your Family Tree

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  • taykary
    replied
    The guide is some thing I have come across before, but what if you are to late in starting your family tree! Because all your relatives that could tell you about your ancestors are either dead or can not remember because they minds are gone. Then what do you do? forget the whole thing!

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  • ScotSites
    replied
    I can confirm that the family template is great. Maybe its time this guide was updated to include all the suggestions and also the template itself... if you email me one Picty I'll upload it to Scot Sites!

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  • Pictish Scot
    replied
    Using pen and paper is definitely a good way to start off your family tree quest. But so is using a computer of sorts. Maybe what is needed is some sort of compromise and it just so happens I might have one! Using some sort of word processor, create a "family template".

    In the top half of the sheet record details of the father and mother of the family group in question; include space for their parents names, marriage details and whether either (or both) remarried. Then, in the bottom half, record all the details of the children: date of birth and where born; who, when and where they married (assuming they did); and (sad, but it does happen) when they died if unmarried. (If there is census info available this too could be recorded in the bottom half!) For the children that married, a further template can be filled out, as can one for all the parents, brothers, sisters, etc of the original family group.

    Using this type of template (which of course can be adapted to suit and doesn't even have to be created on a computer) means that family details are stored in a way that is easy to follow and allows simple cross referencing (especially when used alongside a more traditional family tree type layout). Its certainly worked for me on a number of family trees that I have traced and/or helped on!

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  • maxkirk
    replied
    Originally posted by kakha View Post
    ..... DNA forum Georgians and Scots have almost same DNA .....
    Hi .
    Many Scots have distant Scandinavian ancestral roots , and the 13 century Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson records that some of the Norse peoples have origins in the North Asia / Black Sea region , so the DNA linkup is not at all surprising .

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  • kakha
    replied
    Greets to Scots

    Dear all

    Sorry if i am starting this subject not at wright place, but still if any of you is interested or just had heard any information regard Georgian and Scotish roots and similarities with these two nations please respond.
    As i have checked on DNA forum Georgians and Scots have almost same DNA and that was surprise to me. Besides i had a friend a lecturer in history locally here in Georgia, Tbilisi and he was saying, that Scots, Spanish (especially Basks) and Italians , portugese (all these are Iberians) have roots from Georgia, Caucasus.

    All these Iberians i know OK, but Scots were really surprise to me. So if anybody has any information or just interested in this issue (with similarities of two Georgian and Scot people) please answer me, here or pm.
    By the way, from archaic period there are clans in mountains of Georgia as well.

    Thanks in advance

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  • HBlanton
    replied
    Scottish/English Heritage

    Greetings to all here!

    I am 56 years old, and finally persuaded the Judge to open my sealed adoption records, which was held at Miami-Dade County, Florida USA, where I was born. Spiritually I knew all along where I was from. My 37 marker yDNA and mtDNA tests also confirmed this.

    Now that I know I am a Blanton, I have traced from landing in America, certain relatives in 1654 - however, also the origin of the family:

    I found the crest, which is believed to have been granted to the Blanton Family in 1508 under the reign of King Henry VII. Originating in Lancashire County, England. It is said that their relatives were of the Clan Campbell. Sir Colin of Lochow, was knighted in 1280 and his descendant Sir Duncan was created a peer by James II of Scotland in 1445 becoming Duncan Campbell of Lochow, Lord of Argyll, Knight, 1st Lord Campbell. Colin Campbell (c. 1433–1493) succeeded his grandfather as the 2nd Lord Campbell in 1453 and was created Earl of Argyll in 1457. The 8th Earl of Argyll was created a marquess in 1641, when Charles I visited Scotland and attempted to quell the rising political crisis (and the fall-out from the event known as The Incident). With Oliver Cromwell's victory in England, the marquess became the effective ruler of Scotland. Upon the restoration, the marquess offered his services to King Charles II but was charged with treason and executed in 1661. His lands and titles were forfeited but were restored to his son in 1663, Archibald, who became the 9th Earl of Argyll.

    This is all I have researched thus far outside the U.S. I know there are "Blanton's" in the UK today, so I keep looking for cousins and descendants!

    Harry

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  • Bluehawk
    replied
    The data base we've been using has a purely American heritage program and an International one to supplement that - from which Americans using it derive whatever can be obtained by access to all the records, LDS being one which is included from time to time, available to it.

    Interestingly, birth, marriage, death and probate records from various parts of Great Britain and Europe are abundantly provided, along with Peerage and Royal Families-related information and something called the "Millenium File Record."

    For certain levels, one might say, of Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish family history where the individual was or married into the aristocracy then about 25% of the time we find stories or more detailed narratives about their lives. Those, of course, are fascinating to an American for whom any tradition lasting 200 years is practically ancient, and rare by definition.

    In my personal case, I too still live in the town and region where the maternal line has lived since the early 1800s - which is a big help in that the graves are here within 100 miles or so, and several family members are still around to ask questions of.

    Looking back upon my one foray into England, with a side trip north to Leiston for the purpose of visiting A.S. Neill at his Summerhill school, my self-guided tour of Westminster Abbey pretty much cemented a requisite cultural humility most of my fellow countrymen have not experienced, evidently. So, living within close proximity to truly ancient relatives must be quite something.

    Originally posted by Polwarth View Post
    I have no views on Ancestry.com

    All I would say is that many Americans use the LDS records and quote them as 'gospel'. They aren't! Anyone can claim anyone else as an ancestor - and then it makes it difficult to actually work out what or who are 'real'....

    I'm lucky - most of my family have been buried no more than a couple of hundred miles from my home. I really do sympathise with foreigners trying to work out their ancestry!

    Good luck with your research.

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  • Polwarth
    replied
    I have no views on Ancestry.com

    All I would say is that many Americans use the LDS records and quote them as 'gospel'. They aren't! Anyone can claim anyone else as an ancestor - and then it makes it difficult to actually work out what or who are 'real'....

    I'm lucky - most of my family have been buried no more than a couple of hundred miles from my home. I really do sympathise with foreigners trying to work out their ancestry!

    Good luck with your research.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluehawk
    replied
    A bit o' noob

    Being not only a noobie, but also an American - yes, "in search of his family Scottish ancestors" this topic is high on my list of grandfatherly interests.

    A "wee" story in this regard:

    Like most families and, I imagine, absent ANY sort of proof whatsoever it was passed from elders to sons and daughters that the BELL family were Irish. Turns out, we were somewhere in the vicinity of Ulster for a fairly short period of generations, having come thence from Scotland, and hence to the British Colonies further west - thereafter known as The United States (which have been Federalist and remain disunited since conception).

    What little genealogy existed was written on paper in the ole familiar Family Tree format which took us back no further than the late 1700s in time and no more eastward than Virginia. Word of mouth being what it is, that was all we had to go by - that and the unstoppable resurgence of persons having decidedly RED hair being amongst us.

    Whenever I did have the presence of mind to ask one of the elders, prior to their permanent involuntary membership in the choir eternal, they simply repeated what was on that tree, if they remembered that much. Were they alive today, then both sides might be more inclined to get serious about the matter.

    Fast Forward to the 21st century and personal computers and Ancestry.com - which I have labored with these past two months. To date, from the four inevitable stems my two daughters and I have entered in excess of 15,000 related and somewhat-related and not at all-related individuals stemming back from our bitty twigs to their stout limbs and branches as far as, in some cases, 5-8th century Europe and British Isles, etc.

    The Bells remain a troublesome group, however. Yet, we've managed to follow the data base back to one Matthew Bell of Kirkconnel born in 1652, and joining the choir from Antrim in 1688. His son, also a Matthew Bell, was born Irish.

    Assuming the veracity of Ancestry.com's data and our attentiveness to details along the way, getting this far back as been a blessing.

    Any opinion's o'er there in Scotland as to how reliable Ancestry.com might be or not be in an endeavor such as ours?

    p.s.
    I did, in fact, touch your soil one time in person - landing at Edinburgh on my way from London to Montreal in 1968.

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  • Robert Hutton
    replied
    Writing things down may seem silly, but when my computer crashed with 15,000 names, it was only because I wrote things down and NEVER THREW ANYTHING AWAY, that I was able to rebuild my tree on a nother computer and another two independent sites.

    What is not written by hand is copied and filed today. If starting out, make your file alphabetical and organize as you go. I got a filing cabinet four years after I really needed one and wished I had bought one at the outset, but one learns from one's mistakes and not everyone has room for a four drawer filing cabinet, but my research now needs that and more.

    The home office is grateful for the Family History Department and its budget for the generous donation of office space and eternally free file folders.

    WE can all learn from those who have experience beyond our own.

    Leave a comment:


  • willhollady
    replied
    COOL!! do not forget the dates problem

    Yeh! PD I think I am here.

    Don't forget the problem pf dates ie mom b. 1696 son b. 1656 - common sense??

    Or how 'bout son b. 1555 m. (of parents) 1560 - aaaa I have my suspicions

    Your friend form Texas.

    Talk to U eMail

    Leave a comment:


  • Pirate Faery
    replied
    Family Ancestry

    If I might interject a comment here: When I started working on Genealogy 18 years ago - I had someone tell me that I had to go backwards to go forward. The information available differes depending on which side of the pond you are on. The churches in most of Europe kept excelent records , however the churches on this side of the pond didn't keep such accurate records until probably in the early to mid 1800's - centralization of records didn't start in most states until the early 1920's - so there is a 200 year gap in some records.

    The LDS center does indeed have millions up millions of records. I problem with trusting some of the data is that they have one of my great-great grandmothers listed as a child of her husband - and they have her 7 children listed as her brothers and sisters. She was 29 years younger than her husband.

    ANotehr problem that I have with them is that they seem to want to "plug in" data : example there are 4 johns all born within 3 years of each other - so instead of puting all 4 johns in the proper family, they look at, say a 1850 sensus and find a child named John that belongs to Marvin - but the John that belongs to this Marvin was born in 1845 and is 5 - so they pick one and stick it in there -- when indeed they one that they just pludded in belongs to James in Adamsville - not Marvin in Smithville. If you get my drift here.

    I have used them as a basis of possible information: I spend time going thrugh the cemeteries myself when I can and I send for printed documents when I can spare the extra funds -- Obit's: generally tell who the parents were, Siblings and if there are girls, they are usually listed with the last name of the Husband - Estate papers - Wills are the best source of info in most cases. Will's named the wife (if she is still alive) and normally the children. Any children left at home are usually listes as "Of the Home" the daughters are usually named with the last name of the husband may namet he son in law with the wofes name: Example Elizabeth, wife of Ducan MacRae - so now you have a married daughter and the name of the man that she married.

    I don't know about the census records in Scotland but the Ceneus records in the U.S. really aren't of much use until 1860-

    The other largest problem is teh naming of children: many names are not only repeated with the family : two cousins named Thomas or Elizabeth - but they continue to use the same names generation after generation:

    Middle names: This is a good source for family connections ; many times a child (male or female) may carry the mothers maiden name or the maiden name of the mothers mother or the fathers mother - another good source to follow at times : Example: my Mary Daniel MacRae carried her daddies name Daniel as a middle name and an uncle Charles MacRae Gibson carried my grandmother maiden name of MacRae as his middle name. There are little tricks that you pick up the longer you "dig up bones" on paper.

    If anyone would like to contact me and ask questions off line, I'd be more than glad to lend a helping hand if I can

    Scottish.faery@yahoo.com

    :

    Leave a comment:


  • jafapete
    replied
    Researching family history

    Hi Folks,
    I'm just a newbie to this list but have some experience of researching family history. (Some people distinguish the compilation of family trees - genealogy - from family history, which seeks a fuller picture of one's ancestry.)

    All the advice so far is great.

    Can I make a plea for the exercise of critical faculties in researching family? Every source should be treated as suspect. Even official records can be wrong, as the large number of corrections suggests. Family too. And especially the LDS records on Familysearch. Too many people just take the LDS data - usually the IGI (International Genealogical Index) - and put it somewhere like genesreunited, and then others lift it, and so on. I've found innumerable mistakes on genereunited, etc. So many, I don't usually bother notifying the owners anymore. In short, everything should be checked against another source, if possible, and sources should be noted.

    For researching ancestors from 1855, when official registration of BDMs (births deaths, marriages) were introduced, to recent times, scotlandspeople can't be beat. Their indexing of women by the maiden names and married names seems inconsistent, but otherwise it's easy and relatively cheap to search for BDMs from 1855. Registration extracts cost 1 quid each, so the costs can mount, but it's fast and a lot cheaper than travelling around the world for someone in NZ like me.

    I have through genesreunited found many distant relatives and have added many little bits to my family tree. It's worth joining for the first 6 months. But the tree-making program sucks (clumsy and tortuous) and the rampant capitalism grates. What an idea though - get zillions of genealogists to pay to put their own trees online so that they can connect with each other, and use this as an opportunity to on-sell. Clever!

    Discussion forums on sites like genforum.com and rootsweb used to be very useful, but seem to be becoming less used. Maybe everybodies headed to ancestry.com, genesreunited and so on.

    Then there's google and, especially for the family historians, google books. If you are lucky and your ancestors were middle class or higher in the social orders, then there's a treasure trove awaiting, and it gets better by the day. You'll be surprised what comes up. Books like, Robertson, G. A Genealogical Account of the Principal Families in Ayrshire, More Particularly in Cunninghame, 1823 can now be read on-line. Tips: Use inverted commas for complete names, e.g., "Hamish McHamish" and or family names with the place where they lived and see what you get.

    Enjoy! Cheers Peter
    Last edited by jafapete; 19th February 2008, 19:55.

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  • ScotSites
    replied
    Anyway, with regard to genealogy software, Rootsweb lists the following:

    Brother's Keeper
    Family Tree Maker
    Legacy
    Lifelines (Unix)
    Personal Ancestral File (PAF)
    Reunion (Macintosh)
    The Master Genealogist (TMG)
    RootsMagic

    More details can be found in RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees!
    Last edited by kathyv; 6th February 2008, 23:14. Reason: removing quote from already demed unnecessary post. . . less confusion that way!

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  • Babz
    replied
    Rootsweb isn't too bad

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