Genealogy Wise

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I'm just getting started in the world of Genealogy and I would like to hear people's stories of how they came to love Genealogy or what their biggest reward so far has been in researching their own generations or just doing Genealogy in general.

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Hi Everyone, I became interested in my family history, when I was 9 years old, I would drive everyone crazy. I would have to say that Genealogy has been a great deal of fun for me. When I first started, I knew who my dad was, and his brother. Didn't have a clue who his mother or his dad was. Another problem I had I no longer lived in the state I was born in. But I still pushed on...I never gave up not one iota. When one wall, was thrown up at me, I found a way through it. But in the end, not only did I find out who my grandparents were, I found out who their parent were t
My biggest find was my father and getting a new family. I left home at 16 with no knowledge of my father's family.My mother wouldn't help until she sent a dilapidated letter with holes in it from my paternal grandfather. Written in 1941, it was postmarked. I called the operator who told me there was a man by that name 60 mile away (a miracle because that was in another state!). This was my uncle. He was the family historian, wrote articles about our family history for the newspaper, and the only man who had my father's address and phone number. One catch - he was dying of cancer. I never met him, but we spent hundreds on phone calls every month. When he died, I went to the funeral and met my new family. We are all close and yearly have a reunion with four of my half-sisters. My Dad died in 1989 and I was the only one of 8 kids there. Through my father's family in a concerted effort with my cousins, I am researching my great-grandfather, William H. Pullen. The only information I have is two wives and his birth in 1813/14. Meeting my father for the first time was the greatest thrill. Becoming part of his family was the next largest thrill. My Dad is now gone, but all the family has gathered except for one half-brother, Stephen E. Pullen, that we are still looking for. When we find him, our family will be complete. I have full confidence that through the genealogy efforts of our family, we will find him, too. - J Pullen-Grant
I was very lucky to find our family Bible being sold by a book dealer on eBay, a lovely two volume illustrated edition dated 1853. Goodness knows when and why it left the family, probably when the last of my great-grandfather's siblings died in the 1950's. I'm still flabbergasted at all the lucky coincidences that led me to find it again.
I have actually found the names of my geart-great Grandfather and great-great grandmothers. No body alive new his or hers names. I have since put thier names onto the family tree that I am doing.
I have had replies from other relatives saying that they also did not know thier names and it was great to find out.
My biggest find so far was finding in the Newberry Library (in Chicago, Il) a list of indexed cemetery listings for Washington County, NY. When I found my G Grandfathers name, I was so excited, that I could not look for anything further that day. I rote down all the info in the book. Cemetery name, tele # and address and were in the cemetery he is buried. The plus to this was there were a total of 6 O'Connell's buried there. I knew that 2 of them fit the names of other relatives, but I was not going to jump the gun. I still wrote all of their information down as well.

The very next day, I called St Paul's/ St Mary's Church in Hudson Falls, NY and they transferred me to a wonderful lady named Delores. Delores pulled out her book and confirmed that this Dennis O'Connell was indeed my great Grandfather. She found it odd that my Irish ancestors were buried in a French Cemetery. I made her laugh with the family story that G Grandma was French (but no proof yet). The exciting part was not only did I find my G Grandfather, but I found my GG Grandfather as well. I also found a GG Aunt that I did not know about. Pretty much 5 of the 6 people have been placed into my tree. I am still looking for information on one women buried there that I have not been able to make connections with. I will not give up.
I was so excited at this find, that I cried, while on the phone (I know it is silly), but I was so excited I could not help myself. My aunt in California had tried years before to find info and she did not find anything on these people. Though she did find a half sister she did not know she had!
My next step is to get ahold of whatever death records I can on the 6 O'Connell's!

Thanks to the research on this line, I have found 2 distant cousins that are my great Grandfathers niece and nephew, still living in Jefferson County, NY. They are both older and do not remember any family stories so far. But I do hope to go and meet them in the near future!

Thank you to all those who compile information and get it into our FHC's for those doing research. Without them, I would still be searching!
My biggest and most devastating find was discovering with the use of DNA testing that I had been researching
the wrong man for 15 years. Just because the surname is the same and the parties are living in the same
areas does NOT mean that they are related. !
I have wanted to use DNA testing to see if I could get through my brick wall (great-grandfather). I was told they only use the male DNA. Has this changed? I'm hearing more and more women say they have found relatives through this use. I have all my male relatives in the grave. Have they changed their procedures?
Our family has had several. The dna testing that clarified our Cherokee story to African was probably one of the first finds, before that the non-match of one surname, then the last one was the non-match of another surname that had been researched for over 30 years by a number of researchers. DNA broke that one up right away. Now he matches another surname more closely than his surname. Name may have been changed about the time surnames came into being.

There is always a surprise it seems when you start unraveling family stories.
I knew that one of my ancestors had journeyed from Berkshire to Dorset in the 1840's and settled in the parish of Milbourne St Andrew....so when I was on holiday a few years ago we visited this tiny village. There we bumped into the local vicar who knew all about our family, found someone who was alive and remembered my ancestor (she was actually raised by her) and the icing on the cake was that she also had a picture. After she passed away she left me the family bible and a bookmark made by her grandmother. So, it pays to visit the places that our ancestors lived in! The full storey appeared in the Dorset FHS magazine a few years ago.
I started working on genealogy in 2001. I was born when my dad was in his late forties, & by 2001 in my twenties, most of his family had passed away without me ever really knowing them. To make matters worse, no one had written anything down. My dad didn't even know what his grandparents names were. I love a good mystery & the Gerke family didn't let me down. I searched for my great-grandfather & his family for two years, which was no easy task. I knew that his name was Simon or Samuel & that his last name was spelled differently than how we spell it now. Two years later, ready to give up, I decided to try spelling our name Gearke. I was online, and as soon as I did it, his father, his brothers, his mom-everyone came on my screen. I was stunned. Happy is an understatement. From that one moment, I was able to find some marriage records, death records, etc. I still, eight years after starting, have many mysteries to solve and have a long way to go. But I'm hooked. I want to know the family I never met. If I could do this for a living, I would. Have fun on your journey, & remember just when you are ready to give up, you will usually get your answer :)
Thanks. I have been doing reseach for over 30 years so I know what you mean, can't give up :)

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