Monday, December 19, 2016

Family Genealogy

Instead of blogging, I spent the weekend working on my family tree.  Since items and histories are added to the internet on a daily basis, I can usually find something new.  Sometimes I'm lucky in looking for a specific person, and sometimes I look for years without any entries turning up.  I've been looking for my maternal Swedish great-great-grandparents since 1981, and a few months ago, discovered that my great-grandfather's brother had filled out his parents' names on his wedding license in Manhattan, New York City in 1901.  In 1940, the third brother's widow filled in completely different names on her husband's death certificate.  I have both sets of names, but I trust the son's memory more than I do the daughter-in-law's.
   Many people have problems sorting out different generations when there are repeated names, and especially if the surnames are common ones - say, Smith, Jones, Green, White, Carter, Johnson and Hall, in the United States.  I was going through one of my family trees and realized that a connection I had accepted as correct simply could not be correct - unless the woman had had a child in her 60s. (Now, that might be possible today, but in the 1700s - no.)  So I erased that entire line and am starting over with what I can prove.
   Mom's family line is mainly English, with a strong helping of Swede, and two generations back, the addition of a Dane.  I can trace the Dane's family back to the 1500s, thanks to the Lutheran Church's records in Gylling, Aarhus, Denmark.  Still seeking information on all the Swedes, and Englishmen who settled in Accomack County, Virginia and Chincoteague Island.  I know that some of them flowed down the coast from the more northern settlements, and I'm continuously checking on that.
   Dad's family is the one that has a lot of very traceable lines - I'm still looking for the forebears of Thomas Nock, who was born in England in 1617 and came to the colonies before 1642.  The Clevelands can be traced back to Rollo, the Viking first Duke of Normandy.  Then there are the Lancasters, the Washbournes, the Winslows, and the Crewes'.  In looking at the family tree of Job Winslow yesterday, I realized that I had no information on his wife other than her name - Ruth Chase Cole.  I started digging with pleasure and went to bed this morning at 2 a.m., having traced her family back to a man born in the year 880....  Talk about exciting!  Writing down information about an ancestor who lived more than 1,000 years ago is mind-boggling, for me...  I wonder exactly what kind of life they had - what would they have considered as a "special treat?"  It's just amazing....

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