April 9, 2012

The discoveries I've made on Ancestry.com

   While on Facebook the other day an ad popped up for an app. I hadn't seen before.. Build your Family Tree.  What make this app. so great is that it pulls all the information from anyone you have tagged as family and their family tags as well. I had fun playing and continued on to the Ancestry.com website taking full advantage of the free 14 day trial.  Well the discoveries that I've made.....

     Blended Families
          A lot is made today about blended families.  Well I am here to tell you they are nothing new.  The main difference is that today the original spouse is usually still around.  I have a great (x3) Uncle who not only married 3 times but two of his wives had children from previous marriages.  The Brady Bunch has nothing on them. As I don't have the exact dates it appears as if marriage number two occurred less than 18 months after the death of his first wife and marriage number three happened within a year after he lost his second wife. Let's face it marriages in those days were done more for the common sense of it all.  He had a brood of children that needed a mother and so he sought one out, twice. Oh the fun I am having with the 23 children/step children that Uncle has provided
    Repetitive names
     This discovery really astonished me.  Very often when a child died their name would be reused. I understand that unfortunately it wasn't uncommon for children to not always survive into adulthood.  But to use a deceased child's name for another child? It is not as if there was a limited option of names. Inquiring minds wanted to know (okay just mine) how common a practice this was so I went onto a number of genealogy boards and found many others asking the same question.  It does seem to be most common in the UK/Ireland histories.  Just as common was naming many children with the same first name and different middle names. One main reason among Catholics is the habit of naming children for the saint nearest to their birth/christening.  Another reason is the very strong obligation to family names.  I ran across this "rule of names" more than once:
Naming pattern:
  • 1st son is given the father's father name
  • 2nd son is given the mother's father name
  • 3rd son is given the father's name
  • 4th son is given the father's eldest brother's name
  • 5th son is given the mother's eldest brothers name
  • and in reverse for daughters.(which I totally don't get)
I have to admit in my husband's family they were quite adamant about naming the first male and female for the parents. In fact my husband should have his father’s name but that was passed onto his younger brother.
     Different Families:  In keeping up with the times I appreciate that Ancestry.com offers different family relationships.  I was very pleased to find you can choose whether a parent is biological, step, adoptive, guardian or foster.  My mother was a foster child so I thought her side of the tree would be empty or I’d see dotted lines instead of solid. Kudos to Ancestry.com as the only way you would know that familiar relationship is any different from the others is through hitting on that specific person.  And don’t you know for now that is where I am finding the most recent updates complete with pictures!

     Here’s my advice for beginners from a beginner: be sure to include any in-law you can on your tree.  You may wonder why you would want the family history of the wife of your cousin who is three times removed. The simple answer is this~ someone from that family may have done some serious research and included your cousin’s family as well.  By including that name in your tree you open yourself up to more connections which mean more trees which ultimately mean more discoveries!! Oh the places you'll go!
     Have fun!!  Be sure to let me know what you've discovered and if you have any hints please pass then on.
Well I can see where my curls come from but didn't know my paternal grandma was a blonde!


  1. I used to be into Genealogy, although I haven't done anything in a couple of years. It's addictive though - once you start, it's difficult to step away from it. I think you've inspired me to get back to work, though!!

  2. Lisa you are so right it is incredibly addictive :) But so much fun and truly can be a family activity which is also a plus. IF you go through FB you can get a 14 day free trial to boot. They are in the process of posting the 1940s census which I guess is a big to do. I'll admit we're excited to find some people on there


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