Ancestry.com

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Von Jones, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I haven't renewed my membership to Ancestry.com but I plan to. If you ever were curious about your family or your spouse's family or any one's heritage Ancestry.com is the place to start. My mom and other family members began a genealogy tree of her side of the family. I decided to research my dad. I didn't know my father very well as I had some idea about him that I wanted to have confirmed. Unfortunately, his side of the family was quite secretive so I didn't get very far. I must say that he was a very mysterious man himself. I have a big problem with the 'not knowing.'

    You see commercials and some programs on television about how celebrities trace their heritage, doesn't it make you curious?
     
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  2. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I'm very curious. My maiden name is Campbell, so obviously, somewhere along the line, my father's family came from Scotland. I have a lot of the stereotypical Scottish traits, so I'd love to find out more about it. My mother's people have English and Welsh names, so it would seem that they should have been enemies at some point.

    I have a cousin (my father's, brother's daughter - also a Campbell) who went to Ireland on vacation. She was in a small town, in a shop that sold tartans, and she innocently asked for the Campbell tartan. Little did she know, about 600 years before, the Campbells had raided the town, raping and pillaging as they went. The store keepers started yelling and screaming out her, and literally shoved her out of the store, where all the ruckus drew the attention of the other townsfolk. Once they learned that she was a Campbell, she was "shown the door" and took her cue to leave town.

    Anyway, I'd love to find out when my "people" came here. I know my father's family settled in the western part of Virginia, in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, while my mother's family settled in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

    What are your experiences with Ancestry.com. Has it been helpful in your research? Have you found out anything about your father's family? Do you recommend it? How much does it cost?
     
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  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I started with the 14 day free trial. I think it took me 14 days to get use to learning my way around and functions that could be performed. After I felt comfortable with it I signed up for the next affordable session and began my research and built my family tree. Yes it was very helpful with possible hints (the green leaf) to follow. You have to be able to do the math though or you could wind up with some one in your tree that you are not related to. The resources were endless. If you have any records of any family member they are excellent resources. The spelling of names may be wrong but you need to follow it just the same.

    As far as my father, no. I haven't given up though, he has a history I just have to find it. I do know that he was a musician/manager.

    As a starting point I would recommend Ancestry.com even though there are others that do the same thing. The cost depends on how far out (other countries) you want to search back. You would need access to those records which would cost more.

    My suggestion would be to start with one family member first and adding all the information and work the hints until you hit a roadblock or dead end.

    I really enjoyed it my first go 'round. I can relate to the celebrities in their excitement now.
     
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  4. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    That's one thing that I think we've missed out in our "modern" world. Generations ago, people knew their family history - they knew about their ancestors and they repeated their verbal history to each generation. They sat around and told all the old stories, so you knew about the black sheep, or the romantic tales or about the heroes. We don't do that much anymore, we don't seem to value the older generation like we used to.
     
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  5. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I've always wanted to know more about my family, but none of the free searches I've tried have ever been much use. Living in South Africa, I think it may be more difficult for me to find the information I want than it would be for people living in places like the US or UK, and I'm really not keen to pay to use a site like Ancestry.com and then find that there's no information of any use to me there.
     
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  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    Sometimes you can access information through archives located within a government agencies such as Vital Statistics. I'm not really sure how that would pan out for you in South Africa though. If you knew someone here in the States maybe they could assist you in your venture.

    I would take advantage of the 14 day free trial, get all the information I could and cancel the subscription on the 13th day. It's worth a try...
     
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  7. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    Thanks. I might just try that when I know that I'm going to have a lot of free time. 14 days may sound like a lot, but it can go by very quickly without my getting too much done besides the day to day basics.
     
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  8. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    That's great, Michelle! A tip - start with your grandparents' (maternal or paternal) birth dates. Good luck!
     
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  9. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I am interested in learning more about my family ancestry also. My grandmother came over from Gernamy in 1901, married my grandgather, and my mom was born a few years after. My grandfather was from English parents, but his mother died when they children were young, and so all of the chldren were adopted out, and went to several different families. My great-grandmother was buried in Texas, and apparently there is now a lake there where the town and cemetary used to be.
    My grandfather was adopted by a German family named "Fuchs"(Fox), and one of his adopted brothers was Oscar Fox, the songwriter. My grandfather also wrote songs, and became a piano tuner, among other things.
    Here is a picture of my grandfather in his younger years.

    I would love to see what I can find out about the last few generations, but I really don't care beyond that.
    I understand that some people really enjoy tracing their family tree back several hundred years; and finding out whether they have any famous people or royalty in their lineage.
    I am not interested in knowing that particularly, although I guess that it would be interesting.
    It seemed like Ancestry was pretty expensive for even the basic membership; so I have just used websites that offer free information.
    image.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
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  10. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    Yvonne, I have a great many questions about my father's parents since he was born in 1918. It has always been a great mystery to me. I did find out one answer during my search that put a lot of questions to rest though.

    I think it's important to know some of your heritage even if you can't name everyone in the photos that you come across.
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Von, your story sounds interesting, and i hope that you are able to find out what you want to know about your father and your ancestry.
    I remember when I was a kid, my folks would take out their box of old photographs and look through them. Mom would explain to me who everyone in the picture was, and where it was taken; but I was so young at the time that most of what she told me has been forgotten.

    When I was out with my daughter exploring around the Tennessee River, and we found that old, old cemetery buried deep in the woods, it really helped me to understand how easily people can lose track of what became of their family.
    People who were buried there in the 1800's mostly have no kind of markers to even show there was a grave at all, and many of the ones that are marked were hand carved.
    There was a town named Cottonport next to the river where they shipped the cotton from. For some reason, the whole town just disappeared around the mid-1800's, and most of the history of the people (of any race) has been lost.
    After we got home from exploring out along the river, I started researching online for old cemeteries in that area, and was able to find out this much of the information. Here is a link to the webpage with pictures of the old cemetery.

    http://aigcemeteriesii.weebly.com/centerstar-cemetery-limestone-co-al.html
     
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  12. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I saw a sign in one of the photos that the cemetery is a natural wildlife area which explains all the overgrowth. Do you often go trekking in areas similar? Do you carry a camera with you?
     
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  13. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    I am really interested in trying this website out, as I only know my ancestors up to one point, but I was turned off by the fact that it is a subscription service. Sure, it may have a trial, but it automatically charges you after the trial is done, and I hate these things because I always forget to cancel the service before they charge me.
     
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  14. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    @John D. there are also services available for free as Yvonne has stated in another post. You might want to check online. As far as trials go, I understand too. I always put a reminder at least two days before the trial expires and cancel at that time.

    I like Ancestry.com. You can find out so much and have you thinking of more questions leading to more discoveries.
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Von, I used to spend a lot of time out of door, especially when I used to have horses, and went riding a lot. Now, I live in town, and plus it is a lot harder for me to do the things that used to be easy to do when I was younger.

    Sometimes my daughter takes me out exploring with her, and that is what we were doing that day. She always has at least one camera, plus her iPhone; so she is the picture taker for the expeditions when we go.
    She likes to gather driftwood, and had been down along the river looking for some when she discovered the old cemetery; so the next time we went out, that is where she took us.
    There is just a lot of history in this part of the country, and I enjoy it when we go and see the different areas and old homes. One of the first places she took me is down to the historical part of Huntsville and we spent several hours walking through that area of town and admiring all of the grand old homes there.
     
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