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|Celtic Radio Community > Genealogy & Family History > Genealogy 101|
|Posted by: CelticRose 07-Dec-2003, 09:24 PM|
| I have to admit that I am just starting this adventure. My cousins have done most of the work for me, but I am wanting to do it myself and get further than where they hit the road block. First of all, what are your favorite websites and genealogy softwares to work from. So far I have really liked these websites. Anxious to hear yours!
|Posted by: Catriona 08-Dec-2003, 05:47 AM|
| When you are sure of the details of the first immigrant from Scotland, it may be helpful to look at the GRO site. They are based at
General Register Office for Scotland
New Register House
They charge for their services - but if you marshall your queries ahead of time, it doesn't work out too expensively per search
Another site which may be of interest is that of the Lord Lyon Court. The Lord Lyon oversees Scottish heraldry matters, and is part of the Scottish judiciary system.
Another Scottish heraldry site
Here's the Public Records Office for England and Wales
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 08-Dec-2003, 03:30 PM|
| I would add www.genealogy.com and www.ancestry.com. Much of the content is subscription-based, but there is also some free content.
For some families, there are extensive websites not associated with any of the larger sites. For these, a google search using as precise of information as you have available is often helpful.
A family Bible can be invaluable. When I started, I had little more than the names and dates of my grandparents, as recorded in my family Bible. If you have any ancestors who have kept old diaries, letters, or other documents, they can be be invaluable, as well. My wife recently discovered her gg-grandmother's diary, in which were recorded the details of her gg-grandfather's career as a Connecticut Yankee running the Union blockade for the CSA. Until the diary was discovered, her family was convinced that he had been a soldier with the 10th Texas Infantry (CSA), but denied that he had ever been a blockade runner.
|Posted by: CelticRose 08-Dec-2003, 05:00 PM|
| Wow! Catriona! Thank you, thank you! I put all those sites in my favorites list and when the time comes, I will have the research at hand. I especially appreciate you adding the public records for England and Wales. I hit a road block at 1700 with my 6th grandfather having been born in Grindleton, York England.
Mailagnus! I talked with my mother this morning and there is no family Bible! My family were very poor at keeping records! Sheesh! My mother didn't even have a birth certificate for the longest time, can you believe that one? I was shocked! This was many years ago. She had never worked and was always a housewife, so I guess she never needed it back many years ago.
Do you find more information from the paid sites than the free sites, do you think?
anyway, many thanks to both of you!
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 08-Dec-2003, 06:08 PM|
The main thing I've found on the paid sites are basic information: names, relationships, dates, which I then use for google searches to find the stories that go with the names.
|Posted by: CelticRose 08-Dec-2003, 06:23 PM|
| Okay! Great information! Thanks for that. Did you also tell me that you use Family Tree software?
Also, do you input information on some of these sites? Like I want to input information about my Sutton family in rootsweb/Ancestry.com but can't figure out how that works! Boy! am I ever full of questions!
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 08-Dec-2003, 06:52 PM|
| I do use the Family Tree software. When I find a gedcom I consider reliable, I downlaod it, and convert it to a Family Tree file.
You can do free searches on Ancestry.com by going to
and filling in as much information as you have, and see where it takes you. I usually run into a lot of dead-ends before finding anything useful, so it does require patience.
|Posted by: CelticRose 08-Dec-2003, 08:52 PM|
| That's what is happening to me so far with the Sutton family on the ancestry.com. I can't figure it out. My cousin sent me this packet of information she did on the Sutton family all the way to 1800 and I can't find none of these people on the web! She went to libraries and public records office in Georgia, so she was able to get this information first hand.
So how far back have you gotten in your family? What are the surnames and ancestry?
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 08-Dec-2003, 09:24 PM|
I'm fairly sure of some lines back to the 5th century. Others fade into myth somewhere between the Norman Conquest and the 2nd Century.
More recent family names include: McDonald, Morgan, Franklin, Abbott, Deppe, Ulmer, Campbell, Frazier, Strong, Livingston, McCulloch, Hog(g), Wolsey, Hopkins, Whaley, Gibson, and Joslin. Several of the families started compiling published genealogies as early as the 1600's. So once I tracked my more recent ancestor to the published genealogies, going farther back was fairly easy, particularly for the lines more closely associated with the English or Scottish crowns.
The ones I have the most information on tend to come from low-leverl aristocracy fleeing from bad choices in the various English wars, or from losing their inheritance. Others, who seem to pop up out of nowhere in the late 18th or early 19th centuries, I suspect were farmers displaced by the Irish famine or the Scottish Clearances. By contrast, my wife's immigrant ancestors tend to be solidly middle class.
|Posted by: CelticRose 08-Dec-2003, 09:57 PM|
| My gosh, Mailagnus! You have gone that far back? I bet you have a really interesting history. And I am assuming you are keeping stories about all these folks. You must have a huge notebook! The little I have done, I have a stack of papers already!
How long have you been doing all this. My cousin who did our Sutton side said it took her 20 years to get as far back as 1800!
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 09-Dec-2003, 05:40 AM|
I've only been doing it for a few years, but am fortunate in that I have an aunt who has spent well over 20 years compiling the more recent data that get us to the published research done by earlier family members. She was able to travel to Scott County, VA, which was where many of our ancestors were from the 1600's until after the WBTS. For the most part, I've been pulling together published data from a variety of sources. I have far more data than I can really make sense of. Most of it is only in electronic form, but the printouts I have done are enough to fill a filing cabinet drawer. Lots of interesting strories. It's kind of fun to track immigration patterns and see where my ancestors fit into historical events. It's certainly brought history alive for my kids.
|Posted by: 3Ravens 09-Dec-2003, 11:12 AM|
|When I was a child, there were stiil little old ladies who called WBTS the late great unpleasantness. Of course at that point most of them had a father or g'father who fought in it!|
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 09-Dec-2003, 12:11 PM|
I know some folks in descendants's organizations who still call it the late unpleasantness.
|Posted by: CelticRose 09-Dec-2003, 02:19 PM|
| Umm.......duh! What is the WBTS?
My uncle who died many years ago had done all our family tree. However, he gave all the information to one of my cousins who died and consequently all the work he did was lost! I wish I had all that information as I remember him telling me he had gotten back pretty far. Oh well!
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 09-Dec-2003, 04:15 PM|
WBTS = War Between the States, a neutral term between "War of Yankee Agression" and "the late unpleasantness (from Southern perspective)."
|Posted by: CelticRose 09-Dec-2003, 04:40 PM|
|Oh boy! I should have know that one!..... Duh I have a brother-in-law who is a confederate re-enactor and he is in the Sons of .............. and a friend who is part of the Daughters of the ......... oh no I forget what they call that group. It is for men and women who have had ancestors who fought in the civil war and they refer to it as war between the states. Never heard "the late unpleasantries." Learn something everyday!|
|Posted by: TheCarolinaScotsman 11-Dec-2003, 10:47 PM|
|Just started reading this thread. Couple of things. One advantage to most subscription sites is access to US census records. These can prove invaluable (or in some cases, simply frustating). The local records your cousin consulted are all good. Most states have a department of archives and history (different names in different states). If they don't have records you are searching for, they will often be able to suggest where you can find them. As was mentioned, using a good search engine (I like Google and Webcrawler) can often help find resources that are not obvious (such as accounts of settlements, ships passenger lists, etc.) Very often churches that date back to colonial times will have records that are useful (some have written histories available for sale). And don't forget "special collections" in local libraries. The more you can learn of the history of the area your ancestors emmigrated from and where they settled, the more "clues" you will come across. Also, never take anything for granted (even family history) unless you can find documentary evidence to support it. Researchers in my family had hit a brick wall with my great grandfather for the last 80 years. Then one day I speculated that he had been born in another location from what Family history said; Bingo! found him within a week. Beware, once you start, you're addicted.|
|Posted by: CelticRose 12-Dec-2003, 12:46 PM|
|Thanks for all the info CarolinaScotsman. My family came from England, then to PA, then the Carolinas and then to Georgia. It is somewhere in North Carolina we are stuck. We think in Buncombe County but I have found nothing there. Maybe it is the wrong county and I need to look in the others instead. Thanks for your advice and help.|
|Posted by: maisky 12-Dec-2003, 12:48 PM|
I noted when I was living in north Georgia a while back that the WBTS is considered to be an unfinished contest in the minds of many of the locals.
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 12-Dec-2003, 01:37 PM|
One thing to consider is that during the Colonial and Post-Rev War era, county and even state boundaries frequently changed. You may want to look at what changes the area that is now Buncombe County went through before the current boundaries were set.
A good example is Scott County, VA, where I have found many ancestor. Scott County was carved out of other counties, carved out of other counties. It also took a while to settle the boundaries between Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. So, particularly for border counties (I don't know if this applies to Buncombe), at least some records may be in another state entirely.
|Posted by: CelticRose 12-Dec-2003, 01:46 PM|
|Mailagnus. Thanks for the great advice. I got in touch with one of my Sutton cousins last night and she has been working on this for 20 years and can't seem to get beyond the 1800 part. I am going to keep checking the NC territory and see what I can find, cause she may have the area all wrong.|
|Posted by: TheCarolinaScotsman 13-Dec-2003, 08:29 PM|
| CelticRose, if you send me your Sutton info, I'll be glad to see what I can find; maybe nothing, maybe something.
When I was growing up, Late Unpleastantness was used in "polite" company (ladies present), other wise it was the WBTS. If someone called it the "Civil War", they were imediately pegged as a Yankee. For the most part, the younger generation doesn't know the difference.
BTW, you mentioned Buncombe County. Did you know that is where the word bunk (as in "that's a lot of bunk") comes from. It is a shortened form of buncombe which came from the county name. Seems a congressional rep in the 1800s from Buncombe County was famous for his ridiculous statements, so the term buncombe was coined.
|Posted by: CelticRose 13-Dec-2003, 08:58 PM|
| Thanks CarolinaScotsman! Interesting about Buncombe County. I did tell you I lived in Asheville area, well really Leicester, for a couple of years. Here is the info on the Sutton family. Who we can't get beyond is Powell Sutton. We are stuck there. many thanks!
1. Powell Sutton 1805 to 1850?, m. S. Rhoda Taylor 11-11-1823 in Ruthorford County, North Carolina.
.....2. Austin Sutton b. 1827 d.1892, m. Adeline Blackstock 1847
.........3. Rev. Ervin Andrew Sutton b. April 30, 1858 Forsyth County,GA m. Salina C. Tatum
..............4. Martin Columbus Sutton b. December 1892, Gilmer Co, GA, d. 1948
|Posted by: CelticRose 16-Dec-2003, 08:13 PM|
| Found another website that might be of interest to all, if you don't already know about it. It's free too!
|Posted by: High Plains Drifter 16-Dec-2003, 09:18 PM|
| Celtic Rose, Don't overlook your local Federal Center. They have all US census record from 1930 and before on micro fiche(all individual census information is sealed for 70years)Also, if you are near Utah, the Family History Library of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City is the largest single depository of genealogical information in the world. Every 4 or 5 years, my wife and I go spend a week there and it is never long enough. You can borrow some much of the material on microfilm at your local Mormon Church, nearly all of them have Family History Centers. In the Great Lakes region, the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne, IN is the second largest in the US. If you have the opportunity to attend one of the genealogy seminars that are held throughout the country, they aren't cheap but many are very good. Often they are held at Highland Games and Festivals and these are usually a bit cheaper. Maybe most important are talks with the older members of your family. They are the ones that can provide you with many of the anecdotes that makes your family tree a family and not just a bunch of dates. Be careful with this family oral tradition though, my wife's uncle always claimed to be descended from Sir Francis Drake but Drake was never married and died with out issue. Another hard rule, when you find something, write down where you found it so you can find it again if need be and so that you can verify that information. It never hurts to check and double check your facts. It is real easy to waste a lot of time going down the wrong path by assuming something without proof.
Hope this helps and good hunting.
|Posted by: CelticRose 16-Dec-2003, 10:15 PM|
| Thanks High Plains Drifter! Thanks for all your tips! I greatly appreciate it. I will check out the local federal center. Never thought of that. I am in Arizona so pretty close to Utah. Right now I am just starting all this. My cousins have done most of the work for me until they got stuck. I bought the Family Tree software yesterday to start using. The only one living in the older generation is my mother and she remembers very little. yeah, about the family oral tradition. I keep hearing or reading about My many great grandfather having married Pocohantas, but not taking that as truth.....yet.
Many t hanks again!
|Posted by: A Shrule Egan 16-Dec-2003, 10:23 PM|
| Rosemary, I went on that http://www.gencircles.com/ . Were you able to find any information concerning your needs? When you were on that page, did you find it easy to search for what you were looking for?
I didn't stay on the page very long but the concept seems good, as long as they can get enough submitters to cross reference everything. I do think they need to organize the message board much better. To bulk all postings, regardless of surname into the heading of Ireland or what other country, will make it very difficult to research your needs and will be very time consuming.
They need to add a basic search. They just allow you to search the surname. I tend to use different ways of zeroing in on the information that I'm looking for.
It has potential to work and hopefully, they make a few changes to make it more user friendly.
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 17-Dec-2003, 09:01 AM|
It's something of a long shot, but you may want to do some research on your gx-grandfather, and see if you find any of his descendants who connect with your proven ancestors. For example, you could do a Google search using his name and the word descendants.
I agree with High Plains Drifter's advice re family oral tradition. My wife's family always thought their Crowell line was descended from Oliver Cromwell. When I found their immigrant ancestor, he turned out to be named Crowe. For some reason, the family used both Crowe and Crowell for a few generations, then settled on Crowell. Ironically, she does have a connection to Oliver, but not the one she thought, as Oliver is likely my great (many times removed) uncle through my Whaley line.
|Posted by: CelticRose 18-Dec-2003, 04:16 PM|
|Hi Mailagnus! thanks for your suggestions. I will try to do as you suggested. With the holidays approaching, it has been hard to spend much time doing this project. I was able to get a hold of another distant cousin and he is doing some research too on our family.|
|Posted by: CelticRose 18-Dec-2003, 04:19 PM|
Hi Shrule! I honestly glanced through that site and didn't get too far into it. I did try to look up some relatives, which brought me to nothing. but haven't checked out the message boards yet. I plan to dwelve into this more after the holidays. Just wanted to share with you all this site incase you hadn't heard of it. Thanks for your feedback on it.
|Posted by: lighthouse 27-Jan-2004, 08:39 PM|
| Ok I am wanting to start my search for my family ancestery search ans have no idea where to start. any ideas.
|Posted by: CelticRose 28-Jan-2004, 02:15 PM|
| Hi Darlene! Well these are the sites that I started out with and got some information on. Hope that helps.
and the LDS church www.familysearch.org
|Posted by: roll1959 02-Dec-2004, 10:45 AM|
|I Found a couple of programs that I use to for my searching for ancestors, beside the Web. One is called http://learn.arc.nasa.gov/worldwind/. It is a virtual map program that will allow you to find locations all around the Earth.
The other is genepro. It allows you to downlaod ged files.
|Posted by: dfilpus 02-Dec-2004, 11:17 AM|
First of all, start with your own family and relatives. Put together a list of information that you are interested in and ask everyone. Some may not have anything to add. Some may talk for hours. Then follow up on any family story that has historical leads. Ask for old pictures, scrapbooks, any physical evidence.
I found a lot, cleaning out my in-laws house. I went through every pile of paper, drawer and closet, looking for documentation. Your mileage may vary.
This can give you leads for your search. Family names and places are invaluable.
As well as the ancestry web sites, Google can help you find others that are doing the same thing as you.
There are lots of sources.
Good luck and have fun.
|Posted by: Lady of the Loch 28-Jun-2007, 11:31 PM|
| Thanks CR for this info. I just happened to be messing around tonight and stumbled upon this thread. ancestory .com has a free 3 day trial. Well, after having tons of trouble finding any information, I just traced them back to the 1500"s. Not only that but I have a good amount of scottish and irish blood in me which makes me feel right at home!
I tried the infokey.com site that was mentioned, but it told me it couldn't be found.
I am going to concentrate now on finding my ancestors who came from Ireland, but it will be difficult!
|Posted by: haynes9 01-Jul-2007, 07:07 AM|
Here is a link that might be helpful for Irish research:
Sherry Irvine is one of the instructors. I took a course with her a few years ago. It was very good and I am hoping to take the new course she is offering. The first one I took was when my dad was very ill, so I was not able to give it my full attention.
Hope this helps!
|Posted by: Lady of the Loch 02-Jul-2007, 06:27 PM|
|Thanks Haynes, I bookmarked the site and will take a look at it in a bit. I did come across some information, but the name o"brien seems to be a common name from Ireland, which will make it even harder since I only have estimated dates from that time. Plus their fathers first name is extremely common, Michael, but the mother is Hanorah,(which isn't as common but are still several in that time period) so maybe that will narrow it down.|
|Posted by: Harlot 01-Apr-2008, 08:00 PM|
| Boy I'm so gald I stopped here tonight, been trying all kinds of web sites. Going to take alot of what I've learned.
All I know about my fathers side is that I'm scottish ,Irish and oh yes English (not sure how that happened).
Going to take all this and work on it tomorrow. Can't wait
|Posted by: Rebecca Ann 02-Apr-2008, 07:34 AM|
| I'm Scots-Irish, Welsh and English along with a lot of other things. How the English happened is easy to figure out if you know a bit of history. England basically decided they were better and conquered everyone else. The king of England took over everything and it became the United Kingdom.
|Posted by: Harlot 02-Apr-2008, 07:16 PM|
| What I met by not knowing how that happened, the way the Scots and irish get along with the English I told my dad couldn't figure out how we came to be ,joking my father says "well one nite they did" and thats how it came to be LOL. My dad had a humor about him. But then I was about 13 years old at the time.
Gotta love him
|Posted by: Harlot 22-Apr-2008, 06:19 PM|
|Boy, have I been busy, I've found great and grandfather's names on alot of the sites I learned about here.I know where they lived in the 1900's,who they married, but I've hit a wall as to when and where my great grandfather came here and from where in England. I also can't find great grandmother's surname, I know what state she was born in and what month,and year,so I'm stuck not sure where to look next.Anyone have any ideas? But I've been having so much fun doing this. I work on it for about 4 hours a night while listening to to the music.|
|Posted by: Rebecca Ann 22-Apr-2008, 07:09 PM|
| Problem is your grandmother is English. The English have this strange habit of when a girl marries she takes her husband's name and her name is forgotten forever. Her family name appears on their marriage record but never appears again. Often a child will carry the mother's maiden name as a first name or a middle name. In my family the name Bryson has been carried down through several generations. Bryson is a family name I was able to trace and found great grandmother Edwards was born Elizabeth Bryson. I have done this with several of my family. Look at the children's names and they will often give you clues to the mother's name. This is the only way English maiden names have survived, by them giving it to one or more of their children. Hope this is of help to you. If I can be of any service please let me know. I work in the family history library and am called as a family history consultant by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Jim and I were first called to work in the family history center nearly 25 years ago and are still working there. We also do our own family history and teach others and help them with theirs.