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> How Far Back..., ...have you traced your family?
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Íácób 
Posted: 11-Oct-2006, 09:51 AM
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My grandfather, and other family members, have traced my direct lineage back to Amesbury, Wiltshire, England to Richard Carpenter of Amesbury. I don't know much about him, but his son, William, came to the United States bef. 1630 (I think it was 1626) and settled in Rhode Island with Roger Williams and other early families of Rhode Island. He married Elizabeth Peake Arnold in Providence, which is how I claim to be related closely to the infamous Benedict, the guy who tried to betray West Point to the British during the American Revolution. William and his father-in-law, William Arnold, wrere two of the 14 originial charter members of the first Baptist church on American soil, so there's something to be proud of!

My paternal grandfather's side also has a line going back to the 17th century in Scotland, the earliest known person in this line being Samuel Williamson, who was born in Ffshire (I think that's how you spell it). Grandpa's mom is directly descended from Irish immigrants James and Mary Kiernan, who supposedly owned a bar near the Rockefeller Center in New York.

My grandmother's side has some interesting history, one line going back to 1570 with the birth of Paulus Vautrin, who was a noted friend of Martin Luther and mayor of several German towns. The Vautrins would eventually remove to Alscace, Lorraine, France and the immigrants to the U. S. would eventually become the Wotrings and Woodrings. One of my grandmother's ancestors, Cora Prudence Felton m. Abraham D. Wotring, has a possible royal descent through either her direct ancestor, Nathaniel Felton (the line connecting Nathaniel's known, but is not being revealed at this moment in time, at least that's what the Felton family historian told me in an eMail), or a possibly through her mother, Mary McHenry, whose mother might've been Jo(h)anna Ogle. Jo(h)anna's line traces to John Ogle, who traces back to Sir William Ogle of Choppington. William's mother, Maud Gray m. Sir Robert Ogle, was the granddaughter of John de Mowbray and Elizabeth de Seagrave, of which you can go through either to get a line back to the Plantagenet kings of England, then ultimately William the Conquerer, Charlemagne, and the Merovingians.

My mother's side is shrouded in mystery pretty much. My great-grandmother from that side was a McCoy, whose family was of Scottish descent. Her husband, Oscar Pierce, was descended from Irish immigrants. My great-great grandfather from Grandma Pierce was a Caldwell, whom I assume was of Scottish descent. However, none of my mother's lines have been traced back past the Civil War.


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Donajhi 
Posted: 12-Sep-2007, 11:32 AM
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My family history goes back to 574AD.
I am lucky because the work was done for me. I inherited the family
trunk full of letter, scrolls, documents and etc. I don't think I appreciate
the history, not having to search for it.
I wish everyone speedy links to your family.


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Gwynhwyvar 
Posted: 23-Sep-2007, 07:47 PM
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I have my maiden name traced back to about 1690 - roughly. One branch of my husband's family is traced back to the early 1200's and another branch has it traced back to Biblical times - we had some information and some how miraculously someone else had all the other information with all the necessary documentation and backing. Each name in both our families we have traced back to as far as possible at this time.


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oldraven 
Posted: 03-Oct-2007, 06:43 AM
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I can't recall the number of generations, but I did trace my father's Reeves line back to 1749, when John Reeves arrived in Chedabucto (Halifax) with his wife. My Aunt has the MacLean line traced back to Scotland, but I haven't gotten a copy for myself yet.


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Leyland 
Posted: 26-Nov-2007, 03:29 PM
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English ancestors who owned property and left wills behind are great for researching back as far as the Domesday Book for some modern day folks. Or at least back to the 15thC and going forward. The English are fantastic archivists! I have several "gateway" colonial Virginia and Maryland English immigrant ancestors that descend from major and minor Anglo-Norman families so the lines can go back another 500 years. Many of the Virigina colonists were younger sons of landed families that served an indenture in order to get to the New World and earn their own property (since the oldest son would inherit all property). Once established, they tended to marry from the class they left behind in England.

My Scots lines usually hit brick walls at about the 16thC. And I have several French Huguenot lines documented from the 16thC and 17thC.

But it is really fun to find explorers, military heroes and leaders, renowned musicians, patriots and prisoners of war, learned scholars and pastors, skilled laborers, and just good people all in your family's history.


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Druid_of_Ark 
Posted: 10-Dec-2007, 12:10 PM
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On varied sides of my family I have had varied success, but the line I ma most pleased by is my fathers mothers lineage, I have that all the way to the 1200's we are of the Clan Cathcart. And though I have other lineages that one is the one I feel most drawn to, and whereas my Paternal Grandmother has no one to carry her memory I have chosen to do that so that the lineage may be preserved.


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thecelticgiraffe 
Posted: 18-Jan-2008, 08:40 AM
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Only a few lucky individuals can trace their lines back much before 1600. These are the families who's names have a clearly defined origin. Sweeney would be such a name since the creation of the name is well known and it only occurred in one clan, and so ALL Sweeney's are related. But even then, there may have been some adoptions, or copy-cats along the way, distorting the lineage some. I have done genealogy for 6 years, and professionally, and have seen all the potential pitfalls of claiming any type of lineage back before 1600. There simply were very few records written before then, and most of those that were are lost. As well many people of course, chose the same names. Luckily the Celtic countries many times had very unique names that make it nearly certain that you are part of a particular clan history. Names like Jordan, or Reddick that don't belong to a certain clan history are hard to trace, if not impossible. Either of those two examples could be Irish, Scotish, English or German!

So it is important to realize that if you are claiming to have a history of your family long before 1600, you probably do not have a totally correct history! Most of that would be speculation compiled by someone along the way.

But there is good news! I can't find the article anymore, but mathematicians and social scientists and genealogist have shown that the population actually "turns over" in a certain number of years (like 900). What this means is that ALL of us are actually descendants of any famous person that lived lets say 1000 years ago....people like Charlemagne, etc. Especially if you are of the same race. So..let's say if you are a caucasian male or female it is certain that you are a descendant of William the Conqueror, Charlemagne, etc. This is absolute and not just speculation.

Now what remains is to show the written proof! But YOU DO descend from them.


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Druid_of_Ark 
Posted: 18-Jan-2008, 09:49 AM
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You are correct, however there are some exceptions that you did not note, for example the Clan Cathcart, our family goes back to the 1200-'s documented in Scottish History and the Lineage came to America in the 1600's and following the history was documented in early American History for action in the Revolutionary war. I am the US Clan Chieftain, as such I am working to create a complete history of all the Cathcart lines in the US. The name was origonally Keithkert but changed before they got to America. If you know anyone of the Cathcart lineeage PLEASE contact me with their contact information.
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 18-Jan-2008, 02:03 PM
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There are a few lines of mine that stretch back into the "mists of time" as it were. But they're few and far between, and the degree of documentation varies wildly. For most Americans the major hurdle is finding that hop over to the old country and establishing that:

1. The information on the passenger lists is accurate. I've run into everything from inaccurate name spelling (literacy being what it was) to not counting the women and children.

2. That they're not listing the last port of call, but the passenger's country of origin.

3. There's records regarding the family still extant "back there". On occasion we've been blessed with finding relatives back in Europe who had family information, or we found the parish the family belonged to, and for a miracle they still had records.

Otherwise most documented American lines end at the Atlantic Ocean.


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Shadows 
Posted: 18-Jan-2008, 08:17 PM
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One of the things about my mothers side of the family is their passion for keeping birth and death records, etc ...

The family tree I list above has been well preserved and documented in our family book ( footnotes, etc on where the info was extracted ).

Our family lived in southern MD for many years after helping establishing the community of Saint Marys City and we have the fmily records to prove it, that part of the family goes well back into history in England and France.



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Sekhmet 
Posted: 20-Jan-2008, 03:02 PM
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Oooh, I was just reading up on St. Mary's a few weeks ago. Particularly we were looking at the rosaries that are part of their artifact collection, since it's not only an example of (very) early Colonial Catholic religious items, but it spans that space between the old country and the new, showing what rosaries were like back "home" at the same time.

...hey, when you make rosaries from other periods this is fascinating...LOL
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Druid_of_Ark 
Posted: 20-Jan-2008, 03:22 PM
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It might be of interest for you to know that "Rosary Beads" were borrowed form the Hindu Religion which in turn had given them to the Buddhist religion. The Buddhist set has 108 beads and were made of bones.
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 20-Jan-2008, 07:05 PM
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Yep, they sure did. Ditto chaplets and similar devices. And the English word "bead" actually comes from "bede" which originally meant "prayer", stemming from their use in rosaries, etc.
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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 15-Feb-2008, 05:39 PM
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It has been very interesting reading these posts on family.

My family on my fathers side has been fortunate to have a family book dating to 1840 or so and recording the family back to its immigration to America and also forward as the family grew. The family regularly had gatherings annually for well over a hundred years. I am just discovering my family tree and have been fortunate to have alot of information both written and verbal to learn from.

I tell the story how when I was very young ,I think 4th grade I got into a fight with another student last name Campbell because I called him a name because my father said they kicked us out of Scotland. The nun, I went to Catholic school, who broke up the fight asked why we were fighting and Campbell said I called him a name, she asked what name and he said " Scoundrel", now , neither of us knew what a scoundrel was but thats what I called him. I think the nun was laughing.

I am Fred McNutt, son of Frederick Augustine, son of Fred Cornelius, son of Cornelius Cochran, son of Cornelius Cochran, Sr, son of Abraham, son of James Nutt, son of Abraham, son of James Nutt, born 1690 Ulster, Ireland who immigrated to America about 1730 with wife Anne and son Abraham born 1717, Londenderry, Ulster, Ireland. I have a hole in info on Anne's maiden name, birthplace and date. Big thanks to my distant cousin Nancy M for all her help.

Thats as far as I have.


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Druid_of_Ark 
Posted: 15-Feb-2008, 08:25 PM
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The Cathcart family name comes from a bend in the river Cath in Scotland. BTW a further comment here on a post by Sekhmet, did you know that the Roman Catholic Prayer Beads (Rosary) was actually borrowed form the Hindu Religion, and that Jesus had warned followers not to use vain repetitious prayers?
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