The Family Tree


My recent time spent with close family has brought me to looking at my family tree again.  If you have never researched where you family has come from, you really should.  My journey over the past six years has been really incredible.  I have found out information that has kept me up nights searching for even more information.  To my luck, the next set of Census reports will be published next year, so my search can continue on!  I have some suggestions for you:

Find a good software program for your PC or MAC that will enable you to enter in each family member you find along the way.  I have used Family Tree Legends.  It was a very inexpensive program ($20) and the reports it creates allows me to see exactly how everyone is related to me and how far back I have gone.   

Secondly, go online and sign up for one year of Ancestry.com at the highest level you can afford.  I chose the élite package which ran about $325.00 for the year, but doing so enabled me to search an even wider range of locations and documents and find papers and receipts that I otherwise may not have found.

Lastly, engage your family members to do it with you.  You can share the cost of the software and the logins and passwords and search at different times.  I found that having multiple family members looking through documents and researching our past, made for great conversation and a passion for knowledge among all of us. 

I would like to share just a few things I found out during my search:

My great great great-grandfather fought in the civil war in an artillery division, fought in Gettysburg and most of the men on my father’s side were fire fighters in the Philadelphia area until recent generations.  I’ve found enlistment cards and burial plots that I never knew existed before and now have pictures of where some of my very early relatives were buried. 

Military Image of my Ancestor

On my mother’s side, I have traced back seven generations to the West Indies and yes, a very large boat that came over the what would be called The United States.  It has been a journey of discovery and challenges that engulfed so many of my family members.  We have made copies of what we have found out and have shared pins and pictures of family that we will pass down to our children’s children.

I’m going to renew my Ancestry membership next January, to further the hunt of newly born members of my clan to see where there might be more of us.  I’ve never wanted a year to go by fast, but this one, could tick along just a little quicker.  Census forms are the greatest way to find out about your past very easily and you can find information that you might not have already known.

Census from 1870 includes my family

If you click on the picture, the very top line will be viewable.  You can click on it again and it will zoom in and you can view the details as to my heritage, Edward Nahill and his wife, Winifred.  Both of their parents hailed from Ireland.  They were born in Pennsylvania and if you look close you can see when they were married, and how old they were in 1870.  Pieces of information like this are real treasures for those who want to know their past.  I was fortunate in that both sides of my family shared my enthusiasm and we have found 600 members to date of both lines of my father and my mother.  What is truly great, is that this is just the beginning.  Next year, I will find more relatives based on new Census reports being published and every year they allow more and more documents to be viewed by the public.  My Aunt even shared with me the very boat that some of my ancestors came over to the United States on.  If I can find it, you can find it.  Look below at the photo I found of a family reunion of my family.

Clark Family Reunion - late 1800's my mother's side

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About wigsbabe

Never be the Mediator... be the writer.
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One Response to The Family Tree

  1. This book is a cut above many popular genealogy “how to” books.

    I’m really picky about genealogy books, and this one is excellent. Most books don’t discuss carefully evaluating evidence and really thinking through problems associated with conflicting information, burned counties, brick walls etc. The “thinking” in this book and the examples of alternative sources one may not be familiar with are what is outstanding. In addition, Ms. Rising’s examples are clear, easy to follow and informative, and there are many of them. Her research methods are applicable to ANY time period you are working in. I disagree with another reviewer who complained that this book won’t help someone with “late” immigrant ancestors.

    I’m an experienced genealogist and a trained researcher who has been working for 25 years on my family lines. The land chapter, in particular, and the chapter on working in the years between the Revolutionary War and 1850, gave me several directions to go in knocking down some brick walls.

    Beginners as well as experienced researchers will benefit from this book. What will help doing genealogy research most of all is knowing how to evaluate what you have and how to recognize what else you need. This book does much more!

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