The Evolution of Family History

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Genealogy class uses maps to visit lives of ancestors

 

A genealogy instructor took her students on a 19th-century journey Sunday to the brothels of Truckee, North Bloomfield's Chinatown, and a brewery in Mokelumne Hill.

The three dozen students never left the meeting room at the Sacramento Central Library on I Street. Instructor Melinda Kashuba guided them using historic fire insurance maps an obscure resource that can let a person's mind wander down the streets of their forebears, she said. "You can learn a lot about your ancestors' lives," Kashuba told her class.

The class was part of the library's free genealogy programs, which continue May 16 with a course on finding New England ancestors and on May 23 with a session on researching church records

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President Obama's genealogy line

 

Obama's father was originally from Kenya. His mother was an anthropologist born in the United States. The couple separated when Obama was 2 years old, eventually divorced, and his father moved back to Kenya. Obama's half-sister is the daughter of his mother and her second husband. Obama's mother was survived by her mother, Madelyn Dunham, until her death on Nov. 2, 2008. In "Dreams from My Father," Obama ties his mother's family to possible Native American ancestors and distant relatives of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Obama's Licking County ties come through his mother's side of the family. We begin with Obama, then his mother Stanley Ann Dunham, his great-grandmother Madelyn Lee Payne, great-great-grandfather Roll Charles Payne and his great-great-great-grandfather Charles T. Payne, who married Della Wolfley. Her parents were Robert Wolfley and Rachel Abbott. Obama's great-great-great-grandmother, Rachel Abbott, was born in 1835 in Licking County to Jonathan Abbott and Adah Wright. Adah's parents were Abraham Wright and Naomi, last name unknown. Abraham Wright was born in 1755, came to Licking County in 1802 and was well known throughout Licking County and Ohio. He built a gristmill on Clear Fork after the War of 1812 near the Newton Township line and the village of Chatham.

Click here for 50 more stats about Barack Obama

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Ancestry.com opens up US military collection -

 

PROVO, Utah Genealogy Web site Ancestry.co.uk is opening up its entire U.S. military collection in honor of Veterans Day. The Provo-based company says anyone can search the collection for free through Friday. The company also says it has added more than 600 Navy cruise books to its online collection of military records for the holiday. The books are like yearbooks and include the names and photos of those who served on ships. Ancestry.co.uk says one book a 1946 edition for the U.S.S. Pennsylvania includes a photo of TV legend Johnny Carson. The collection of books spans cruises following World War II from 1950-88. The Navy Department Library has about 3,500 cruise books on file that Ancestry.co.uk plans to digitize and add to its collection.

To read more about this fantatstic collection and search for free click here

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How do you find US Census information for genealogy research?

 

Most libraries should have at least a few books of transcribed census records, if not microfilm and readers.

You could also try an internet search for census records if you haven't already. Many genealogy pages have transcribed or scanned records freely available for anyone who needs them. This site claims to have thousands of links to online census records: census-online.com

USGenweb has two online census projects worth checking out at: us-census.org and USGenweb Census Project. While you are there, don't forget to check out their State Pages: USGenweb State Links

Be careful but do also consider buying subscriptions to some of the big genealogical sites or databases such as Ancestry.co.uk or Findmypast.com. They have an awful lot of the infomation - not only census data - but records such as Birth, Marriage and Death records.

Looking around however you'll find free sites on the 'net to help wet your appitite (don't forget to look for messageboards - they can be invaluable).

Then there are book stores, your local library or historical society, state archives, the clerk's office at the county courthouse, state or county health departments, and the list goes on and on. The money you can save by not giving it to a large subscription site, may even be enough to hire a professional genealogist to do some research for you when you get stuck or have done as much on your own as you possibly can! And if you haven't done so already, you might want to visit a nearby Family History Center.

To find a Family History Center in your area visit www.familysearch.org and click on the tab for "Library," then click on the link to "Family History Centers." This will take you to a page where you can search for family history center locations all over the world.

Another thing to try is to do a search for genealogists who volunteer their time and resources to help others locate data they need. Some will respond to reasonable requests at no cost to you at all. Others may only ask for postage or to be reimbursed for their expenses like copying fees. If you decide to ask a volunteer to help you, be sure to read their policy or the website's policy and rules carefully.

ALSO:

> Limit yourself to one request at a time.

> Be courteous. Never forget 'Please' and 'Thank You.' You'd be surprised how many people don't bother. I have *rarely* come across a fellow genealogist who wasn't more than willing to share data, give advice or even help you with your research.

> Keep your requests reasonable. Examples: DON'T ask for all the census records they can find for John Doe in Virginia between 1850 and 1900. DO ask for records from the 1860 Census pertaining to a John Doe, who would have been in his early thirties in 1860, and lived in Henry Co., Virginia, with his wife, Eliza, and three children.

> Provide as much detail as you can, especially if you are researching a common surname. Being as specific as you can regardless of how common or uncommon the surname may be will help make their job easier.

> Remember these people are 'volunteers.' They don't *have* to help you or anyone else. Most of them do it simply because they want to help.

> Whether they ask it of you or not, it's always a great way to 'pay' for the help you've been given by trying to help someone else.

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What is Genealogy?

Simply put Genealogy is the study of a family’s lineage. People often use genealogy to trace out their family trees, or simply to find a specific person in a family’s past and connect him or her to other members of that family. Genealogy is interested solely in who is in a family and who they are related to, as opposed to the more general study of family history, which might also track dates of birth and death, occupations held by family members, and other important facts about their lives and deaths. While some people, on occasion, refer to this larger field as genealogy, genealogy is better viewed as a subset of a greater discipline.

Historic Genealogy

Historically, genealogy was a very important field, because family connections between nobility were crucial to the idea of inheritance and the passing down of titles and rulership. In many societies, for example, if a king had no direct heir, the next closest heir would have to be found. Detailed genealogical records ensured that the passing down of titles would never have to rely on incomplete facts. Despite this, many differing genealogies would often crop up, allowing multiple people to lay claim to a title of rulership or inheritance.

 

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Other roles of Genealogy

Genealogy may also play an important role in helping to restore families that have been torn apart by some larger circumstance. In the many decades after World War II, for example, genealogists have helped people displaced by the war rediscover their families who remained in Europe. Famines and social situations may also cause such diaspora, and genealogy may help people rediscover this lost history; many Irish families, for example, use genealogical records to help rediscover family that has been separated for two or three generations, since their families emigrated from Ireland. As another example, after the popularization of Alex Haley’s book Roots, there was renewed interest among the African American population in using genealogy to trace their own family roots.

Genealogy and the Internet

With the Internet, genealogy and family history is now much easier to research than at any other time in history. Despite the odd claim of false information and scams that pervade the online genealogical world, there are many legitimate and incredibly valuable resources available, allowing people who, fifty years ago, would have had to spend many years tracking down their family roots to do so in months, or even weeks in local archives. The affordability of genetic analysis has also opened new doors in the field of genealogy, letting normal people access hard evidence of a connection to another person or family branch. While genetic analysis isn’t entirely accurate, it is so close that it is considered by most people to be certain evidence of a family connection.

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