Saturday, November 02, 2013

Going on a Treasure Hunt

" WHAT is the fascination for you about the family tree?"   I have been asked incredulously by a family member.  I finally have an answer.  I previously said that it becomes an addiction to add more families (especially when they have 8 to 15 children per family) but really it is a treasure hunt.  A family treasure hunt! and what a treasure the find has been.

So I thought that I was stuck.  So I went through the tree and weeded out the duplicates.  Duplicates happen when I have not realized and re-typed entire families in.  This is especially annoying when they are 8 to 12 children full before you realize "this seems oddly familiar.. hmm.  Oh there they are already."  So then you have to delete the newly added group or figure out how to connect them to the other parts that have already been logged.  Sometimes there are families that have 6 children and I only have 2 or 3 children done, other times, I already have the person listed because I had worked on the spouse's side but didn't add the parents.  

So this week, I sent a message via Facebook and told a former college classmate that she showed up in my tree because her husband is distantly related on my husband's side.  This is how is often goes.  Hubby's side of the family seems to be huge.  My family is big but they have way more it seems.  This past week, after fixing the duplicates, I realized that some families did not have all the children listed.  One of hubby's ancestors on his father's side had 5 wives! and they all seem to have had 6 to 13 children each. In the end, this ancestor had 26 kids with 4 different women; 2 wives had 8 children each, although not all survived infancy. That is also horrible to realize that these poor women were pregnant and either the child survived for only a day, month, or were still born.  The heartbreak of the families .. I can't imagine, or would that be considered commonplace in that time (1800's)?

So far, I have "discovered" a 3rd cousin once removed on my father's side, who I went to college with, the above mentioned cousin on hubby's side, and a few other 2nd cousins who I also went to college with.  Doing this has prompted me to talk to my mother about our family when she came to visit last month, and helped me understand about her family better, or in ways that I did not or could process when I was younger.

I think that I am getting better at this too.  I am recognizing when a name seems familiar and often can connect them up.  I did that 6 times this week, sometimes I had to go back to the grandparents first to get to link the original person to the families.  Saves myself work later, but it is REALLY easy to get sidetracked. :)

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