Category Archives: Family History
Ancestry and Genealogy
In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word ancestry means “line of descent.” While the word genealogy means “the study of a line of descent.” In other words, you as the genealogist would be using genealogy to study your ancestry. Merriam-Webster.com is a free website with both a dictionary and thesaurus. It gives examples, as shown below, of the words used in sentences, to better understand them. Merriam includes three examples of using the word ancestry: They claim to be of noble ancestry. A person of unknown ancestry She claims to be […]
Can African-Americans Trace Their Roots to Africa?
I went on Wikipedia.com to look up the word “genealogy” and found an interesting statement: “Genealogy received a boost in the late 1970s with the television broadcast of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley’s account of his family line.” I remember that the movie was about slavery in America. It made me wonder how a person could trace their lineage from America to Africa. Taken from their ancestral homes, given Americanized names, and enslaved. After hundreds of years, could a person find a connection? In my online […]
Celebrating Mother’s Day In Your Family Tree
Most countries observe Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. It is a day to celebrate mothers and motherhood. Called Mother’s Day in the United States, Mothering Day in England, Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries, and International Women’s Day in Russia, it is a day to honor your mother and pay her respect. In genealogy, many researchers follow the father’s lineage. The reason for this choice is that it is much easier to trace the male ancestors than female ancestors. When women married, they took on their husband’s […]
Do You Have a Border Reiver in Your Family Tree?
Yesterday, I was on Ancestry.com and received an email from a distant relative. She had a question about her great-great-great-grandfather, John Hetherington. She wondered if I knew his wife’s name. I answered her inquiry, and yet, there was a sentence in her email that had caught my eye. She said: “I live near to the Cumbrian border and the original ancestral home of the Hetherington Border Reiving Family – a dangerous and desperate lot!” I wondered to myself what “border reiving” meant, so I went online. Border Reivers were families […]
Do You Look Like Your Ancestor?
As I was building my Oxborough family tree on Ancestry.com, I stumbled upon a photograph that gave me pause. The photo was of Millicent Edith Oxborough, who was born in 1863 Norfolk, England. Her features looked very familiar to me. After a few moments, I realized that she looked like my half-sister, Sonya, who was born in 1960! I took this photo and placed it next to one that I had of Sonya. I looked at the eyes, nose, mouth, jawline, chin. Yes, they definitely looked like they had the […]
Finding O’Reilly, My Mother’s Childhood Friend
One day, as I was on my computer, my mother asked me to look up a friend that she had known in school. She said his name was Francis O’Reilly and she wondered what had happened to him. She had known him since she was four years old. He would always play pranks on her, like when he dumped an inkwell all over her hair and dress. It was a pretty yellow dress, and she was upset that it had gotten ruined. Boy, did he get in trouble! Later that […]
Finding the Mother of an Abandoned Infant
This year I revisited some of my Aldous ancestors on Ancestry.com. In my search, I came across a marriage record for Herbert Lemon Aldous and Susan Oldham. As you can see, the document is missing one piece of vital information. Susan did not list a father’s name. In my years of being a family genealogist, I have come across this occurrence many times. In history, it was quite common for a woman to give birth to a child instead of obtaining an abortion. Religion played a large role in this […]
Genealogy Day, Celebrating Family History
Have you heard about Genealogy Day? This year it will be on Saturday, March 10, 2018. It was initially created in 2013 by Christ Church United Presbyterian and Methodist Church, in Limerick, Ireland, to help celebrate the church’s 200th anniversary. On that day, vital records brought to Christ Church from local churches, parishes, the Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) were made available to the public. The church had volunteers on hand to help people search through these records and to aid them in building […]
Get Children Interested in Your Family History
I have always had an interest in family history and have often wondered how I could get others to enjoy it, too. Do your children get bored during summer vacation? Do you need to find an activity for them that is both fun and educational? Making a family history album would be a rewarding experience for children of any age. Not only will they be learning about other members of your family, but they can interact by helping create it. Many retail stores sell supplies at a very reasonable cost. […]
Loving My English Heritage
I have probably said this before, and it’s true. Every time I start a search on my mother’s side of the family tree, I find something of interest! As I sit at my computer, building my tree into the past on Ancestry.com, I always seem to stumble upon a piece of information that is unique to that ancestor. It could be a simple word on a record that catches my attention. It could be an old photograph that another Ancestry.com member had scanned onto their computer. My mother had told […]