Very, very OT--genealogy

ginny12April 22, 2010

Within the last few months, someone here, a regular poster, mentioned they had been very busy with genealogy and family history. So have I and I have some questions. Was it you, dtd? Does anyone remember? It was since the new year. Sorry for the digression everyone.

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diggerdee zone 6 CT

LOL! I think it was me! And I'm laughing because I just came from a genealogy board to check the GW boards! What a coincidence!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:08PM
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Thanks, Dee, for replying. At least I had the first initial right.

I have a question for you. Now that I am obsessive about family history, I'm looking for online forums like GW but about genealogy. I'm on Ancestry but it doesn't seem active. Or do you have any other suggestions? But I enjoy GW so much for my garden passion that I need the same thing for genealogy. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 4:39PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have always wanted to do this, but have so little information to work with, my initial efforts were discouraging. I keep saying of these days. :-)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:07PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

PM2, the way I "made" myself finally put my nose to the grindstone was I paid for a subscription to a genealogy site! I figured since I was paying so much, "one of these days" was NOW, lol, and I'd better use it (too bad I don't think the same way about my gym membership!). So I've done more genealogy in the last 6 months than I ever have.

Ginny, I'll try sending you an e-mail through your member page. I'll do it later this evening. Just got in from working outside (gorgeous day!) and I need to shower and eat. Talk to you soon!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:49PM
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Dee, I'm not sure that works. I will try to enable it.

PM2, I agree. I always said I was going to do this and last year I decided, now or never. I joined but you might want to look around first. I don't know how people did this before the internet. Don't worry about not having much info--once you start clicking, one thing leads to another. The drama is better than anything on TV.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 7:27PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Dee, I tried that technique with home ren*ovations, and it didn't work. I paid for two years of subscription to Angie's List and used it once. [g]

Plus, I still have to scan old photos onto the com*puter and transfer my home movies to DVD before I could think about genealogy. lol When I'm going to get to that I don't know either.

I looked into and never got past the first week of checking it out. I will enjoy hearing how your efforts work out.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:56AM
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I wondered if there was a GW geneology forum so I googled and found this thread.

First of all.... is GW having a hickup tonight? I tried to log in at the kitchen forum and couldn't. So I asked for my password and waited and waited and waited and waited and then asked for it again. I'm still waiting.

I got a totally unexpected reply box to this thread on this forum. Is it always name, email, zone?

I am researching my house. Yup. My house. the land came from the government in 1847 through a land warrant for service in the military. It's been a wonderful history lesson so far but now I'm stumped and there seems to be no solution until I pay at one of the geneology sites. Peter Kroft gets hits but so broad in time and space I don't know if any of them are the right man. His heirs names don't come up in any search except for Hiram and even then I can't be sure it's even the right family. Elijah Murray seems to not have existed other than on one piece of paper and one web page.

I've read more history this past 6 weeks than in my whole life until now. It's very interesting and I enjoy doing it but that carrot hanging in front of my nose is starting to get annoying. If I were more knowledgeable in real estate I probably would have this all figured out by now.

Do I pay the money to the geneology sites and find something? Do I have enough time left in my life to follow up on these two leads?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:54PM
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I can't help you with real estate research, tho plenty of people do it. I can say that in the last two plus years I have found an amazing amount of information about my ancestors. It is endlessly interesting and I'm enjoying sharing it with family near and far. In fact, I will soon be headed to Europe to visit three of the places where I have discovered ancestors.

I think tho that you really have to bite the bullet and join as the biggest of the genealogy sites. I joined that and several others as I found what worked for my research. There are plenty of free sites too.

Just start by writing down what you know, no matter how little, and then by talking to every relative you can, especially the older ones. Ask the most basic questions--parents' names etc. Every bit helps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 11:13PM
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Before I stumbled upon the winter sowing forum, I was neck deep in ancestry research. What a blast and what a fascinating way to pass the dark, dreary winter hours! I have hundreds of pages of family tree information printed out but the most fun stuff was a tan plastic satchel my aunt handed me when my mom passed that contained letters, ancient photographs, gold mine share certificates & assayers' reports, receipts from my great, great, great grandfather's blacksmith shop in downtown Springfield, MA and a book published in 1893 about the Gallup family history. The book begins, 'John Gollop came out of the north in 1465 and married Alice Temple in Dorset, England.' On page 140, it shows my great great grandfather, Chester Ira Bailey married Sally Gallup on June 6, 1850. Their son Chester Julius was born August 19, 1855.

I had a lot of information to get me started and was offering a monthly subscription price of $9.95 at the time. It was a lot of fun detective work. I learned some states--Massachusetts & Connecticut--did an awesome job of record keeping where others didn't. I went all the way back to Ireland 1730 on my dad's father's side, back to London 1830 on his mother's side and back to Charlemagne on the Gallup branch. I drove up to Templeton, MA and found the graves of many of the folks I found on Ancestry.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:12AM
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I get stuck at 1840 or so. Iowa wasn't anything other than Louisiana purchase, not even surveyed. In the reading I've done it seems a lot of buildings burned back in the day. And along with the buildings, everything in them. Another stumbling block was that registering land claims often took years because there was nowhere to register or there was no need. Out of millions of acres, people just squatted and farmed. The only concrete confirmation I've gotten from my abstract was on the Bureau Of Land Management web site! It was in charge of the Louisiana purchase and showed the Peter Kroft/Elijah Murray transaction. I'm even having a terrible time finding any information at all for my area and it's only 10 miles from town. There are names and dates galore for east and south of town and fleeting mentions of farmers north but nothing, not a word about west.

Something I'm still in awe of is how far everyone traveled in those days. It was nothing to move from state to state every couple of years and even just traveling - to find a wife- they would often go back to Kentucky or New York. amazing considering the distance and transportation. It would mean crossing the Mississippi. Maybe after the trains came it was easier but I didn't hear trains mentioned. I need to look that up again for a date.

It was so sad to read of babies dyeing. Often a mom would loose several. Out of 12 kids she might end up with 3 or 8. And the women died, too. It seemed to work out OK. Widows and widowers married and combined families. I was a little surprised at the age difference sometimes.

If I could have read these books and papers in school, history would have been a lot more interesting! So I guess I'll watch ancestery for a special deal. With luck it will be in July when it's too hot to be outside.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:59AM
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spedigrees z4VT

----Plus, I still have to scan old photos onto the com*puter and transfer my home movies to DVD before I could think about genealogy. lol When I'm going to get to that I don't know either.----

I hear you, Prairiemoon! My computer room is piled high with albums of photos waiting to be scanned, the bookcase crammed full of vhs tapes to be converted to DVDs, and boxes of cassette tapes and a crate of vinyl records that need copying onto CDs. Maybe when I'm 90 it will be completed! ha ha My last conversion effort in the 1980s(transferring reel-to-reel tapes onto cassettes and old super 8 movies onto video tape) was a breeze by comparison. In summer I just want to ignore the looming stacks of media waiting for a new life, and go outdoors to tend the gardens instead. I keep saying I'll devote the winter months to the task, but winters come and winters go...

I know my family's genealogy. It traces back to Francis Eaton who came on the Mayflower on my maternal grandmother's side, back to Ireland on my grandfather's side, and I have some history on my dad's midwestern ancestors. I'd thought it might be fun to converse with some of my "cousins" but the way the site is set up, that doesn't seem possible. I wasn't willing to pay, but briefly tried the free site However with all the privacy locks it's all rather pointless since you can't browse other people's charts with shared ancestry. (I used to research dog pedigrees as a home business so genealogy has always held an interest for me.) It would be fun if there were a forum like this one for genealogy.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:23PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Pinchme, you're so right. It is hard to imagine people migrating all over the country back in the 1800s, given all the hardships, to say nothing of getting on those rickety little ships to come here in the first place. The pioneer spirit was remarkable. It must have been so commonplace back then to have babies die, and women in childbirth, and others from disease and infection, that they must have just accepted loss as a condition of living.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:37PM
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They accepted early and frequent death as a fact but it was just as painful to them as such deaths are to us, even tho they are so much less common in the developed nations today.

My great-grandmother had ten children, four of whom died under age five. She never got over it, according to my grandmother, who was the youngest child. She especially grieved her three-year-old Jimmy.

On my great-grandmother's own deathbed forty years later, she "saw" her little boy and reached out and called to him--Jimmy! Jimmy! It made a great impression on her grown children standing around her bedside and the story has come down in the family. I have found his death certificate which poignantly lists every year, month, and day of his life.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 9:39AM
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spedigrees z4VT

That is so sad, Ginny.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:18PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I just noticed this thread was resurrected. Here it is a year later, and I still haven't done anything further about genealogy or my old photos or home movies. Not surprisingly.

Spedigrees, I've tried to interest one of our children to help me with the project, but everyone is so busy. Our winter was busier than usual. Maybe this summer, when it gets hot. It's that perpetual struggle of the important vs the urgent.

Has anyone seen the new show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' The show traces the genealogy of celebrities. I have watched a few episodes but it is over for the season I think. They still have episodes available on Comcast's On Demand. Some people find out fascinating uplifting information, but some people have found out very distressing information.

That was very sad about your great grandmother, Ginny, but it seems that it has had a positive effect on the next generation.

I thought they did have a forum on genealogy, but I don't see one.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 4:58AM
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It is sad but I do believe she was reunited with her Jimmy in heaven so has a happy ending.

Re genealogy forums, with the great interest in it, it really is surprising to me that there aren't any such forums, as far as I can tell. There are very specific ones but nothing general.

I have watched that show, pm. It's enjoyable but I do think it is unrealistic in making family history seem a lot easier than it is. But it is interesting. I have watched back episodes on's website. Don't know if that available for all or just members.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:42AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ginny, yes, I think that experience on her deathbed sounds like it was very reassuring to the family that is exactly what happened. :-)

About the TV show, I really thought that they were probably making it look SO easy, but I chocked it up to celebrity treatment that you or I would never get. Plus, I have to wonder if they carefully selected celebrities that they knew they were going to find certain information about. All the specialists that they were able to get help from and the work that must have been done to search historical records must have been very time consuming. But yes, seeing the whole process and the results that people had, was fascinating.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:20PM
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I bet if we had a whole crew of people tracking down information for us with an open checkbook we'd be done already!

Re genealogy forums, I was sure there'd be one here! It must be the only subject not covered!

Following a link from a geneology newsletter I found ancestery has the free trial. I thought I'd take it on a Friday so I could stay up all day and all night all weekend. Do you get access to everything in the trial or only the highlights? I want to narrow down the hits I've got, not add more possibilities.

Here is a link that might be useful: one more thing to read

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:56PM
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You would have to check but Ancestry's free trial is usually 14 days. You probably have access to everything but I'm not sure about international records, available only with a "deluxe" membership. They may give you everything in the hope you will sign up for a deluxe membership.

Be aware that you will likely have to register with your credit card and then remember to cancel when the 14 days are up or you will be charged for a year's membership.

You'll have to read their current info to be sure all this is still the case. Speaking only for myself, the money is well worth it to me. I hardly ever watch TV anymore and the magazines etc are piling up, unread. But that will not be the case for all, of course.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:21PM
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Yes, I did read the terms and you have to cancel or be charged. I'm searching for several families so will have to work overtime to get it all in unless I take my 2 weeks of vacation so I can stay home and do it.
This site worked like a charm AFTER I right clicked and chose translate with bing.

Here is a link that might be useful: I couldn't make this work

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 9:29PM
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To pinch_me,
Regarding the link above called "I couldn't make this work", unfortunately there is a problem with Internet Explorer versions 8 or 9 with the search form. It works best with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, where I've not heard of errors. Sorry not a perfect solution.

Here is a link that might be useful: AncestorSearch

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 4:16PM
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This is my first time trying to find anyone. What do you do when you run into a brick wall? I have made amazing progress considering the little I knew at the beginning. BUT the name Elijah Murray is giving me fits! I've surmised that he bought the land warrant from Rachel, Hiram, and Harriet Kroft, heirs of Peter Kroft. I've found wonderful bits and pieces about Peter. Elijah Murray comes up at but none of the listings match any of the little I know. I'm going to print each one off, file it with my other papers and maybe someday someone will have more information about him. Or I might find some clue to decide which Elijah Murray is the right one.

Is there anyone here who knows about land patents or warrants? Mine is from the 1847 law. Peter fought in the Mexican/American war. He survived and was discharged, caught some kind of illness and died on his way home in 1847. His wife, Susan, is not named as an heir so I surmise she was already dead. His youngest child was born in 1836. Rachel, the oldest would have been in her teens when he left but they had to live somehow. Did the army send money to the family? The government didn't have enough money to pay the soldiers, that's why they got the land for free in the Lousiana Purchase. Lots of questions answered but it has only created more! And Elijah Murray is still a mystery.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 7:15PM
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sequoia54(z6a MA)

FREE Web sites for genealogy research: organized by surname, locality, and other topics such as royal ancestry, etc., originally not affiliated with ancestry, but it is STILL free, and has archived posts going back to the 1990s. subdivides by states and counties, also message boards where inquiries can be posted. has free surname and locality forums. contains the LDS church's International Genealogy Index, formerly only available on microfiche at branch Family History Libraries. has a wealth of websites/links on many, many genealogy subjects.

Treasure Maps website: google the name to get the right address, because it's one of those sub-sub-sub-divided ones that I'll probably screw up.

Also, google the surname, and/or an entire name, alone or combined with terms like "family" and genealogy. If it's a name other than Smith or Jones, misspell it in creative ways. My great-grandfather's surname (Braman) was misspelled on the census as late as the 1930s!

As far as Ancestry goes, I subscribe to the United States option, almost solely because of access to scanned images of the US Census. Looking at microfilm using a viewer left me dizzy and nauseated:b. You can search or browse the records, and enlarge the image to decipher handwriting. To me, it is worth the price, but that's a personal decision. Other than that, I have found some useful info in the paid databases, but not a whole lot. All Censuses are available at the regional branches of the National Archives, on microfilm.

Sorry this is so lengthy, but this IS the heavily edited version, LOL.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:45AM
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thank you so much, sequoia54! I did get my best stuff from when I first started. some of those other ones are new to me and I will certainly look at them.

I sort of gave up on the census. They are SO hard to read, both quality of some scans and the handwriting. AND how many ways can you spell a name?? I think lots! I wonder if it goes back to the handwriting again. Only because I was peering into my computer screen did I see a name that could have been Hiram. Since it fit what I was looking for, I assumed it was the name I wanted. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.

Something I found was Kroft and Croft in the same document. Grrrr! Rachael/Rachel. No wonder my butt has grown to this chair and I have to blink several times to focus.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 8:02PM
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