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Over Christmas break I decided to try my hand at figuring out my family tree. I’m using Ancestry.com. It’s really very interesting. So far I’m back to the 1600’s through my paternal grandmother‘s side of the family. I’m finding family from Ireland, England, and Germany so far. It gets a little tricky finding parents of ladies that married into the family.
Things I’ve learned along the way…
1. A lot of young ladies got married at the age of 20.Some younger. Some older. Twenty is the average.
2. As I dig back in time I realize that having 9-13 children was normal. I know this was a common occurrence, but it tires me just thinking about it. If that were me, I’d be the type that would say something like this, ” John, Jacob, Michael, Peter, Robert…… For cryin’ out loud, YOU. Yeah, the one with the blond hair! Thomas. I knew that. Really. Yes I did!!! As long as YOU know who YOU are, I’m okay with it.” Seriously. That would be me.
3. My family had beautiful names… Catherine Eliza (1767), Christina Katrina (1763), Sarah Ann (1827). Also names that showed the times…Mary, Emma, Orpha Maria, Annie, Sophia, Matilda, and Gertrude. You know what’s funny? Several of these “old” names are back in style again. How many Emma’s or Sophia’s do you know? Oh, and one (several greats) grandmother from Germany. Her name was Waldburga Geiger Von Wurttemberg (1705). Try and say that name 5 times, fast. I dare you.
4. Many of the men had Biblical names. James, John, Joseph, Samuel, Philip, Thomas, Benjamin, Daniel, Michael and David. There are also some interesting ones such a Cyrus, Andrew Jackson, Purnell, Raymond, and Johann (es).
5. Most of my mom’s side of the family settled in Pennsylvania after making their way to the “colonies”. Most of my dad’s side of the family settled in North Carolina.
6. I had one of “those moments”, while sitting researching. If even one of these long line of people had not been born, I would not be sitting here and typing this blog entry right now.
7. Some of my (many great) grandfathers had first wives that died young. The men went on to remarry. I’m thankful for that. Some of my (many great) grandmothers were second wives. Really, if you think about it, they were young women, marrying men somewhat older than they were. In some cases the men already had children with their deceased wives. So the new brides married into already established families–and then added more children. Quite a handful.
8. This is really fun.
9. After I go as far as I can in the family tree—I’m going to start researching places. The one (many greats) grandmother was born in Kendal (or Kendale?) Ireland. I also want to look up Wurttemburg and Mecklenburg, Germany.
10. It makes me wonder about my own legacy. What will my future family learn about me? What history will I leave behind?
I’m thankful for family…