A number of years ago I became interested in genealogy. There is something to be said about knowing one’s ancestors and knowing your heritage. Getting to know people that you’ve only heard of from your parents and grandparents becomes an addiction when you start working through documents and photos, many of which are available for free over the internet through the LDS. *
One of the projects I’ve been slowly working on is a transcription and editing of a real family treasure; my great-grandmother’s diaries that she kept for the better part of 40 years.
A number of years ago my father’s family started getting information on their paternal lineage and suddenly a great deal of information came forth about how our name came out of Ireland and then traveled into Canada just after the time of the American Revolution. My grandfather’s niece wrote him with some information, as well as attaching a 40 page synopsis of of family following a common ancestor who first appears in Ireland in the 1770s. While we found some of the information to be false (my birthday being one date that was wrong) much of the information was incredibly valuable and shed a great deal of light on our own lineage.
April 5, 1997
Dear Fenton and Family:
Enclosed is a brief summary of your ancestors.
Fenton, please note that you did not have 13 aunts, but 10 aunts and 3 uncles.
Fenton, please also note that there doesn’t appear to be an ‘s’ on our last name as far back as 1827, so I don’t know how that story ever started that your father dropped the ‘s’ because of his brother Clyde’s wild oats.
Mother and I have been to the National Archives in Waltham to do some research and realize that it will take a number of trips to do a thorough job. We would have gotten more research done that day , but the roll of mircofilm with the passenger lists of the ships arriving in Boston between September 1, 1911 and September 15, 1911 is misfiled. According to naturalization papers filled out by Grampa, he arrived in Boston, from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the vessel, A.W. Perry on September 7, 1911.
According to the information I had gotten from Aunt Nita, Grampa was John Douglas and not Douglas John. But he put Douglas John on his naturalization papers.
Love to all,
- I’m not endorsing the LDS by any means, as certain elements of that faith have their negative sects. The reason that the LDS has such an interest in genealogy is that when someone joins their faith, they believe that all that person’s ancestors come with them, presumably under the guise of assimilation. For what it’s worth, they offer their archives to everyone for free without expectation that you join their faith. If it’s just not something you’re able to accommodate, I recommend Ancestry.com which I have found to be much easier to use. You have to pay for it, but I’ve found it to be worth the cost.