Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Night of Surprises

So, I am a bit of a family history addict. My mom got me started when I first moved to Arizona. She's had incredible luck and definitely been blessed to find a lot of information that has lead to amazing discoveries. I wanted to do some family history work at the time because I am named after my dad's mom. I thought it would be cool to find out something about her family.

Well, after finding a lot of information about my grandma Audrey, I decided to also trace the Roy line as well. I also hit the jackpot on information there and even attended a Roy family reunion a couple of summers ago. I did reach a point though where I felt stuck.

My grandma did a lot of genealogical research many years ago before the days of the internet. You know, when you had to order in a census and go through every stinkin' page and hope you could read the census taker's handwriting. I thought I would at least enter her information into my computer database and see if I could find anything beyond what she had listed.
Well, I actually found lots and lots. This internet thing, it's amazing!!!! I found old wills and photos and connected with many people who wanted to share loads of helpful information with me. It was all quite exciting. If you haven't done family history work, you won't understand how exciting it all is.

I got a bit obsessed with this one particular branch with the last name of Swick. I felt really strongly that there was information I needed to find. I kept looking through postings on this message board and never located anything connected with my branch, but I still felt like I was missing something. I decided to delve into the siblings of my direct branch and see what information I could locate. Well, after I had flushed out information on the siblings, I went back to the message board and located a message that was directly connected to my family!!!! I contacted the man and bought a photo album full of photos of my great, great, great, great, great aunts and uncles. It was an amazing find. But stilll...

I felt like I was supposed to keep looking. I had the line all the way back to 1809. I just couldn't find anything prior to that because census information before that doesn't have the names of the family members, only the male heads of families and I didn't have any money to hire a researcher. So, I spoke with my Uncle Mickey. He agreed that if I would send him all of the information I had, he would pay for a researcher to find out who was the generation back from where I was stuck.

Last night I received news that through mine, my mom's and my grandma's work as well as the researcher, we found him. His name is Anderew AND we know two more generations past that. Wow!!!! How exciting. If you want to get started, let me know, I'm happy to help. It really is so fun.
Here are a couple of websites that are great for getting started:
http://www.familysearch.org/ (provides a free database where you can begin entering your info)
http://www.rootsweb.com/ (it's free and you can play around with tons of options)
http://www.usgenweb.com/ (is a great free resource once you know location for your ancestors)


brooke said...

Wahoo. That's awesome. I have to desire to get into it, but not the drive. If that makes sense. Maybe it's because I don't know where to begin, or because I let my grandma's do it all :) I would love some information though on how to start!

Kelli said...

You are awesome!

Crazymamaof6 said...

very cool! way to go!♫ genealogy i am doing it my genealogy! ♫

Micki said...

So....I have to read your blog thingy to find out any additional info that you may have come across??? Yes, this is your mother speaking and we just spoke on the phone yesterday and you didn't mention any of this. Apparently it is on a need to know basis and you think that I need to learn the word NO! you don't need to know. Well, enough of that ranting and raving. Have a pleasant day!