Posted by: wrmcnutt | August 23, 2009

Meeting the Ancestors

My Dad’s current touch-and-go heath issues have bumped me on my where-did-I-come-from switch.  On a whim, I joined  Their interface is a front end for a BUNCH of public data sources. 

It’s very interesting and not hard to use.  You just type in the information you know, and it does automated searches on various public information such as birth, death, and marriage records, as well as the census.  I’ve seen the facsimile of the 1930 census sheet for my Grandfather.  In 1930, Grandpa McNutt was still living at home.  He was 19 and an auto parts salesman.  Also at home were his two sisters, and a mysterious   name I did not recognize.  It was the Depression.  I suspect that it was a boarder they had let a room to.

As they automated searches find something, a leaf-shaped flag pops up indicating that you have clue.  Usually it’s a census record.  You’re SUPPOSED to verify the original document before agreeing to continue.  By just saying “Yeah, that’s my ancestor,” with no work whatsoever, I traced my Mom’s people back to Lancaster-shire, England, in the 1300’s.  If all my wild, hairy guesses are correct, my oldest ancestor is Mr. John Smith, Lancaster-shire.

Odds are good that there’s an error somewhere in all those generations.

What I really learned from this is that my Mom’s mother’s people were important.  My Dad’s family line ends with his grandfather on both sides of the family.  My Mom’s Dad’s line also ends with Mom’s grandfather.  But my mother’s mother’s family just KEPT going back.

I’ve found Irishmen, Englishmen, and, to my deep embarrassment, Yankees.  I’ve got people from Maryland and Massachusetts, for goodness’ sake.

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  1. well you didn’t have to admit to the yanks.

  2. I am glad you had a good experience with it.. I have considered it to hunt down some of my more illusive relatives.

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