Who Do You Think You Are?
May 21, 2012
For Mother's Day this year, I made my mom a "Mother Tree" in cross-stitch. It traces the maternal line of the family back to 1754, through each marriage and birth of a daughter. And, I could never have done it without the genealogy resources at the Library.
Ancestry Library Edition (free on the public computers at the Library) is a great way to get started. The information is well organized, easily accessed, and absolutely addicting. Once you see your great-grandmother's marriage certificate or your several times great-grandfather's will, you'll be hooked. I know I was. I learned amazing things: that my great-great-great-grandmother and my grandmother both married men named Alfred John (what are the odds?), that most of the family was here before the Revolutionary War with a few latecomers from England and (who knew?) Denmark.
HeritageQuest Online filled in some of the missing links and also provided more detail. It's a searchable database of family and local history books, plus census and Revolutionary War records. I particularly like the local history books. They offer a wealth of personal detail and fill in the life behind the name. Marriages and remarriages, work and club histories, public offices and property held--it's all there. The military records were a revelation, too. Several of my ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, and one fought for both sides!
Mom loved the gift, by the way. But I feel like I got the better present--a historical novel filled with great characters. That I happen to be the latest chapter is the best part.
North Oak Branch