Family history

So I’d blogged about pirate ancestry a few posts back. My ancestors weren’t pirates, best I can tell. I know that my dad’s family has been in the US for a long time – landed in the 1700s. And we have had several spelling changes since then. Beyond that it’s a bit murky.

This woman, I don’t know if she’s a relation of mine or what, wrote by hand, something like 6 volumes of genealogical history of one of my dad’s family lines, as well as several other family lines that were intertwined by marriage. I picked up a volume this spring, thinking to learn more, but it’s handwritten, poorly organized, and just all over the place and hard to read. I did grab one of the middle volumes though, so perhaps I should have started at the beginning. My mom tried reading it many years ago and got a little lost. At certain points in the books, the following people appear in the family lines, but I’m not sure who *I* am actually directly related to.

James Knox Polk


one of the Plantagenets (I forget which, I think an Edward)

Robert the Bruce (the dude who sold out Mel Gibson in Braveheart)

The last 2 are kind of interesting since Edward III signed a treaty recognizing Scotland and making Robert officially King of Scotland. Hard to be related to both. 🙂 But maybe there was a narrative about these two? I don’t know. I just remember my mom telling me that they came up in the books.

Like I said, this woman’s books are kind of murky. Something I’ve been wanting to do in my free time, especially once my dad passed, was to sit down and start doing some family tree-ing of my own. I’m not sure how accurate these books are, and I know that there’s a ton of stuff online these days. Any of you readers into this? I started a few years ago and it’s tough – but it kind of appeals to my anal retentive investigative nature. Any advice or software recommendations? I’ve looked at Reunion 9 and Mac Family Tree and don’t really know what the difference is (aside from $50 or so). I think it would be cool to scan letters, pictures, whatever and have them link into a graphic of the tree and then be able to publish that online or something. In my free time, ah, mythical free time. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Family history”

  1. My paternal great-grandmother’s nth-cousin (a Stafford) did the same thing back in the 70s, but the book was printed. Makes for much easier reading. Of course there was no Internet back then, he did it the hard way.

  2. Yeah this lady did crazy amounts of research. I just wish she was 1. organized and 2. used a typewriter. These volumes are HUGE, in old lady handwriting, and are really nicely bound in hardcover.

  3. Many years ago, my inlaws gave me a bunch of hand-written documents as well. Very difficult to decipher, but it was interesting to find that Hubby’s great-great grandfather came here from Sweden.

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