Genealogy Research…in 2050?!?

Researching family history has its challenges. Often when genealogists are trying to understand more about their ancestors, they run into problems or “brick walls”, such as problems locating information about an ancestor, who their parents were, where did they live, etc. Now, we currently live in an “Age of Information” but this can also be a double edged sword, there is a ton of information out there and not all of it is correct. The sheer amount of information available in our digital age brings up an interesting question: what will all this research be like in the future, say, in 30 years? Will genealogy be an easier field of study due to major improvements in documentation? Or will genealogy research be increasingly more difficult as people seek privacy online?

New Challenges & Excitements

How it will be easier:

In many ways, genealogists in the future will have an easier time researching their ancestors. This is because now, everyone’s vital information is documented and recorded in various ways, unlike in the 1700s or 1800s. The inventions and innovations of the modern era have documented our lives in more detail than ever before. Some examples are new records/sources, genealogists in the future can use are…

  • Birth certificates
  • Hospital/Medical records
  • Baby books
  • Social Security records
  • School records
  • College forms
  • Travel/Visa records
  • Etc, etc, etc…

Records today have become mostly standardized and probably by 2050, many more records will be digitized and available online. Not to mention, that finding photos of your ancestors will definitely not be an issue in 2050 for many genealogists. In fact, some genealogists then may be overwhelmed by the amount of family photos they come across, as modern phones and cameras have made photography a normal part of life. Family photos that are stored digitally will also not be subject to any physically decay or deterioration overtime, so our photos could look the same forever!

Other things to note:

  • Many more U.S. censuses will have been released, the United States 1980 Census will be released to the public in 2052. In 2051, the U.K. and Ireland will also release their census data from a century earlier.
  • People will also be living a lot longer then we did in the past so their stories will more likely be passed on.

Greater Complexity:

Genealogists in future decades will undoubtedly have a lot to look forward to, that does not mean there still are a fair amount of challenges and “brickwalls” to deal with. In many cases it could become fairly hard and complex to piece together. 

For one, there will be a lot more information available than before, a lot of which will be inaccurate or false. So the family historians of the future will have to be very careful with the information they gather and put in their family tree. 

Another point is that it may seem like finding and identifying relatives in photos will be a piece of cake in the future. Although, there will likely still be many challenges in this part of family history research. Sure, some genealogists in 2050 may have an overabundance of family photos, to a point where that they don’t know what to do with them all! Others might find that there is little to none. This could the case because many family photos, nowadays, are simply stored on someone’s smart phone or computer, never printed or uploaded. This makes them far easier to lose, then something in a photo album. It’s possible that many of these pictures and memories will have long gone by 2050. Another issue is that people don’t write on the back of printed photos anymore like that they used to. This issue could give the family historians of future decades tons of headaches, trying to figure out who the people in the pictures are or when they were taken.

Also, genealogists should record accurate and detailed information and stories of their family today, so in the future, genealogists won’t have such a hard time researching. Since nowadays, people move more frequently for employment or personal reasons. Many families may relocate several times. So it might be harder for a genealogist in 2050 to research their family. The information you record should be on paper instead of online for privacy reasons. 

One fact that will make genealogy research harder in the future is that modern family structures can be much more complicated than they were in the past. Unfortunately, divorce rates are on the rise. In the past decades, around 40%-50% of U.S. marriages have ended in divorce. Not to mention, in some circumstances, a child’s parents don’t even get married. Another aspect of modern culture is acceptance of different types of relationships people have and many couples don’t have children. These differences will mean future genealogists will need to work especially carefully!

The Impact of Social Media on Genealogy Research

Social media will likely have a major role in genealogy research in the future. It will definitely make discovering and learning about your ancestors’ lives a lot more fun and interesting than today. Just imagine…finding your ancestors’ Twitter could tell you what they thought, discovering their old Instagram page would show who their friends were or where they went for vacation, their Facebook could have a photo of the family reunion Christmas 2019, the possibilities are endless!

How I could see this becoming reality is old/inactive social media accounts could be archived and preserved like any other genealogy record, perhaps after a couple of decades. The accounts that are archived eventually could end up onto genealogy websites. Imagine genealogy database titles like, “U.S., Facebook Accounts, 2004-2010” or “U.S., Instagram Accounts, 2011-2016.” In this scenario, if you would want to find more about your ancestors, you would not only need to keep track of their vital information but also note their contact information like their Snapchat or Instagram username.

Conclusion:

Of course, these are just speculations and this probably isn’t exactly what genealogy research in the future will be like. But, these are just my thoughts. Family history research will definitely be a lot different in the future, for better or for worse. Hopefully the field will continue to grow overtime. Well, we at the Hidden Branch wish you happy holidays and a good end to the year!

See you in 2050!

Citations

  1. Futuristic City Night View Wallpaper
  2. Vital Records
  3. The 1980 U.S. Census Logo
  4. Family at the Airport
  5. U.S. Divorce Rate Statistics
  6. Social Media Apps
  7. Skyline of Sydney, Australia, 2050

What’s In A Name?

So, my first ‘tip’ for young genealogists is to not take names so seriously. Unless you have someone named, for example, Robert Herbert Marshmallow and you are able to find a vital record for a Robert Herbert Marshmallow. In that case, you are lucky. But what happens when the names don’t work in your favour? I never realized how important spelling and names were in genealogy until I began research on my McDonald ancestors.

Let’s have a look at an example from my own family tree.

This one family, consisting of Findlay McDonald, Catherine McDonald and their five children Ferchan, John, Nancy, Margaret and Catherine moved from Scotland to NSW, Australia in 1839. I had always had trouble finding information on this particular family before and after their arrival in Australia, and it was all because of their names.

To begin with, my grandfather has always told me that these McDonald ancestors were always spelled with a ‘Mc’, never ‘Mac’. It surprised me to find that many of the records had the family listed as ‘Mac’. The marriage of Findlay’s parents, Ferchan McDonald and Mary McIllwraith (spelling from the Immigration records) turned up no results. It turns out that Mary’s maiden surname was in fact, Macillavrae. Findlay, the father, has been found many times in other Australian records with his name spelled as Finlay/Finley and even Finly. If that doesn’t make it hard enough, I could find no record of their eldest son Ferchan, so I looked at other variations of the name, including; Ferchar, Fearchar, Feracher, Fergus and Farquhar, all of which have turned up no results. To make that even more confusing, it seems to be that Findlay and Catherine had another son after their arrival in 1844, by the name of Francis. This leaves out any possibility that “Ferchan” could be “Francis”. Francis, you would think, would be easy to find information on. However, on Findlay’s death certificate the informant was his son, Frank McDonald. This meant that Francis went by two names. Still no results.

For a while I gave up on the males and began looking for the female children, which is notably a lot harder as at marriage they would have changed their surnames. Searches for Margaret/ Margarete turned up no results, so I looked for Nancy. After finding nothing with the name “Nancy McDonald” I turned to Rootschat.com to see if anyone else could find anything for this particular person. A baptism notice for the particular year of her birth in Scotland came back with the father as Finlay, no mention of a mother, and the child’s name as Ann.

Moral of the story, be lenient with your names. A name registered at birth may not be the name they used in the Census records, they may go by their middle name or even by a nickname.

Thanks for reading!

Emmerson B~

G’Day from Down Under!

G’day! I’m Emmerson and I’m one of the newest members of The Hidden Branch. If you can’t guess from the title, I’m from a little country in the Southern Hemisphere called Australia.

I’m 21, which admittedly is a bit older than the rest of The Hidden Branch. However, I started my family history search when I was 12 years old. So that’s 9 whole years of genealogy!

I remember what it was like, with little access to money in order to purchase those vital records, and how annoying it could be as a 16/17 year old.

With that experience, I hope to help other young genealogists who encounter that same paywall problem with the tips and tricks I used! As well, I hope I inspire others to understand that family history is much more than dates and places. I would like to show you how you can access the emotions of your ancestors with these vital records.

I specialize in Australian and New Zealand records, as well as English records. I’m trying to enlighten myself upon the Scottish and Irish record system as I also have ancestors from there!

I have almost finished my History degree, and have just started my Diploma of Family History. After both are completed, I aspire to become certified as a genealogist and am studying hard to do so!

When I’m not at work or University, I’m in the archives room at the library, at home compiling my family histories or strolling around the local cemetery.

If you are on Instagram or Twitter, you can reach me at: @/ourpasts

The History of the Hidden Branch

It is now the 28th of October, 2020, meaning the Hidden Branch blog has officially been around for ONE WHOLE YEAR!!! For this occasion, our member, Tyler, would like to present the history of this small blog group…and you would be surprised how much history this group has!

The first idea of “the Hidden Branch” originated as a genealogy service that our member, Tyler, started in the spring of 2018. He began by asking family, friends and classmates if they would like to have their family tree made. The 13 year old had some success and eventually he earned a grand total of $100 from happy clients. Then, he stopped researching family trees for others because he wanted to work on his own family history and maintaining the Hidden Branch by himself was difficult.

Flash forward to October, 2019, nearing the end of the decade, when the modern group of the Hidden Branch formed. The group started out with three members: Daniel, Emily, and Tyler. The teens met through Instagram, where each had their own genealogy profiles. Daniel suggested creating a blog group, which turned out to be a real pivoting point. They decided to use the name “the Hidden Branch” from Tyler’s old business and immediately began setting up social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook and a website on Weebly. The year ended strong when the group was featured in the November issue of The Genealogy Show Newsletter (based in Birmingham, England) and in Irish Roots Magazine, Issue 112.

Our interview with The Genealogy Show

Irish Roots Magazine, Issue 112

In early 2020, the group worked hard during quarantine to update the social media accounts and switch the website to WordPress. In June, our group recruited its fourth member, P.J and in September, the Hidden Branch added it’s fifth member, Emmy. Expanding our group to over three different countries. The five now collaborate via Google Meet or Zoom calls and have become pretty close friends. The group currently have accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as a website. Posts are current and relevant, offering information about genealogy in a way that would attract younger people to the field. The Hidden Branch also currently admitting one new member, Rebecca, into the group and is excited for what is next to come as 21st century genealogists and who we will meet.

Our group, Emmy, P.J., Emily, Daniel & Tyler

[Not pictured: Rebecca]

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Here are some thoughts from each group member about why they decided to join and what they think of the group now:

Emmy – “Starting genealogy when I was a young kid was a lonely business, no one around me was interested in it and so I kept to myself, starting an Instagram page to connect with other (mostly adult) genealogists. Now I have a group closer to my age to chat about and share genealogy finds with, and I would hate for future young genealogists to feel the same way I did as a youngster! That’s why I joined The Hidden Branch.”

P.J. – “I joined because I want to get more kids and teens into history and genealogy. I’d never heard of a group this young doing genealogy, I thought I was alone. I’m so glad I joined because I think this group is going to start a movement in the genealogical community.”

Daniel – “I had joined because I felt that we needed to create a community made by young genealogists for budding young genealogists so that we can share tips and tricks to help not make the start seem so daunting – as it did for me 3 years ago. I’m personally glad that I’m not alone when it comes to teenagers interested in genealogy as we then take the baton from those before us and pass it on to future generations and keep the memories of family long before us alive.”

Emily – “I joined the Hidden Branch because I wanted to talk to and get to know people my own age who were interested in genealogy, as before I joined I didn’t know any  teenagers interested in the topic. I also wanted to contribute to the genealogy community by writing posts and sharing research tips. I’m really glad that I joined the Hidden Branch as I’ve made new friends and I’ve been able to both share and expand my knowledge in the field of family history. I look forward to the future of our group!”

Tyler – “I am really glad that I met the people at the Hidden Branch and that we have created this blog group together. Before, I thought I was the only teenager out there who loved researching his genealogy…thankfully I was wrong. It is really nice to talk to people my age who also really enjoy learning about their family history. I also deeply enjoy sharing my love of family history with the world by writing blog posts and contributing to the Hidden Branch and BWB Hour and sharing my finds on my genealogy accounts on Instagram and Twitter. I am happy to be a part of this group and I am excited for what the future holds for us.”

Introducing you to #BWBHour

Hitting a brick wall in your research? I have plenty! Well, as you might know – I run a Twitter chat from 7-8pm UK time on a Sunday evening called #BWBHour (short for Brick Wall Busters) It is a time where those who have hit a dead end can come and ask for help & advice in their research.

I started it back in April 2020 as I wanted to bring people together to help each other with genealogy because as the saying goes “a problem shared, is a problem halved” (or sometimes it might be solved) Some people have found this a helpful outlet for genealogy chit-chat or a new thing to work on! At the moment BWBHour is on Twitter and has a Facebook group and the conversation can be followed here. (There may be an Instagram page coming – but at the time of writing there isn’t one)

So how does it work? Well you can either submit a brick wall through the website or post it up in a tweet with the hashtag #BWBHour or you can even put the brick wall in the Facebook group too!

Tell us your thoughts in the comments & stay tuned for more…

Vietnamese Genealogy Research – the Tips and Challenges…

As someone who is half-Vietnamese in heritage, it is no surprise that I have learned a thing or two about Vietnamese research; and I have to say it is pretty tricky. Vietnam has never really been a country that has kept genealogical records, most likely due to the country’s tumultuous history. But here I will share with you my experience with doing Vietnamese research, what I have learned, and some tips on how to better research.

Here are a few tips I would like to share, knowing this will help you make sure you are recording your genealogical data correctly! Even if you don’t have Vietnamese heritage, it may still be interesting to read about.

Date Order:

The date order that Vietnam uses is day/month/year compared to the U.S.’s month/day/year format. The date format that Vietnam uses is pretty commonplace across the world but still something to remember. When recording dates for your Vietnamese ancestors, make sure you specify which date format you are using.

Vietnamese Names

General Info & Naming Order:

  • Most Vietnamese full names consist of 3-4 names
  • In Vietnam, the naming order goes in this order: Family Name | Middle Name | Given Name. Compared to how in the West where the naming order is the opposite. So for example, in Vietnamese, my great grandmother’s would be recorded as Phạm Thị Yên… 
  1. Phạm, the last name
  2. Thị, the middle name
  3. Yên, the given name
  • However, in English, the order of the name would be Yên Thị Phạm. I record my ancestor’s names with the Western name order simply because I am more accustomed to it and so I know what is the given, middle, and family name. However, you can use whichever order you feel like comfortable with, just make sure you are consistent with which order you use. So double check you have the name order correct!
  • This is the same naming system used in countries like China, Japan, & Korea.
  • Still, most people in Vietnam go by their given or “first” name.
  • Many Vietnamese Catholics also have Christian names, my grandmother’s Christian name, for example, was Maria.
  • Vietnamese immigrants to the US or other English speaking countries also adopted American or English sounding names.

Family Names:

  • Another thing to note is that Vietnamese women will keep their maiden even after marriage. However, when introducing themselves, Vietnamese women typically use their husband’s given name. For example, my great great grandmother often went by the name “Mrs. Khang” because Khang was her husband’s first name. An American example would be if a woman were to go by the name “Mrs. John” or “Mrs. William.”
  • Vietnam also has a limited number of unique surnames. The family name “Nguyen” is used by about nearly 40% of Vietnam’s population. The most common 14 surnames account for 90% of the population. So be careful when looking at records because there’s a lot of people with the same surname.

Middle Names:

  • Middle names are often used to distinguish people with the same family and given name.
  • In the past, women mostly had the middle name “Thị” and men had the middle name “Văn.” These middle names implied gender, however, these names are now considered out-dated. 
  • Sometimes they can also indicate family generation, for example, siblings often shared the same middle name.
  • Other middle names simply add meaning to the full name, with some meanings relating to happiness or intelligence 
  • Sometimes the mother’s maiden name could be the middle name for the children

Given Names:

  • Most Vietnamese given names have a literal meaning, similar to middle names.
  • The majority of these names are Chinese in origin.

Character Markings:

As you could see with my great grandmother’s name, the Vietnamese language uses the Latin alphabet but uses tonal markings, these specify the tone you need to speak/read the word and a change in tone can completely change the meaning of the word. So make sure you include these character markings when recording your ancestor’s names. 

My experience with doing Vietnamese Genealogy

How I got Information:

  • Getting information about my family was pretty difficult. As mentioned, Vietnam basically has never kept vital records of any kind until recently. So for the most part, I had to interview my family members about my ancestors and my family’s background.
  • If you or your family happens to be Catholic Vietnamese, there is a better chance of finding vital records at the parish your family was a part of in Vietnam. Often, the parish kept records such as baptism or marriage records. You may even be able to visit your ancestor’s gravestone in the parish cemetery. But, at the moment, none of these possible records are online.
  • However, many cemeteries have been converted to public land since the end of the Vietnam War.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi MInh City

Birthdates:

  • Many lied about their age during the Vietnam War to avoid military service, usually the person would say they were a year or two younger than they actually were. So make sure you gather both dates, if they did lie about their age.
  • Remembering your year of birth wasn’t something that was super important back in the day in Vietnam. However, people usually knew what Chinese zodiac sign they were so you find that a relative doesn’t exactly know what year they were born. You could ask what Chinese zodiac they are and get the year from there.

Research all you can in the new country

  • When conducting research on your Vietnamese relatives, make sure you research all you can in the country of your relatives immigrants, whether it is the United States, Australia, etc. Often you can find public records on genealogical websites to see where your family lived and many still have their naturalization papers or certificates.

Sources and Images

Information:

  1. Vietnamese Names | ThingsAsian
  2. Vietnamese Names | A Guide
  3. Why 40% of Vietnamese People Have the Same Last Name | Atlas Obscura

Images:

  1. Map of Vietnam
  2. Common Vietnamese Names Pie Chart
  3. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
  4. Chinese Zodiac Wheel

Introducing Teens to Genealogy – Conor

We at the Hidden Branch want to introduce more teens into the world of genealogy!

Tyler, one of our Hidden Branch Members, did some genealogy research for his friend, Conor. Tyler looked into the family history of Conor’s grandfather and found his family’s past was a unique mix of Italian, German, and French immigrants, who came to America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Afterwards, Tyler interviewed his friend to see what he thought about all these new discoveries.

Q&A…

  1. Did you know much about your family history before this research was done?

“I didn’t know much about my family history before Tyler made the tree for me as a birthday gift. I only knew people from a couple of generations back and their nationalities, but I had never heard of anyone beyond that.”

  1. What was the most surprising/interesting thing you’ve discovered in your family tree?

“I found a couple of things surprising about my family tree. The first is that the majority of my past ancestors didn’t have my current last name. The ones who did have it only dated back to the early 1900’s. I found this interesting because I thought my current last name would’ve dated back further. Instead I found out that it just came up out of the blue, while other last names had been running through generations longer. Another thing I found interesting was how many kids my ancestors had. Some of them had over a dozen kids! I found this interesting because it showed me how big family trees really are, especially if you look into your cousins and distant relatives.”

  1. Do you think you will research other branches of your family?

“Yes! I will do research into other branches of my family! Tyler had done research on my dad’s side, so I am excited to look into my mom’s side of the family more! Tyler also gave me this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TETg5uOJdls; to help me enter more people onto my family tree.”

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“I really enjoyed researching my friend’s family tree. I got to practice my genealogy skills and it adds to my experience as an amateur family historian. I was proud of the work I did and I am glad he appreciated his family tree.” – Tyler

Polska Research!

Polish genealogy is split basically in three because of the partitions done by the Russian, Prussians, and Austrians. I would recommend learning history and about all the border changes because it can get confusing real quick. (One day you’re in Prussia, the next Russia). With each section, I will give resources I’ve found helpful and how I find them helpful, I’ll explain the challenges I have for the region and lastly a basic outline of the history.

Prussia

Prussia is undoubtedly the easiest to research in, they have the most resources out of any region. I always start with FamilySearch Wikipedia because they give a quick rundown of the history, culture, and most importantly resources to use. The top resources I use are as follows, Poznan Project, this is a database that has marriages indexed from the Historic Poznan Duchy. Prussia’s Polish population was a majority Catholic population and record loss is very minimal. The challenge I’ve had with Prussia is that most records aren’t digitized but indexed, so names can be taken liberally as the indexer might not know the surname.

Austria

I nicknamed Galicia the land of fire! Because there’s so much record lost during WW1 and WW2 devastated this region which was already historically poor. Most Polish-Americans trace their ancestry to this region just for the reasons stated above. Outside of FamilySearch, I like Gesher Galicia, it’s a decent database and welling organized, I would also recommend that you look at maps as names partially in this region change and many villages have very similar names, like Olszana and Olszanka. The only challenge I have for this region is record lost, I have 2 2nd great grandparents whom villages were razed by the Germans and Russians.

Russia

    I’ll be honest I have no real experience with Polish-Russian genealogy, mostly because I can’t identify where my ancestors were from, so I would recommend that you get your family to take a DNA test and hopefully you can rebuild a tree far back enough to find a home village. If you do identify your home village I would check JewishGen and Redite ad Fontes both are amazing resources for Russian Research. If you ever hope in finding your family in the Russian partitions then I would look at learning cyclic Russian.

Free Genealogy Websites For Irish Family History Research – 10th February 2020

Here is a collection of some of my favourite and most used free genealogy websites. There are many valuable genealogy records on pay sites, such as Ancestry or Findmypast, but there also great free genealogy websites, which also contain important genealogical databases. Most of the websites below are related to Irish genealogy research as most of my ancestors hailed from the Emerald Isle. Many of the records I mention below are also available on other websites, a lot of these being pay sites.

1.Family Search (www.familysearch.org) Family Search contains a variety of records from many different countries around the world. The Family Search Wiki is also a valuable resource on this website as it explains what records are available in each country and where you can find them.

2. Irish Genealogy (www.irishgenealogy.ie)
Irish genealogy contains church records (Roman Catholic records for County Kerry, County Cork (except most of Cork city), and Dublin City, Church of Ireland records for Dublin City, County Kerry and County Carlow) and civil records (births 1864-1919, non-Roman Catholic marriages 1845-1944, Roman Catholic marriages 1864-1944, deaths index 1864-1969, deaths images 1878-1969)

3. Nli.ie (registers.nli.ie)
This is the official website of the National Library of Ireland. There are many resources on this website that are of historical and genealogical importance, one of which I use frequently is the Roman Catholic Parish Registers. Most of the Roman Catholic parishes on the island of Ireland are represented in this database, with dates varying across individual parishes, some records starting in the 1700s, while others mightn’t start until the 1850s. Most records however stop around the 1890s. Very few of the parishes have indexes to their records on this website, however the records on nli.ie are indexed and are free to view on findmypast.ie

4. National Archives of Ireland (nationalarchives.ie)
The official website of the National Archives of Ireland contains many genealogical databases, such as the Irish Censuses of 1911, 1901, 1851,1841,1831 and 1821, Valuation Office Books, The Tithe Applotment Books, Will Registers 1858-1900, Calendar of Wills and Administrations 1858-1922, Soldiers Wills 1914-1917, and the census search forms 1841-1851.

5. Ask About Ireland (www.askaboutireland.ie)
Ask About Ireland is a free website where there are many historical, cultural and genealogical resources and information available. One genealogy database that I frequently use is the Griffiths Valuation 1847-1864, which contains maps and images detailing property and land owners throughout the island of Ireland between 1847 and 1864.

An Interview with Eric Schubert of ESGenealogy – December 21st, 2019

Picture

Well on the Hidden Branch, we love to find teenagers interested in Genealogy and this one has made his name shine over the US particularly in New Jersey, it’s Eric Schubert! Let’s hear what he had to say in response to the questions that Daniel put to him…

1) What got you into genealogy & how long have you been researching for?
“My grandparents all passed away in a year span when I was younger, and around that same time I used to be home sick a lot – which gave me a lot of free time. My Mom saw a genealogy commercial and suggested I maybe check that out to pass the time. I did, and the rest is history! I was probably around 9 then and have been researching since then, so almost ten years of research at this point.”

2) What interesting things have you discovered about your ancestors?
“I would say one of the most interesting things is that my surname really isn’t Schubert – it’s Grzegorzewski. My paternal grandfather changed it right before he was married. It’s on his baptismal record and all records of his parents, etc. No idea where Schubert came from. It’s supposedly my 4x great grandmother’s maiden name on that line – my father’s grandfather’s great grandmother. Lot of greats! That whole paternal line is just so fascinating. And tricky! I also discovered I have pretty deep New England roots, many of my direct ancestors founded towns and are on monuments like the Founders Monument in Hartford, CT.”

3) Who/What are you currently focusing on in your research?
“I’ll admit, it’s been awhile since I’ve dug into my own tree as I focus mainly on clients. But, I will say I am always looking for information on my paternal line. The most mysterious! It’s a unique situation. I think I have my great great grandfather, his parents, and his family coming over to America, however it doesn’t all fit. The surname is right, however many of the first names are wrong – but it’s a unique surname, the year is right, the ages match the children, and they are coming in at the right port! So, I’m kind of stuck. I revisit it every time I get the chance. I think it has to be them, but I just can’t prove it – so for now, I’m at a standstill”

4) Have you come across any difficulties while researching your family (e.g. Conflicting sources)

“I can’t think of a few in particular, but definitely. There almost always are conflicting sources at times due to possible human transcription error, that sort of thing. One example I can think of though actually is my great grandmother’s birth date. She was born in England, but there is no record of it – although, there is one for all her siblings. So that’s odd for starters. Her headstone lists her birth year at 1900, which I know is wrong because she immigrated in 1902 around the age of 4/5/6. Her death certificate lists it as 1907, which I definitely know is wrong. The exact date is also up for debate, but my great uncle, her son (she died young, unfortunately) said it was definitely in September. Circumstantially, I believe her birthdate is September 28th, 1897 – but there’s a billion other options.”

5) What advice would you give to people wanting to start genealogy?
“Don’t take everything you think you know about your family tree as fact. Let the records guide you first! Look closely, always.”

6) Do you think there is enough places/sites for kids & teens to get into genealogy?

“Yes, and I think it’s growing daily! Which, is great.”

Don’t forget to follow him on his social media below (and check out his website here)