Genealogy thread

momz

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
oh I love this thread. i am an ancestry hobbyist. There are a couple of lines in my family that have been pretty thoroughly researched and archived through the generations. I am one of the 10% of Americans who can trace back to the Mayflower, my ancestor was an indentured servant who survived that first year. He was quite a character and his name comes up in court records for various delinquent behaviors. I suspect he was one of the "strangers" and not a puritan "saint" based on these records. But, unfortunately, we know nothing about his life prior his arrival here.
 

disneydreamer1980

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
I recently found out through research that I’m a direct descendent of Abel Westfall who fought under and was friends with George Washington who apparently gave him a large portion of West Virginia and put him in charge of the “Indian wars” there. There’s a town named after him to this day. So apparently I qualify to be in DAR but I’m not going to. Lots of info on him out there which is cool. The rest of my family are relatively recent arrivals and I can’t find much on them in Europe before the early 1800s. I also have Native American ancestry (my grandfather was half Sioux) which is pretty hard to find info about too.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
I recently found out through research that I’m a direct descendent of Abel Westfall who fought under and was friends with George Washington who apparently gave him a large portion of West Virginia and put him in charge of the “Indian wars” there. There’s a town named after him to this day. So apparently I qualify to be in DAR but I’m not going to. Lots of info on him out there which is cool. The rest of my family are relatively recent arrivals and I can’t find much on them in Europe before the early 1800s. I also have Native American ancestry (my grandfather was half Sioux) which is pretty hard to find info about too.
I’m curious why you wouldn’t if I may ask?
 

tazdev3225

<font color=darkorchid>I sucked my thumb up with t
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Great thread. I have been doing research on mine and my husband's family. I now know more about his family than he ever did. I ran into some of the same issues as others with his great grandparents. They were from Ireland with very common Irish surnames and first names. Since he has had no contact with any of his father's family since he was 7 years old I can't even question and of the relatives. My husband spent most of his life never knowing when he pretended to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day he didn't need to pretend.

The one thing I have found is going by family trees on Ancestry can send you in the wrong direction. I have a cousin who has been posting the family tree but I know for a fact that much of what he posts is dead wrong. He has our family being here pre-Revolutionary War but we have documents to show that the family came in the 1880's from Germany. The trees are good for hints but until I can verify things I only use them for hints.

Be prepared for skeletons in the closet. I have found some things about my family that weren't secrets, but they were never talked about either.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
oh I love this thread. i am an ancestry hobbyist. There are a couple of lines in my family that have been pretty thoroughly researched and archived through the generations. I am one of the 10% of Americans who can trace back to the Mayflower, my ancestor was an indentured servant who survived that first year. He was quite a character and his name comes up in court records for various delinquent behaviors. I suspect he was one of the "strangers" and not a puritan "saint" based on these records. But, unfortunately, we know nothing about his life prior his arrival here.
You should be able to find his indentured contract in England’s record archives on Ancestry. The families of the mayflower have more records found today than in the past. You may be able to find that missing piece.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Great thread. I have been doing research on mine and my husband's family. I now know more about his family than he ever did. I ran into some of the same issues as others with his great grandparents. They were from Ireland with very common Irish surnames and first names. Since he has had no contact with any of his father's family since he was 7 years old I can't even question and of the relatives. My husband spent most of his life never knowing when he pretended to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day he didn't need to pretend.

The one thing I have found is going by family trees on Ancestry can send you in the wrong direction. I have a cousin who has been posting the family tree but I know for a fact that much of what he posts is dead wrong. He has our family being here pre-Revolutionary War but we have documents to show that the family came in the 1880's from Germany. The trees are good for hints but until I can verify things I only use them for hints.

Be prepared for skeletons in the closet. I have found some things about my family that weren't secrets, but they were never talked about either.
I only put ancestors that have been verified on my tree and any name I need to still question has a question mark to indicate I need to do further research.
 

BadPinkTink

Republic of Ireland is not part of UK
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Great thread. I have been doing research on mine and my husband's family. I now know more about his family than he ever did. I ran into some of the same issues as others with his great grandparents. They were from Ireland with very common Irish surnames and first names. Since he has had no contact with any of his father's family since he was 7 years old I can't even question and of the relatives. My husband spent most of his life never knowing when he pretended to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day he didn't need to pretend.

I am from Ireland and my grandma and now my mom have traced a lot of our family tree. If you need help with Irish ancestors let me know as I might be able to give you info about resources and ways of getting information.
 

tazdev3225

<font color=darkorchid>I sucked my thumb up with t
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
I am from Ireland and my grandma and now my mom have traced a lot of our family tree. If you need help with Irish ancestors let me know as I might be able to give you info about resources and ways of getting information.
Thanks I may take you up on that when I get back from my vacation.

I do have a question that maybe somebody can help me with. Years ago, my family adopted 2 elderly sisters. When they passed away my mom and I were their heirs. Going through their things as we prepared to sell their house, I found a very detailed history of their family dating back to the Revolutionary War. Their great, not sure how many greats, grandfather came over with the British Army and defected to the American side, then stayed here in the Philly area. I would love to pass on a copy of it to someone that could use it for research purposes but don't know who I could give it to. Any ideas? We even found correspondence from an ancestor from the Civil War. I need to get that back from my dad before his dementia gets so bad he forgets where he put it. Thanks.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Thanks I may take you up on that when I get back from my vacation.

I do have a question that maybe somebody can help me with. Years ago, my family adopted 2 elderly sisters. When they passed away my mom and I were their heirs. Going through their things as we prepared to sell their house, I found a very detailed history of their family dating back to the Revolutionary War. Their great, not sure how many greats, grandfather came over with the British Army and defected to the American side, then stayed here in the Philly area. I would love to pass on a copy of it to someone that could use it for research purposes but don't know who I could give it to. Any ideas? We even found correspondence from an ancestor from the Civil War. I need to get that back from my dad before his dementia gets so bad he forgets where he put it. Thanks.
If you make copies of it, take the extra copies and donate it to the Philadelphia Public library and submit it to Ancestry. Both will be able to put it to good use and there it would be made available for those who could use it. I would love to read it to be honest.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
I recently found out through research that I’m a direct descendent of Abel Westfall who fought under and was friends with George Washington who apparently gave him a large portion of West Virginia and put him in charge of the “Indian wars” there. There’s a town named after him to this day. So apparently I qualify to be in DAR but I’m not going to. Lots of info on him out there which is cool. The rest of my family are relatively recent arrivals and I can’t find much on them in Europe before the early 1800s. I also have Native American ancestry (my grandfather was half Sioux) which is pretty hard to find info about too.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11783243/abel-westfall
Thank you for your ancestor’s service.:-)
 

disneyworldsk

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
A couple of things. First see if you can get a book from your library or book store on old German/English translation. Second, contact Ancestry.com and see if you can get advice from one of their experts. If you know what dialect of German your family spoke from a particular part of Germany it may help. Try to see if the your family was Ashkenazi Jewish. If so, the language you might be trying to translate is Yiddish and not just German. Yiddish is available on google translate.
It's German, old script for sure. If I get an old german translation book the problem is that I can't actually read these script words at all. I don't know what I would do with a book from the library. I will ask ancestry yes.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
My wife bought me a DNA test kit for my birthday. I have to use that and find out if I am who I really think I am. LOL.

Kind of funny because my wife isn't a fan of those tests because of how the results can uncover criminal activity by distant relatives.
 

sarahann77

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
How far back have you been able to track your family?
My dad's side that was done a long time ago can go back to Charlemagne, as tons can do as well, but the main one we like that's more of a direct line is William Brewster from the Mayflower.

The recent research, I'm getting stuck for those older than 1700s for my dad's maternal side. The most interesting person fought in the Civil War. I happened upon a veteran's note that was added to his find a grave page that detailed out his war history and family. My dad didn't realize how many children this relative had and only knew a little so he was amazed the information this other person researched. This helped find a living relative as well and a great grand daughter happened to message me as well so I then had proof the elder was still living as I suspected.

For the question of why wouldn't we want to be part of the DAR even when we can prove it. I could as my mother has it documented from her father, but just the social aspect of the types of ladies that are part of the group. They just aren't me, nor my mother. Perceived more uppity. The thoughts that it's just socializing for lunch or tea just doesn't interest me right now. The same would be for the Mayflower society as well. Maybe when I'm older I'd consider it.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
My wife bought me a DNA test kit for my birthday. I have to use that and find out if I am who I really think I am. LOL.

Kind of funny because my wife isn't a fan of those tests because of how the results can uncover criminal activity by distant relatives.
I look at it from this perspective. You have nothing to feel guilty about for someone else’s actions. If you want to take the test and someone is caught for doing something wrong, that is not on you.
 

Deb

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 1999
I need help please!!!! I am organizing my father's "holocaust box" , that's what we call it. His German Jewish family was either killed or escaped the holocaust and his archived materials about their journeys to life or death are stuffed in a box. I took the box from him and am organizing them.
However....I have come across TONS of letters from concentration camps, labor camps, on the boat to America to freedom, correspondence between relatives after the war, and my grandfather's time in a refugee camp in London. BUT they are all in OLD SCRIPT GERMAN!! I thought I only had two letters and someone online I hired transcribed a couple but it was very expensive. Then I realized I had MANY letters!!!
How can I get them transcribed in an economical way? Google translate does not transcribe old german script.
Help!


Have you tried the genealogical translations group on the book with a face?
 









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