Ever since our Genogram project for class, I have been obsessing over my unknown family members. My genealogy kicks come and go every couple of months where I dig and research looking for any sliver of a relative. When my friend Sarah mentioned Geni.com, I created my free account and went to town adding family members. No surprise, mom’s side exploded as I started connecting existing trees. Almost immediately there were 4 generations dating back to the 1700s with my great-great-great-great-great grandfather… so maybe more than 4 generations.
Anyhow. Not surprising. There are some amazing genealogists in that side of the family.
Dad’s side looked sad and pathetic with him, his father, his mother and step-family. I googled my grandmother (I do this a lot) and – holy crap – I found her obituary. In it were names of her sister, brother and a few other family members.
*Flexes Google-fu muscles*
I searched, and searched and found her sister’s obituary with names of her family. Seriously, it was like hitting a winning jackpot. I googled the names I found and actually found one person on FB. I reached out to her and we’ve been chatting the last few days trying to piece things together with the help of her – and my! – family members.
This is so surreal bc I went from knowing nothing to having a bunch of family members and most of them live in Miami.
Not that it’s even remotely the same thing, but I kinda know how my future child will feel not knowing any of his family members. I was brought up in a loving family full of crazy people and still had that nagging feeling about something missing. My child won’t likely be able to do what I’ve just done and find his long lost family. We really don’t know how much information we will have about his ancestors.
I am putting together a family tree so he can see where his history is now. I know it’s not the same thing, but I hope it will comfort him just a little bit knowing that he isn’t the only adopted person in our family. Yes, I’ve discovered several adoptions and remarriages in my research.
I’d love to do Steve’s tree as well, but that’s something he needs to work on. My ancestral last names are pretty unique whereas his as much more common and I don’t even remotely know everyone’s names.
Have you done a family tree? How far back were you able to go and did you print it out? That’s my next task.. finding a big enough printer or pretty enough pre-made form to fill in.
I actually did a family tree on Ancestery.com. I have several generations back only until about 1800’s. and the those are all in Europe so that’s why it is limited.
If you sign up for the free trial on geni.com, I wonder if you’d be able to find more info about the European ancestors. I don’t really know where mine are as my cousins are the ones that did all that legwork.
Do you like geni.com? I’ve been pondering working on my family tree and want to start looking into Ancestry, etc… I’d never heard of geni.com until now — I’ll check it out.
Hi Katie, A friend of mine was talking about it on FB and I looked it up. It is free to create you tree which is why I would use it over all the expensive pay sites like Ancestry.com. I do really like it and plan on keeping mine there and digging for more family. Good luck!
Family Tree Maker 6.0 lets you enter information about your family, including names, birth dates, marriages and deaths into a series of prompts, known as the “People” workspace, and create a family tree for printing and sharing with family members. The program, available for Windows systems, even includes an online component for searching for family members via the Ancestry website. After family members are found online, you can import the family information directly into Family Tree Maker 6.0.