Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hey, at least my family tree branches!

I've been working on the family genealogy for about a decade now.  It's something that I was full-bore onto about 5 years ago, but now that I've hit a few roadblocks, I've slowed down.  A few tips for the new genealogist:

1. Obits are still the best thing for finding out things.  Fortunately for me, my family has stuck around this area of South-Central WI for about 3 generations now. My local library has the Janesville Gazette on microfilm all the way back to the 1890's. I get cranky at the fact that a female ancestor was called, "Mrs. So&So" instead of her maiden name, but that's the thing that can frustrate you fast.

2. If you have the $, sign up for a year of Ancestry.com but remember to USE it. I used to set up Sunday's as my ancestor day and troll the databases looking for info.

3. Talk to your older relatives about their memories before their mind slips.  My Grandma on my Mother's side used to drop little tidbits that would tick the heck out of me like, "Oh your Aunt Mabel? You mean the one that died in the Asylum?" ARRRGGHHHH! WHY was Aunt Mabel in an asylum? WHY did she die there?
  - It turns out Aunt Mabel -my Great-Aunt Mabel died in an asylum after suffering old-age dementia.  She used to be a school mistress at a boy's school in IL before her passing.  Never married, she had like...6 brothers.

Keep working on it. I've discovered a few fun facts of my family that just crack me up.  For instance, I am distantly related to Rebecca Nurse, killed as a witch in Salem.  It was my much-great Grandfather who turned her in.  I'm also related to King Edward I of Scotland, but I don't think I'll be heading to the throne anytime soon.  I think the entire native population of the UK gets there before I do.

The Rudi side of the family.  From the back, Arnold, my Father, and his wife Bobbie,  Uncle LaVerne, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Leonard Jr. and Aunt Kayla, his wife.  Seated are my Cousin Brian and Aunt Marti. The Rudi's hail from Norway, where I still have many cousins.  My Husband always jokes that you can tell a Norwegian, you just can't tell him much.  ~Gets funnier every time I hear it..................

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