Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Classes to check out

Michigan's unique position as the Great Lakes state means that it has a long and colorful history. Whether your ancestors passed through Michigan or stayed for

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bad software

6 Bad Things About Today's Genealogy Software

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quesitons about the Grandparents

Where and when were your grandparents born? (both sets) What do/did they look like?  What were their occupations?  How did they come to meet and marry?
This is a important question, because this moves us on to the next generation.  Family members did not always come from where you thought they did.  My fathers family was in Ohio when he was born, but they were regionally from Michigan. My mom was born in Michigan, but her family was originally from Ohio.  Both families moved a great deal prior to getting settled in one place, but would eventually locate where other family members had already located.

Asking questions about appearance may not seem like much, but they may provide clues on ethnic origins.  It will explain many of the features and characteristics of our current generation that we may not understand today.

Jobs were so important to understanding our nations transition from a Agrarian society to a urban setting.  In my own family they had been farmers for generations, but then in the early 1900's they moved to cities and started working factory and railroad jobs.  They moved from living on large pieces of land.  They located in apartments and city houses.  Many things had changed from living a farmers life.

It is important to understand where your grandparents met, because it will offer clues on other family members.  Did they meet at church or school?  Maybe a place they worked or someone that lived in the neighborhood.  Were they friends with other family members?  All of these are important facts for our continued genealogical journey.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Family Interview continued

When and where were your parents born?  What are their full names?  What do/did they look like?  What were their occupations?  How did they come to meet and marry?  

Again the plan here is to the more interesting information about our families histories.  Understanding if they were born in the same town they live in now.  Were they born overseas and where?  Understanding what there full names will help in looking for future generations, because of the use of common naming patterns.  Understanding if names were changed and why.

I am always struck the looks of ancestors two generations ago and the resemblance to the people of today.  My father is short, but if you look at my grandpa and all his brothers they are very tall.  

Where did they work?  The jobs of yesteryear are often ones that do not even exist in today's world.  Were they laborers, farmers or work for the railroad.  Occupations and the accumulation of wealth often explains the lack of a paper trail.  People that did not have a lot of money did not normally have very good paper trails.

Where did they meet shows the closeness of neighborhoods.  Did they meet at church or school?  Were they a friend of another member of the family?  All important items for putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Michigan State Archives

A big chunk of the previously-missing death records from the "Death Records, 1897-1920" database have been posted at the Seeking Michigan web site.

More coming in the next few days, check it out!