Thanksgiving Genealogy

My mom’s taking a genealogy class so we spent quite a bit of time this weekend looking through her class notes, different web sites and reviewing the information she’d already gathered about her family.

I’d taken a genealogy class in library school and had done quite a bit of research as well but mostly on my dad’s side.  I’d even entered it in some program I’d bought but when my PC died, I somehow managed to lose the original database file (no big loss – most of the info was stuff I had elsewhere – more just a pain in the butt to re-enter it all.)

So we spent time this weekend re-building the stuff I had before on my dad’s side of the family and entering the stuff my mom had entered on her side of the family into an online genealogy site called MyHeritage which allows you to enter up to 250 individual records for free before you have to start paying for the service.

If you’re not logged in, I think you can only see the deceased people in our family tree – not sure what happens if you’re logged in but not as an administrator – I suspect you can see a bit more but not everything.

There are a couple advantages to doing your genealogy online in a cloud-based site like this – besides being able to log-in and work on this from anywhere, I can invite others (eg. my mom or other relatives) to become administrators and help with building the history.  Also, the site has a feature to try to find where people you enter are also part of someone else’s family tree – perhaps your great-great-grandpa is also part of someone else’s family tree and that can open up all sorts of connections and possibilites.

No luck with that feature yet but as we go back further in our timeline, hopefully we’ll find some of those wider connections.

And in terms of Thanksgiving, you really come to appreciate your own life of relative luxury when you contemplate the life that some of your ancestors had – working seven days a week on a farm, no access to schooling, etc.

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