WANDERINGS FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
BY GAYLE STUART
FINDING OUR FAMILIES
Do not hurry yourself. Any time a new ancestor is identified, the search comes to another beginning. Quite often it could start with a death or an event in adult life, a census, a deed or a marriage record, a will, a military pension record, or a number of other things.
Do not hurry yourself. We can make mistakes. We may find two people with the same name, so one is not the right one. Eventually, every line of ancestors runs into snags. Specific birth and death information gets harder to find. A mother’s maiden name is hiding.
Most of us who have been at this for awhile think we have made lots of progress when we get back to the 1700’s. Records can be very scarce and very hard to read and are much harder to prove that it is the right family. Years ago, a number of families used the same names again and again. Sometimes we run into someone who claims that they have traced their family back to Biblical times.
Karen Hansen is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants through her ancestor Francis Cooke. A distant cousin had already proved many of the 10 generations. It is 12 generations for Karen to trace back to the 1620 Mayflower passengers, Stephen Hopkins, Elizabeth Fisher, Isaac Allerton and Mary Norris.
In the book of Matthew, Chapter 1, we read about who was the son or daughter of whom. It mentions that there were 14 generations from Abraham to David and 14 generations from David to the exile of Babylon and 14 generations from the exile to the Messiah. If you really want to become confused, look at 1 Chronicles that starts with Adam to Abraham.
Caution: Very few records are printed that we have found beyond the 1600’s. Royalty are the ones that have some records; so, unless you fall in this category, don’t expect success of proving your ancestors through many centuries.