As I said on Monday, I just signed up with Ancestry.com to do some family research. They are not paying me to write this, but if they want to give me a few free months of membership I'll take it!
This family history stuff is addicting. You type in a few names and then they search their records which include National Archives, Birth and Death Records, Census Data, Passenger and Crew Manifests as well as any matchning names on other people's family trees and tag them to the individuals on your tree as "hints".
I had a plan. Since Aunt Jeanne's memorial is this weekend I figured I would start with the Lalannes, then work my way to the other branches, particularly mom's. My grandfather was one of 13 and grandmother was one of 12 ( I think I got that right). So you can imagine how quickly this could get out of hand and quickly.
But, I couldn't resist adding a few names. Before too long, I had 130 "hints" now I am up to 205!! I need to narrow my focus again and not branch out quite so wide yet. But as soon as I see that little leaf pop up on someone's name I just ache to click on it.
Some cool things I found so far:
- I can trace both the Lalannes and Vineys to when they arrived here in America. Although to complicate things, my great grandfather Vineys went back and forth a few times and changed his first name. Hey, don't go thinking it was to avoid the law! If you are a fancy San Francisco hotel are you going to hire a pastry chef named Massimo or Maxime?
- On the other side (you know, the one I wasn't going to focus on this week) I can already go back to the 1840's. Some of it I need to verify first, but at least one or two links may go back to the 1790's.
- I found 3 of my 4 great grandfathers' World War I Draft Cards. I am guessing the reason there isn't one for Grandpa Smith is he was a bit too old and didn't need to register (he'd have been in his 40's). I just need to figure out how to save them correctly - these are just a quick print screen:
- I found passport applications, passenger and crew manifests and oodles of relatives that are working on the same information from other angles that I need to make contact with.
But not today. I really need to put it away because the names are starting to get jumbled in my head.