Monday, May 10, 2010

It Came!

The book I ordered from UPS, that is.

It was a book I made for my mom on http://www.ancestry.com/, on which I'd loaded all the information my grandmother Jewel had gathered in the 1970's on the Chamblees and Knierims (My mom was a Knierim, her mom was a Chamblee).  It's facinating stuff, if you've never researched your ancestors before you should definitely start.  There are lots of free sites where you can get started if you are intimidated by http://www.ancestry.com/, or if you just want to get started without paying a fee right off the bat.

I have our family tree uploaded to http://www.tribalpages.com/, which is a fun free genealogy site.  The link to my family tree on Tribal Pages is under "Links" in the right column here.   http://www.rootsweb.com/ is another free place to search for your ancestors, although that one is tied to ancestry.com, so every time you find a person it'll tease you with how much more information you'd get if you searched on ancestry.com.....

Anyway, once you have something online, I recommend signing up for http://www.ancestry.com/ for at least awhile so you can go to http://www.mycanvas.ancestry.com/ and create a family book.  You can choose the starting person and then the number of generations you want to put in the book.  Keep in mind, the more generations, the more pages, and the more expensive the book will be!

But once the site has created the book for you, there are endless things you can add to it and use to personalize it.  Backgrounds, frames, quotes, photos, clip art, comments.....I could have spent years editing and changing and playing with this book!

The best part is the personal stories my grandma gathered from talking to people.  Back in the 70's of course one had to do research by travelling and through the mail, with no internet at the ready.  She wrote people and attended family reunions and went to the libraries to look up censuses and other historical documents.  Then she wrote up paragraphs of the information she received.  It's so much more than just a list of names.  It's real people and real lives of our very relatives.

For instance, my grandma discovered an ancestor of ours named James Thomas Mabry, who was married at least twice and had many children, and it's said he had over 100 grandchildren.  One of his grandsons was John Horton Slaughter (son of his daughter Minerva).  John Slaughter was the sheriff of Tombstone and Chocise County, and there's a great deal of history written about him and how he cleaned up Tombstone.

I was lucky;  I've had a great starting point with everything my grandmother accummulated.  It really got me excited about doing more research.  But I'm interested in researching others' families too, now that I've seen what a wealth of information is out there.  Did you know that genealogy is the 2nd most common use for the Internet?  I'm going to let you wonder what is the first.  *smile*

P.S. - ancestry.com didn't pay me for any of this, but if they wanted to, I'd accept payment in any form.  Free subscription?

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