Fun with genealogy

Have you seen this commercial, for a credit card (Visa, I think)?  -A father and adult son take a vacation to “Norway, land of our ancestors.  We tried the local delicacies.  We bought sweaters.  Then we went to the Hall of Records and discovered that we were actually…Swedish.”  I love that commercial.

I’ll come back to that.

Your research starts here

Your research starts here

College librarians get almost no requests for genealogical information.  Students don’t usually have time to worry about that; they’re more concerned with algebra and getting their works cited pages right.  I personally have never gotten a request for that.  I understand, however, that public librarians deal with it all the time.  At every library conference I’ve gone to, there has been a speaker on doing genealogy searches for the public librarians. 

I guess it’s a good hobby.  It doesn’t cost anything to get started, and it’s educational.  It can be sort of like a treasure hunt, I suppose.  I’m glad, though, that we don’t have to deal with it at work; I’d imagine it gets a little repetitive from the librarians’ standpoint.

As far as my own family, my mom’s side has been researched pretty thoroughly by several of her relatives.  We didn’t know much about my dad’s side, though.  Our last name is one that is usually considered to be Welsh.  We had always assumed that our ancestors came from Wales, but we didn’t have any evidence for that. 

Two weeks from today, I leave for a two week trip to Wales.  I wasn’t planning to do any ancestral research while I was there; I wouldn’t know where to start.  I didn’t have any names of anyone beyond my great-grandfather, and he was born here.  It’s one of the places that I’ve always wanted to go – from the pictures, it’s beautiful, and they have a lot of really old castles and such.  And it would be pretty neat to think that I might be trodding on the same land as some of my forebears.

In preparation for the trip, I’ve done lots of reading about Wales and perused every website I could find.  One of them, the other day, had a category called Finding Your Ancestors, so I followed the clicks, and ended up in the huge database that the Mormon church has put together.  It’s at www.familysearch.org, and it’s free.  So, just for fun, I plugged in my great-grandfather’s name and started searching.

I found him, and amazingly, his line was one of the ones that stretched way back.  I actually found my great-great grandfather, and great x3, and great x4.  The great x4 grandfather was the one who came to this country; he was born in 1710 in our ancestral homeland….

Ireland.

LOL!!!  I’m like the guys in the commercial – I’m going to the wrong country!!

Except that I’m not.  I still want to go, of course – I can’t wait to get there.  I’ll just have to add Ireland to a later itinerary.  🙂

Genealogy can be fun!

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