When I was growing up, in a city where we had no relatives, my brothers had a friend who seemed to be related to "everyone" in town. We thought that this was an oddity of his family. Now, however, I realize that it's a by-product of living in the same place where your family has lived for generations. I can "walk" through certain Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, neighborhoods in the census and find relatives from multiple strands of my family living cheek by jowl with each other. One of my mother's great uncles lived two doors down from one of my father's. They were about the same age, as were their wives and children, and both of them were plumbers. Undoubtedly knew each other, but I had wondered if they were friends? Or competitors? Or both? And then, when I read my paternal great grandfather's obituary, my maternal great great uncle was there as one of the pallbearers....
When I ask my parents questions about their families, they're great about at going back and forth and triggering each other's memories. My paternal grandmother's high school yearbook not only has her senior picture, but also the photo of one of my mother's aunts, and assorted stray cousins. One of my father's second cousins was my maternal uncle's best friend. And when we visit my in-laws in western Pennsylvania, family members still own about seven homes within three blocks of each other. That's something that my children will most likely never have in common with their future spouses, and I'm sort of sorry that my family no longer has that rootedness -- the ability to recognize a name, just 'cause you know that they're related to you somehow or another.
Like many people, my research is a work in progress -- always changing and evolving. The names, dates, and locations that I have listed are to enable others to identify the families which I'm researching, most of whom are related to me in some fashion or another, and some of whom may not be -- that's some of what I'm researching. You are welcome to view my families, but if you think that you see a connection, please contact me so that we can share more detailed information, etc. I've received a lot of help from various people over the years, and I like to think that I've been able to help some others as well. Genealogy works because we help each other.
Much of the information here has been received anecdotally from my parents, my grandparents, their siblings, and other family members over the years. Therefore, while a lot of it is reliable and has been verified with birth, death, and wedding certificates, SSDI, census and other records, some of it may be inaccurate. You're welcome to use it for informational purposes, but you should try to obtain additional verification where possible. If I got it wrong, don't blame them -- it's undoubtedly my misunderstanding of what they told me. I accept criticism well, especially if it comes with the correct information, so let me know where I'm going astray. If you're researching any of my families, please write me, and maybe we can help each other out or exchange more detailed gedcoms and sources or whatever.
I used to use a variety of softwares to put databases & reports directly on this site.... Then came WorldConnect, a RootsWeb project which allows you to easily upload, clean, display, cross-reference and share gedcoms. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it, both as a place to store your own gedcom & as a great resource for viewing other people's gedcoms. Please check it out and write me if you think that we may be related. Or check out mysurname submissions to the rootsweb surname project, which is a great overview of my times and migration patterns.
[Note: Each of us has our own ways of dealing with unknown names. Women whose maiden surnames are unknown are designated as (MarriedSurname); men with unknown last names are designated as [Wife'sSurname]; unknown first names are ?]
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