I started tracing my family history back in 1992 as
part of a college course on Multiculturalism. I have always
been interested in history and knew some stories about my ancestors
(though most was untrue!) When my grandmother became ill and
was near death, she asked me to trace the family history and to
"write it all down" so that the grandchildren and
great-grandchildren would know where their ancestors came from and
how they lived. I promised I would do it and shortly after her
death in 1995, I made my first trip to the LDS library near my home.
I didn't have a clue how to go about tracing your history and this
was really before the Internet and online genealogical websites.
Most of the research was done through old-fashioned methods:
looking up reference books, writing to genealogical and historical
societies, and using LDS church records. Even though I am
not LDS, I found the library staff very helpful and willing to
help me get started. I was fortunate enough that on my very
first visit to the library, I hit on one of my mother's family
lines. My mother comes from a small town in Southwestern
Pennsylvania and her family has lived in the county since the late
1700s. As such, a dear fellow wrote a book detailing all the
family lines stemming from one pioneer settler to the county.
I was able to piece together my grandmother's family in a couple
of hours. Though I knew little real information, I did have
some facts to go on.
After my initial success with my mother's family, my father
asked me to trace his side of the family. This search proved
a bit more difficult since there was little known information and
most of the family was scattered across the USA and Canada.
Thankfully, several trips to the National Archives in San
Francisco proved key and I was able to construct almost all of my
Buel line back to the original Maryland settler, Jacob Bull.
Since that time, my research has waned as I have gotten busy
with work, church and raising my son. I also hit a number of
brick walls and found that without visiting the county to check
birth/death and other court documents (not to mention
cemeteries), I would have to be satisfied with what I have
uncovered. I still have many mysteries but some day I hope
to solve them. Until then, I am happy to share what little I
do have about my family history.
In 1998, my father purchased Family Tree Maker software and I
began to enter all my paper data into the computer. Since
then our family tree has grown to over 12,000 individuals. I
like to use Personal Ancestral File (PAF) which is a free software
program produced by the LDS church.
There are 12046 individuals and 3930 families representing 2278
surnames in my database. The most common surnames are:
- Bull (409)
- Ross (399)
- Baer (352)
- Kennel (224)
- Beal (212)
- Bar (200)
- Murray (181)
- Boone (164)
- Norris (155)
- Milligan (142)
Browser by Alphabetical Listing
If you have any questions about my data, please email
me. I regret that I cannot always tell you where I
got my information. It has been so long and I wasn't very
good at keeping records. I wasn't really cut out to be a
genealogist though I did enjoy the search!
Copyright 1998-2010. Carol Hepburn.