I have been spending a few days, so I can stay in out of the heat, working on my family tree. There have been times when I thought I was going to give up when it came to trying to figure out which George or which Catherine was the child of which George and which Catherine. I have decided that people in the 1700s and 1800s had no imagination when it came to names. Everyone has the same name as someone else in their family or should I say a “bunch of someones”? There has to be a hundred of George, Sarah, Joseph, William, Elizabeth, Mary, Charles, Martha, Richard, and Samuel. I even have one Samuel who is a “IV”!
Then there are the “unknowns” that pop up every now and again. That’s neat, no one knows who so and so’s mother or father is. Or there is just a first name of a spouse so you have no idea what her maiden name is, lovely… I have a few who have first names that you would expect to be a last name, or vice versa, i.e., Wilson, Dennis, Clark, Myers, Presley, etc. Then you can get into a mess if someone leaves off part of someones name by looking at Mary, Mary Agnes, Mary Gladys, Mary Jane, Mary Kate, Mary Ann, Mary Elizabeth, Mary Catherine, Mary Kathleen.
Now we have weird names such as Marmaduke, Barnet, Welborn, Ewing, Uuren, Vane. These are my family names and I’m sure I would have loved all of these people, but gosh they could have been a little more original. Then you can giggle a little when you see the names that were definitely popular during the time period they were born. For instance, Ethel, Willie, Jacob, Ada, Jane, Mable, Martha.
I paid a fortune for a years worth of Ancestry so I can do some world searching. You can find someone who you think, this has to be the person you’re looking for. Of course this person has 11 children so you spend three hours adding 10 of them and then find out this is the wrong parent anyway. The number of children can also drive you crazy. Seems they had enormous numbers of children, some lived and some didn’t. There are some who make Octomom a novice. One of my relatives had 20 children. Gives me a headache just thinking about it.
It is really sad when you come across the names that are just “Twins” or “baby” and I had one just called “Boy”. There were several big epidemics that killed so many people especially babies and small children. We are definitely lucky to have the miracle medicines and vaccines that we have today.
My uncle had started all this with a roll of architecture paper and he drew an hour glass form of tree and filled in all the names by hand. Then there was the cousin who had hers done on those family tree forms, and the relative that found bunches of papers in an old shoe box. I know one thing for sure and that is you MUST have a back up when you are doing this kind of computer work. Holy Cow what a mess if you lost a limb or two from your family tree.