Being new to genealogy I’ve seen a few different ways that people collect their family members. The most common, that I’ve seen, is to gather information on every person they can find in their family all the aunts and uncles and cousins no matter how far removed. Actually out of all the people I have talked to, which is limited, this is what they are doing.
I on the other hand am looking just at the people directly related to me and their brothers and sisters. I don’t have much interest in their children or their children’s children. I have information on my cousins and their children but that’s it. This means that so far I only have around 200 names. I have only been at this a few months though, but I have proof that I am related to everyone in my tree.
I have meet one researcher who has 19,000 names from the original man that came to the US from Germany. I have been helping him out a bit, but he’s done more for me really. Then again he’s been doing this for 50 years or so.
My goal, at least for now, is to try and go back as far as I can along my father’s side of the family until I come to the first people to come to the US. I would do my mother’s side, and I’m sure I will at some point, but her family comes from California and I’m in Maryland which will make it more difficult.
I have already run into two walls, the first is one of my great grandmothers. She left her three children in the late 1920s and just moved. No one knows much about her because my great grandfather refused the kids any access to her. The only reason I know anything is because in my grandmother’s bible she has her date of death. It took me two months to track her down and get even her date of birth. She had no birth certificate even though Maryland required them starting in the late 1800s. Since then though I have been able to track down someone who has my g-grandmother in her tree and was able to send me photos of my g-g-grandparents.
My other wall so far has been the real name of my g-grandfather. I first had him listed as Charles Luther, but his tombstone lists him as Luther C. His death certificate has his listed as Charles. Again he has no birth certificate so I’m having a hard time finding out the truth.
I know after these two it’s going to be even harder to get the correct information. At least it’s given me some good research problems and has been quite interesting and eye opening.