A new distraction.

daniel_winebrenner  elizabeth_hoover

I decided to sign up for an Ancestry.com account last night.  Something interesting to take my mind off politics and the news.    It’s not free, but you do get a 30 day trial.  Well, last night I sat down and started filling in my family tree.  It’s a little tricky to navigate at first, but I started to catch on after about an hour of playing with it.

I didn’t have any information about anyone beyond my maternal and paternal grandparents, but I’d keep getting “clues” and found myself going back further and further and coming upon some really interesting information about my ancestors.  No, I didn’t find out I’m the descendant of pirates, exotic nationalities, nobility, or any well known historical figures (yet!) but I was able to work parts of the family tree (mainly on my dad’s side) back as far as 1711, with my paternal grandmother’s ancestors having come on a ship from Germany in the late 1700s.   As you work your tree, you come across interesting artifacts — old censuses, death certificates, photos of gravestones, even photographs!

On my paternal grandfather’s side, I found out his ancestors settled in the Labrador and Newfoundland regions of Canada (I do remember my father talking about it once).  I can’t even imagine living in such a cold, desolate climate.   I’d be suicidal!

I haven’t worked out my maternal grandfather’s side yet, but my maternal grandmother’s ancestors were from Ireland — I can’t seem to get across the ocean right now though.

Pictured above is my 3rd great-grandfather, Daniel Samuel Winebrenner, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1820 and migrated to Indiana later, and his wife, Elizabeth Hoover Winebrenner.   I wonder what the story is behind her right eye.  Life was hard in those days.  She died at only age 63.  I wonder how old she is in the photo.

It’s so weird to think of some descendant of mine looking me up in a few hundred years!

6 thoughts on “A new distraction.

    • You should, but let me warn you. You can’t stop. It’s really addictive. Today I worked things on one line back to the early 1500s! And to think last night, I only started with a little information about my grandparents. Ah, the miracle of the Internet.

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  1. People on both sides of my family looked into this when I was a kid, so I don’t have to dig. I have genealogy books by both my paternal aunt and maternal aunt. 🙂 We have some interesting people in the line: My dad’s side goes back to the Aldens on the Mayflower, and Scottish kings and saints. I traced back some of them as well, and found connections to historical figures all over the place…My mom’s side goes back to Sir Francis Drake. There’s more, but I forget it.

    Anyway, a while back I read that everybody is somehow connected to royalty, because of simple mathematics: There are so many lines to trace in one person, and so many royal families whose descendants eventually became commoners. So that took away a bit of the “specialness.” Oh well, it’s still fun to read about ancestors. 🙂

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