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!