View Full Version : Curious...Getting Started.

06-26-2015, 06:31 PM
My families genealogy, on all sides, is rather blurry. I have very little to go on, but what we do know is certain.
1) I know my great-grandfather's date of birth, place of birth (Quebec) date of death, and place of death, as well as a few residences he had during his lifetime
2) I know his father's first and last name, and birth year.
3) I know my great-grandfather's wife's first and last name, date of birth, place of birth (somewhere in the Pyrenees), date of death, place of death.
I had gone to the Franco-American institute before...but hit an immediate dead end, because they had all the correct data on my great-grandfather, but all the data on his father was inaccurate. I had tried Heritagequest too and ran into the exact same issue, with the exact same inaccurate data. I was quite confused, and lost morale in the whole search...

After giving up for quite a while, I learned that my library has a paid subscription to Ancestry.com, so I decided to stop by yesterday and see what I could dig up. Surprisingly all the information they had matched what I knew for sure. Then when I got home, I decided to Google some of the results I found via Ancestry...and found another website called Wikitree. It had all the accurate information as well...and farther back on the tree, it had more detail than Ancestry, and with no contradictions in data.

I guess a major question I have is, before I dive too deep, how accurate are the varying services (wikitree, ancestry, etc.) is there anything I should look out for, red flags, etc.?

Another roadblock I ran into on all resources so far is my great-grandmother. We knew her first name and maiden name. However, on all resources it says her first name was something completely different, and the first name we knew was actually her last name. The maiden name that we knew, completely disappeared. What steps should I take in this case to get past this roadblock?

EDIT: Another random question. My family is supposed to have some native Canadian ancestry...how would one go about seeing their ancestor as such. There is no census going back to the 1600s I'm aware of...and I'm not sure that Natives would retain their Native names in all or even most cases?

...On a sidenote...with all the helpful things on this site I'm actually bewildered there isn't a 'genealogy for noobs' thread. :P

06-28-2015, 08:40 AM
Eight or nine years ago when I started putting my family tree together, with virtually no help from my family, I thought I had a French-Canadian maternal line. My maternal grandmother, for some reason, was a Francophile (loved things French). She pronounced her mother's name as Pawquette/Paquette or etc. So I came up with the most plausible line there in Wisconsin, going back to Montreal during the fur trade era. Then I slowly realized that I was totally wrong about that French-Canadian line. I even got an email from someone connected to that line protesting that I claimed to be related. As it turned out, my grandmother's mother's maiden name was Puckett, her father's line going straight back to Oxfordshire, England in the 1600s. I'm still trying to get to the bottom of my direct maternal line, which at this point seems to go back to Ulster in the early 1700s, and probably Scotland before that.

06-28-2015, 01:14 PM
Too bad you didn't have French-Canadian, that part of my tree was ridiculously easy...multiple people had already posted it for me :P Got back to no later than 1627 on all branches. However my great-grandmothers side is still a dead end. I referenced the Social Security death index...get this. We thought her initials (first and last) were S.P....when she got married they'd be S.V...All the databases say her original name was M.S. and changed to S.V. upon marriage...the Social Security death index says her original name was S.L....W.T.F.?!

06-28-2015, 03:49 PM
In my experience, I've found that my ancestors would often use a name they preferred rather than the name on their birth certificate. Both of my grandmothers went by first names that were not on their birth certificates. No one even knew my maternal grandmother's 'real' name until I dug up her birth certificate; my grandmother's response was "oh yeah, I hated the name Thelma, so I always went by Matilda."

In my paternal grandmother's case, we recently had to go change her name with social security because it was starting to cause problems. She was named Hellen after her aunt, but always went by Jane.

Sometimes, both the records and what you learn from family are *both* correct. Good luck with your research!