Originally posted 2016-01-19 20:04:27.
Welcome to week 3 of Finding our Family Roots. Last week we listed several sources for seeking out our family history. I hope those links were helpful ! I know at the start this can be a bit overwhelming. I found so much information right away that I was not only overwhelmed but unsure of what to do with it all. I actually started by choosing who my main focus would be. I chose my great-grandfather because I was working on Italian dual citizenship. The amount of paperwork you need to prove your ancestors were indeed Italian citizens is unreal. Here is the form I started out with and you can download it here.
As you can see the form is very helpful in tracking the data that you have and also knowing what you need to search for next. I think everyone starts out with the basics such as name and birth place if not a birth date. Also spouse, children and place of death. These very basic details may seem so boring because it’s stuff we already know but knowing these details will help you in searching for generations past. I was amazed to find that my family had lived in the same location for over 100 years ! I found out where my grandfather was born and continued searching for our surname in that area. I was dedicated to filling this form out as accurately as I could. I did this for every person in my family. Now, with that being said I can promise you that some of the information you’ve found will not be accurate. Record keeping in the past was…well, downright awful. Names were spelled wrong, dates were approximate and locations were sometimes nicknamed and then written down as a location for something important. Here is exhibit A in the case against accurate record keeping in the 1960’s !
Here is an obituary for my great grampa Michele D’Andrea Deflorian. Also known as Mike DeFlorian, Michael Deflora, Michele Defl and my all time favorite Mike Deferclaw. Put the misspelling of the name aside because the rest of the information here is not accurate….at all. First he was not a lumberman until he died. I found that he worked in a tannery and various odd labor jobs as well. My grandfather’s name is Laverne DeFlorian of Port Allegany not Emporium. While Borden Funeral home did do the funeral and Rev. John T Carter did officiate, his remains are not in St. Michael’s Cemetery. BLAH ! How can this be so wrong !! It’s a newspaper for pete’s sake ! Ah…the accuracy of the media. Some things are truly timeless. This is why you should double check and triple check every bit of information you find. For me it was a phone call to St. Michael’s and several conversations with the groundskeeper and the Father currently over St Micheal’s to find out grampa is not on the grounds. Sadly, I’m still searching for him. However, you too can follow the same process. Make phones calls and write letters ! There is nothing as sweet as solid confirmation about an ancestor. It makes further searching so much easier.
As for filing the information, we spoke about this last week. I choose to write things down on paper before entering into the genealogy software. Many people think that’s silly but I don’t trust a ‘puter with my hard earned information 🙂 You may do this either way. If you decide to enter the information into the software it’s pretty cut and dry. However, if you need assistance each program has help available via forums or blogs and even Facebook groups (these are awesome for help).
This week lets decide which side of our family we’re researching and put his/her name on the research form. Let’s fill in this research form as best we can and next week we’ll talk about proving our findings and searching further for past generations.