Starting the search #1

Genealogy (from Greek: genea, "family"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. This involves the collection of the names of relatives, both living and deceased, and establishing the relationships among them.

Genealogists, amateur and professional, collect oral and written histories and preserve family stories to discover ancestors and living relatives. Genealogists also attempt to understand not just where and when people lived but also their lifestyle, biography, and motivations. This often requires — or leads to — knowledge of antique law, old political boundaries, immigration trends, and historical social conditions.

The search for living relatives often leads to family reunions.

I began my hobby of genealogy in 1980. I had been playing in amateur tennis tournaments in the Missouri Valley District and had been successful in winning titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. My name was in the paper quite a bit, and that lead to being contacted by a family in Iowa. They wondered if we could be related since we had the same last name. (actually my husband’s last name)

My father-in-law was sure that he and his siblings were the only families of our last name in the United States, but was willing to have the Iowa family over to discuss it. To make a long story short, yep, we sure were related. But it took a lot of searching to find it out how.

We started with a manuscript that had been written in the 1920’s giving the name of the “immigrant” and the story of how he arrived in America. Unfortunately, none of this can be proven. The “immigrant” Jean Marie LaProne Boiscourt’s final resting place is a mystery, but three of his sons were listed on the 1800 Washington County, Kentucky census. So we started our search there.

Through the census records, a family can be traced from town to town, state to state. The census records from 1790 to 1840 only list the head of household by name. The children are listed as male or female, with a general age span. His wife would probably be the oldest female in the household. But not always.

In the 1850 census, the entire family was listed. Name, age, occupation and place of birth. What a great improvement. But, now we are faced with misspellings - remember, the census takers were literate people but occasionally had to deal with people who were not. Many were from other countries and many couldn’t read or write. So, once in a while, the census taker would just give up and list initials instead of given names.

Thanks a lot guys!

In every family, there is a person who keeps track of the family it grandma, grandpa, Uncle Fester, Aunt Aggie or one of the kids. They are the ones who know who married Grandma Ida and when.

Take a little time and become the "family historian" Its fun and you'll come across a lot of interesting people, both alive and those who have passed away.

If you'd like me to help with your search, I would be pleased to look up some things for you.

Genealogy help

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