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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Researching My Ancestry

I've always been a history nut. History was my favorite subject in school and I love historical/period television shows, movies and books. About 9 months ago I found some research that had been done on my dad's side of the family back in the early 90s. (this was before The Internets became popular, so it was a packet of printed information and documents)



Once I began to read, I was hooked! I started compiling a digital version of my family tree using the free version of Ancestry.com using the research I'd found and then began to explore additional research via our good friend Mr. The Internets. (always The Internets...you know...like The WalMarts and The Dollar Gentral)

Then life happened and I got married and moved and all of that jazz. I sort of stopped working on my family tree. Then I started reading a book series about someone who researches her family and the passion was reignited again. Over the last week or so I dove back into my research and found a number of interesting facts.

So far, I've been able to trace my paternal lineage (father/grandfather/great-grandfather) back to 1687 and in Saint Gallen, Switzerland. There were a family group of fathers, adult sons (along with spouses and some children) and a few others that came over to the United States from Switzerland in 1736 on the ship Price of Wales that landed in Charleston, SC. Here the family groups segmented a bit but the group from which I descended settled into the Saxegotha Township area (now Lexington County SC) and have lived in that area since.

I think that's really cool that my family basically stayed in the same area for almost 300 years! I was born in Columbia, SC (and so was my dad and his dad, etc.) which is in the same vicinity of Saxegotha Township.

Some of the other interesting people I've discovered in my parental lineage research are:
  • One of the first "bonafied" and legitimate Native American Indian traders in America. There are suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and it might have been conspired by his "trading partner".
  • A revolutionary war heroine
  • A man who lived to be 114 years old
  • A Swiss governor
I'm just now in the process of working on my maternal lineage. I know that there is Scottish and Native American ancestry on that side, but I can't wait to find out for sure!

I also discovered that originally my father's side of the family were Jewish. I do not practice Judaism, nor does anyone in my immediate family. But way far back in the line, people did. There are records that state requests from my ancestors to Switzerland for Hebrew Bibles and other materials one might need to practice Judaism. Now, there is a big debate going on about whether or not Jewish is a race, religion or ethnicity. You can read more about that here and here. It appears that my paternal family were Ashkenazic Jews, meaning they were from Germany/Eastern Europe. Somewhere, they stopped practicing Judaism and Yiddish culture and started practicing Christianity. (which is what I practice)

It's very interesting and quite intriguing. Have you ever done any genealogical research? Did you discover anything interesting?

3 comments:

  1. I think this is so fascinating. To know who we came from. I want to do a wall of photos in our hallway featuring any photos I can of ancestors, mixed in with current photos of us and our families. I was able to get as far back as the late 1700s with my research. Truly exciting.

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  2. This is so cool! My parents gave me a print out of my family tree from Ancestry.com (my mom did a lot of the work on it years ago) for Christmas. I need to get a nice frame for it.

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