Great Aunt Melissa left wonderful clues about my family (she's the one standing in the middle above). In 1989, I innocently set out to learn more about my paternal ancestors mentioned in her 1964 family history notes. Little did I know that her facts were quite a distance from the mark and that my curiosity about the past would take on a life of its own ...
By posting some of my own family history research, others may find ideas, hints, or just inspiration to keep on trying. To keep things simple, I've included a sampling of specific genealogy reports for some of the families I am researching and two complete ancestry reports.
NOTE: Dates are intentionally omitted for the living.
by Elizabeth Tenneson, 1809
This sampler was passed down to Melissa (Wilson) Lambert, yes, my Great Aunt Melissa above, who passed it along to her daughter who, in turn, passed it down to Melissa's granddaughter. I did not know of its existence until meeting my cousin via email. She had been told it was done by a "Wilson Cousin". As soon as she sent me the transcription, I told her of its great value to us - Elizabeth Tenneson is our Great-great-great-grandmother!
My great-great grandparents,
James & Eliza Jane (Rittenburg) Hinton,
c. 1865 ferrotype
HINTS & TIPS
Family history is fascinating, but without thorough documentation or at the very least a preponderance of evidence it is reduced to family lore. Information offered by others is always welcome, but if not accompanied by supporting documentation, it is a notebook full of valuable clues that must be proven over time.
DOCUMENT SOURCES CAREFULLY
Internet genealogists have to be some of the friendliest folks in the world.
- Don't take advantage of anyone
- Don't ask anyone to violate copyrights.
- In return, share your knowledge and areas of expertise with others.
- Enjoy the hunt and everything you learn along the way---
history, geography, old handwriting, traditions, cultures, and more!!!
WHERE DID I BEGIN?
- Gathered together what I knew about my family. Wrote down the family stories I was told over the years and added them to Aunt Melissa's notes. I started separate notebooks for my maternal and paternal branches.
- Set out to prove and/or document the stories via census records, deeds, wills, birth, death, and marriage records, then corrected the original information with the new-found facts.
- Carefully listed ALL sources each step of the way.
- Charted ALL dead-ends so I (or others) don't waste time on those avenues again.
(Who knows? They may link up later!)
- Contacted old and "new" cousins in person, on-line, on the phone, or by mail to obtain photos, documents, letters, and more stories to prove.
- Posted queries at all appropriate web sites. (HINT: I list the name(s) of those I'm searching for with date ranges, locales, and other clues such as the given names of their children. I am amazed how well this method works! Wish I'd hooked up to the 'net' earlier.)
- Treated EVERYTHING I was told or given by others as more clues unless documentation was provided.
See STEP 2.
- Organized all my factual information, photos, and documents using non-acid papers and archival-safe sheet protectors to preserve my efforts. (Added many more binders over time!)
- I continue to repeat the steps above as needed.
- Above all, I try to remain patient. Some lines don't seem to be going anywhere and then suddenly - a gold mine!
LINKS TO MY RESEARCH
YE OLDE DOCUMENTS
Deeds, wills, petitions, & other old documents.
Please email me regarding details and sources of information in the reports below.
I no longer post my sources and transcriptions of those sources within the reports.
ANCESTORS OF RICK RAMOS
RAMOS, Parra, Grave de Peralta, DELGADO, Delgado Guanche, Rosello, Diaz, & more
ANCESTORS OF JAN (WILSON) RAMOS
WILSON, Summers, Tenneson, Lee, HINTON, Rittenburg, Gates, Boone, Scholl, and many more
HINTON of Wales, Ontario, Michigan, Missouri, and Iowa
A joint effort with another descendant.
DESCENDANTS of JOHAN GEORG RIBBLE
A joint effort with several "online cousins".
DESCENDANTS of MICHAEL RITTENBURG
(including the many spelling variations all shown as Rittenburg here)
Another joint effort with several "online cousins".
WILS0N of Woburn, Massachusetts, Killingly and Coventry, Connecticut,
Odelltown, Quebec, Middlesex Co., Ontario, and Michigan
Traditional research effort with other descendants.
LEE of County Westmeath, Ireland and Michigan
Based upon family interviews, memorabilia, and some traditional research with a distant cousin.
SUMMERS of Yorkshire, England, Quebec, Middlesex Co., Ontario, and Michigan
A joint effort with more "on-line cousins" and traditional research.
Last updated 11 Jan 2011
Copyright © 1999 - 2011, Jan (Wilson) Ramos