When I heard about Teresa's passing I opened up our digital copy of our family tree. My grandma on my mom's side, Adelaide, put a lot of work into tracing our family tree. She was also a proud member of the Daughter's of the American Revolution and there are two traceable members of our family who served in the Revolutionary War. When she passed away in 1994 my Uncle took the reigns of filling in the gaps on the family tree and making it digital. He has shared the program (Family Tree Maker) with me, but still does a LOT of research/work into our ancestry. I have added Miles' side of the family and done some more research into my dad's family, but have really just enjoyed playing around with the program and reading about my family members from long ago.
I thought I'd share some neat facts about my family tree as well as some discoveries I made recently.
William Sayre is the furthest person we can trace on my family tree. He was born in 1512 in Bedfordshire, England. I took a print screen of all of William Sayre's descendants - to be able to see all of them on one screen I had to shrink it way down. The star at the top is William and near the bottom is me. I am his 12th great-granddaughter. You can see my little family to the right of the star (Miles and our two boys branching off from us).
This picture doesn't even show how extensive our family tree is and all the work that's been put into it. This only shows the decedents of William Sayre, but I can select anyone and view a tree of that particular family. It's really pretty amazing to look through.
I also learned that I have a relative (I am his 2nd great-grandniece) named Abraham Lincoln Gorsage. Interesting name, right? He was born in July of 1860 though and Honest Abe didn't take office until March of 1861. So who knows if his parents just were big fans of the presidential candidate at the time, or if it was just a coincidence.
When looking at our family tree I stumbled upon Find A Grave - which is a free website where people take pictures of headstones across the country and upload them and you are able to view where a person is buried. When searching on my dad's side of the family I found a lot of people we had never heard of, as well as some pictures of those relatives, including a picture of my grandparents that even my dad had never seen. I got in touch with a woman in California who had uploaded all this information only to discover that her husband shares the same great-grand parents as my dad, hence all her knowledge about my relatives. She has since sent me a lot of information and pictures of over three generations worth of family members dating back to 1814.
The below picture is of Sarah Melissa Hardin. She is my great-great-great-grandmother.
Sarah was one of eight children. When she was young her family moved west to California by way of wagon. In the documents I got from my California connection, I learned that Sarah's brother Isaac was scalped by Indians in Texas and when they got to Arizona her brother Ted, who was her twin, died of cholera. Throw in a snake bite or a wagon fire and this is real-life Oregon Trail! (which of course was real-life, but I'm talking about the video game we all grew up with).
The next picture is that of my great-grandfather Harlston. He married Sarah's daughter Eliza.
Harlston and Eliza, who went by Ella, had three kids; my dad's dad Harold, another son named Jack (who was in the FBI) and a girl named Ruth, my great-Aunt shown below.
I remember Ruth when I was young (she lived in Wilcox, AZ), yet I remember silly things like the fake fruit she had as decoration and plastic flamingos in her front yard. I also remember flattening coins on the railroad tracks with my brother and sister - because there just ain't a whole lot to do in Wilcox, Arizona people.
Anyway, I really could go on and on about all the little things I am learning and it's exciting to know there is so much more that has yet to be discovered.
So, am I the only genealogy nerd out there? Anyone discovered any interesting or juicy stories from their ancestors?