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Did anyone get into these genealogy sites to find/meet relatives?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by ltd-jean-pull View Post
    Yes and no.

    Yes, because we were hoping for a match that might lead us to a one of my gt-grandfathers. We're still working on that one.

    I was fairly happy with the rest of the genealogy and back to the early 1800s on most branches. The tree was nearly "done"
    . A fourth cousin has been working on one tree (from our mutual ancestors) for over twenty years now, so I concentrated on other branches.

    We now have a group on Facebook sharing all sorts of things (photos, images from Bibles, snippets from newspapers etc). Dozens of descendants have tested (three more recognisable descendants received their results this week alone) and there is such a weight of numbers now that we're able to really use all this DNA to try to take it back further (and we have).

    So it has become quite social, but it's only as social as anyone would like it to be and they're free to participate as much or as little as they would like.
    Yes, if you join a family group on FB you are able to share and you become at least FB friends with cousins. I have dozens of cousins in one of my family lines on there.

    I've encouraged to test their DNA and always post when there are sales. Many of them have tested because of our association on these social sites.

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    • #17
      Carpathian - No, I didn't expect a walk in the park. I see I wasn't original in listing my difficulties with Eastern European research. Actually, I'm mostly EE on both sides of my family. I had a wall on my mother's side that took me about 4 yrs to crack and I got pretty creative. Only to see others on Ancestry with BIG TREES (per another thread on the board) took the easy route and got things completely wrong. But I digress.

      My challenges with the Belarus stuff (father's side) are the trashed records (because you know, you can go on Ancestry and little green leaves will magically sprout), the lack of interest from the large extended family (I send out a mailer most every year to my aunts/uncles/cousins with questions, info I've learned, and some photos for ID.) In 12 yrs, I've had one uncle photo ID someone and one cousin say that I have some discrepancies but can never specify what. Meanwhile, some family folklore that is not accurate is treated as absolute gospel. A 1st cousin of my dad who lived/worked in Moscow came to the US to visit a few times when I was a child. This cousin I think has a daughter working in the UK, purported to speak good English (the person who threw away the docs visited her when she lived in Moscow). But can I get contact info? Nope. And no one can agree on my GF's number of siblings/names. Oh, and when it comes to women, they're overlooked completely since whatever they did isn't important. Thanks for your offer of help.

      dna - Yes, I would like to visit. Actually, a cousin and I had preliminary plans (she's been before) in 2016, but it fell thru on her side. It's still a goal of mine. And language skills would certainly help.

      ltd-jean-pull - Thanks for the weather warnings! I think spring or early autumn would be ok.

      BTW - I'm always grateful for the info and laughs I get from reading the boards. Thanks all.
      Last edited by SuzeSoCal; 8th May 2018, 07:11 PM. Reason: typos

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      • #18
        Originally posted by SuzeSoCal View Post
        [----] dna - Yes, I would like to visit. Actually, a cousin and I had preliminary plans (she's been before) in 2016, but it fell thru on her side. It's still a goal of mine. And language skills would certainly help. [----]
        A word of warning , you may like it. And go the next year again.

        Originally posted by SuzeSoCal View Post
        [----] ltd-jean-pull - Thanks for the weather warnings! I think spring or early autumn would be ok. [----]
        The weather cannot be guaranteed, but September (as soon as the fares drop from their summer peak) appears to me definitely better than Spring, even June.


        Mr. W.

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        • #19
          [QUOTE=SuzeSoCal;451680]

          Carpathian - No, I didn't expect a walk in the park. I see I wasn't original in listing my difficulties with Eastern European research. Actually, I'm mostly EE on both sides of my family. I had a wall on my mother's side that took me about 4 yrs to crack and I got pretty creative. Only to see others on Ancestry with BIG TREES (per another thread on the board) took the easy route and got things completely wrong. But I digress.

          My challenges with the Belarus stuff (father's side) are the trashed records (because you know, you can go on Ancestry and little green leaves will magically sprout), the lack of interest from the large extended family (I send out a mailer most every year to my aunts/uncles/cousins with questions, info I've learned, and some photos for ID.) In 12 yrs, I've had one uncle photo ID someone and one cousin say that I have some discrepancies but can never specify what. Meanwhile, some family folklore that is not accurate is treated as absolute gospel. A 1st cousin of my dad who lived/worked in Moscow came to the US to visit a few times when I was a child. This cousin I think has a daughter working in the UK, purported to speak good English (the person who threw away the docs visited her when she lived in Moscow). But can I get contact info? Nope. And no one can agree on my GF's number of siblings/names. Oh, and when it comes to women, they're overlooked completely since whatever they did isn't important. Thanks for your offer of help.
          I understand fully. There are stories we get from our families, which may or may not be true, and then there are records which also may or may not be entirely accurate. Inaccuracies occur in records and pretense is a form of denial. Even stories that are intentionally fabricated can abound in family lore in some families. Some tell what life was like as it was, and some spin or embroider it to pretty it up for supposed advantage. Not all families are alike.

          After you collect all the evidence and weigh it, which requires patience, experience and judgment, then and only then might you realize what is true or not true, as to whether it is fact or fiction. That's what experienced genealogists do as history detectives: sort fact from fiction.

          Not that I'm trying to dissuade amateurs from learning or trying to do this. I'm not. But ultimately, learning that discipline is what it takes to discover whatever it was that happened in the past.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Carpathian View Post
            Winter in any Northern European country is cold. Winter in Poland is not known to be excessively harsh. Googling any village in any country will tell you what the current temperature is there. Russia is a different story, as Napoleon discovered. He probably didn't have access to "Russian anti-freeze", as the locals do. <LOL>
            I think they struck unusually severe weather over that week. She was hoping to be able to find records of her father that are required to get Polish citizenship, but this involves getting physical records from various locations. I gather that one of the stumbling blocks was getting the required records from Belarus. However there's always a silver lining and there are worse places to spend your day than Krakow.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by cjm View Post
              I'm curious if you have a genuine desire to find and possibly get to know people you are related to using FamilyTree or Ancestry.

              If so, and you've made contact, how did the interactions go? Meaning, did you make a new friend, or did they tell you in some sort of passive way that they weren't interested in making new friends?

              I'm interested in hearing if based upon your experience, whether it's worth it or not to reach out to relatives you discover.
              Great topic. Let's try to get it back on course

              It's not my number one reason for researching ancestry and family history but it has been a wonderful by-product.

              In some cases I've made life long friends and in a few cases after initial contact the person has dropped off the radar.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ltd-jean-pull View Post
                I think they struck unusually severe weather over that week. She was hoping to be able to find records of her father that are required to get Polish citizenship, but this involves getting physical records from various locations. I gather that one of the stumbling blocks was getting the required records from Belarus. However there's always a silver lining and there are worse places to spend your day than Krakow.
                Some people desire to visit the land of their ancestors. That's one aspect, and they need to go there to have that longing satisfied. However, no one needs to go to most places in Eastern Europe any longer to access records that are unavailable anywhere else. There are young researchers with excellent skills there now who can communicate in perfect English and can find and record archival documents and send them to you electronically through e-mail, for a modest fee.

                We now live in a world that no longer requires travel to ancestral lands to access documents. That's a good thing. It is limited in that we don't have full access to those records, and for some genealogical searches that can be less than optimal. But hiring a researcher to retrieve documentation costs much less than a trip to Europe... ;-)

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                • #23
                  I have had very frustrating results.Most do not reply.Those that have are clueless about the work it entails.If no common surname or ancestor they just give up.One amazing distant cousin across the country,who has written books has been wonderful.We do not know a common ancestor but she has given me info on some famous people we are related to.After a few months there is nothing left to say.Blood alone cannot make a relationship.
                  I have first cousins estranged from each other.Most of my family knew each other as children.The elders died off.There is nothing there anymore.Distance cannot give you a real relationship that is ongoing.Do you really want one? I have over four thousand DNA matches.It holds no interest for me.It is very hard to find how you are related distantly. I have documents and stories ack to gt greats.Thats where it ends.No longer excited.The ethnicity is more interesting to me

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                  • #24
                    Meet Relatives?

                    I am not into genealogy to physically meet relatives, or make new friends. To me, it is an ongoing mystery story wherein I am the chief detective!! And HERO! Seriously, I want to find all I can about my ancestors. That means stories, pictures or whatever I can come up with. Generally, I would say that the majority of people I contact, even those on the genealogy sites, could care less about their ancestors past 2 generations. I use DNA to help confirm my paper trail, and occasionally to expand it if the DNA is solidly there. I just dont expect the vast majority of the extended family to care at all, and I certainly dont want some long-lost cousin knocking on my door! It is my game, and my hobby, and my story! Most people find it boring, and can't keep up with the characters involved.So I am into it for myself, the very few who are similarly interested (kept at arm's length, of course!)and people who are unwary enough to be trapped into listening! I share with anyone who asks. But as my Aunt said about me "He likes it because the dead relatives are less trouble." And that's a fact!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by stev703 View Post
                      I am not into genealogy to physically meet relatives, or make new friends. To me, it is an ongoing mystery story wherein I am the chief detective!! And HERO!
                      You lost me on the "HERO" part. Most detectives are humble, often keeping silent, as when necessary.

                      Your comments brought to my mind the phrase that "dead men don't talk". Obviously they can't, but records of their lives and those of most ancestors remain and can be found, by those who want to know and have the ability to find them.

                      In today's world some have different goals or expectations of genetic genealogy. Yours and mine are more those of traditional genealogy, apparently. Ultimately genealogy is really a search of personal discovery, on whatever level.

                      Say little or nothing and keep digging. When your search is ended, then you can decide what to do.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Carpathian View Post
                        Say little or nothing and keep digging. When your search is ended, then you can decide what to do.
                        That reminds me of when my spouse asks me if I've finished my genealogy yet and I look at him with my mouth falling open....obviously he has no idea what he's talking about

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                        • #27
                          I believe it also has to do with your own family dynamics.Some are blessed to have caring, involved ,large families.Others not.Both sides of mine don’t want to know each other.I knew my cousins as a child.On one side was an adult cousins club.When they died no one cared. A lot of people are involved in here and now.They could care less where they came from. Without offending anyone( this has been studied and written about) Jews can be eccentric and filled with anxiety.Thats my family alright.My grandparents were immigrants as children.Their children went thru the culture barriers.I am second generation American. My generation were not given anything about us,only demands about what we could and could not do.I have infamous and well known relatives from the past.So much myth and confusion. Even their many names kept changing. The point is keeping the new found matches at a distance is good.Like someone said.Keep it cordial. Because my ethnic group were competitive,secretive and elitists,
                          I have no interests in the unknowns.I am not the only one who has this issue.So for those who gain a lot from it,especially adoptees,that is good.
                          I remember the drama,shame,secrets of the elders.My generation of the forties and fifties grew up seeing this.I am sad,in a way,but not dwelling on it.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Tenn4ever View Post
                            That reminds me of when my spouse asks me if I've finished my genealogy yet and I look at him with my mouth falling open....obviously he has no idea what he's talking about
                            Actually, you are both right, but in different ways. Just as new generations are being produced, in that way it is unending. Also, through genetic sites you might discover branches of your family tree with distant relatives that were previously unknown to you. However, the ultimate 'brick wall' or final 'dead end' is when you search back in time until the point where no earlier records exist. That's when your search is ended.

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