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Monday, July 16, 2012

Related Families

My research includes all the families in both my maternal and my paternal lines.  While I have primary families, mostly those of my grandparents, as I continue in my research, I find related families where there is a wealth of information.

It is as important, in my opinion, to document the marriages and family groups of related families as well as those of direct lines.  Here's why:

Within my own generation of relatives; aunts, uncles, cousins, there are relatives who lived nearby growing up and those who didn't.  There are relatives who we spent a lot of time with, growing up and those we didn't.  Those cousins we didn't spend as much time with had families of their own and their relationships with other members of our families were different than mine.  They often have documentation, photos, memories different from my own.

Going further back, the same holds true.  If we focus only on relatives, ancestors in a direct line back from ourselves, we limit the potential information that may be out there in other family lines. Over the years, I have "met" an enormous number of relatives, blood relatives I never knew about.  They have common ancestors but lived elsewhere or, for whatever reasons, we just didn't spend time with them.  Some of those other relatives have supplied information, memories and photos that are priceless.  A cousin of my father, several years ago, sent me a photo of my father's grandfather.  No one in my father's family had a photo of him.  It was a joy to digitize it, make copies and send it to living aunts and to give my father a copy.

George Odell - my great grandfather
The problem then arises of how to keep track of these families.  I handle them pretty much as I handle the rest of my families.  I keep files the same way (another topic to be covered).  I use PAF as my family history software and find it sufficient for what I use it.  So, they are entered into PAF in the relationships they have with my primary families; they are relatives, after all.

I have family groups at Yahoo for primary families.  The groups provide a means of sharing charts, photos, questions and answers and keeping track of each other in general.  Recently, I was stuck with the dilemma of what to do with a handful of interrelated families in sharing information.  I had thought to start another group at Yahoo but decided it was too much.  My solution was to add additional file folders in the primary groups files that these families are most related to.  I'll continue to do that as I discover additional related families that have information to share.

My Yahoo groups:

My Beesmer Family Group at Yahoo - is a primary family with multiple variant spellings.  My maternal grandfather's surname was Beismer.

My Flower(s) Family Group at Yahoo - is related to my paternal grandfather's birth mother.
My Hogancamp Family Group at Yahoo - is connected to my paternal grandfather's family history.

My Hulse/Wormuth Family Group at Yahoo - is a primary family group on my maternal side.  These are 2 large families where 2 brothers married 2 sisters and the families are very much in touch with each other.

My Mattice Family Group at Yahoo - is a primary family group and is the ancestral family of my paternal grandmother.

My NY State Odell/Oliver Group at Yahoo - is a primary family group.  Both families are very interrelated and are the ancestral families of my father.

My Vande(r)mark Family Group at Yahoo - is related by my maternal grandfather's ancestry.

My Sullivan County Family History Group at Yahoo - is a research group for Sullivan County NY where many of my families lived.

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