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msdebbiep
29 August 2006, 08:17 PM
do you know how hard it is to research the name "Roswell".. most often I get alien sites!
argh
:)

Debbie Roswell

dseifert
29 August 2006, 10:33 PM
I always wondered how hard it is for someone named Smith :)

msdebbiep
30 August 2006, 06:38 AM
good point
I'll quit pouting now :)

Steve W. Jackson
30 August 2006, 06:56 PM
I resemble those remarks...:)

With a surname like Jackson, I once assumed I'd have oodles of trouble finding information. I even read that it's the 13th most common surname in the United States. But I've found a lot once I began looking. Just not so much on my specific Jackson line...:(

I've never known of anyone with the Roswell surname, but I've always had an interest in the Roswell place name...I was born in Roswell, New Mexico -- albeit a number of years after the "alleged" UFO crash there. I've always considered it a point of pride!!

= Steve =

Bob White
30 August 2006, 08:06 PM
..........I've never known of anyone with the Roswell surname, but I've always had an interest in the Roswell place name...I was born in Roswell, New Mexico..........


As with me... but I happened to be logged in to Ancestry.com while reading this thread. On the Historical tab, a search with just the last name yields roughly 680 hits on exact spelling. Blew me out of the water! :eek:

tomaso
30 August 2006, 09:11 PM
do you know how hard it is to research the name "Roswell".. most often I get alien sites!
argh
:)

Debbie Roswell

Debbie,
When using a search engine such as Google I would type in the search box; Roswell Genealogy, this will return hits on Roswell Genealogy before it gets to the alien sites.

tismeinaz
30 August 2006, 09:19 PM
do you know how hard it is to research the name "Roswell".. most often I get alien sites!
argh
:)

Debbie Roswell


Try the last name Forward. :-) When I go to rootsweb and try a search - I get tons of emails that were forwarded :-(

Cheryl

Celia
30 August 2006, 10:54 PM
do you know how hard it is to research the name "Roswell".. most often I get alien sites!
argh
:)

Debbie Roswell

I have ancestors with the surname of "Harry" - that always causes lots of problems with general searches because it returns everyone with Harry as a first name. Add to that the fact that my maiden name is "Smith" and you get an idea of the challenges. Never a dull moment!

It helps to put the full name (first and last name) in quotes to reduce the number of results returned.

All the best,
Celia

jane in l.a.
31 August 2006, 06:59 PM
I have ancestors with the surname of "Harry" - that always causes lots of problems with general searches because it returns everyone with Harry as a first name. Add to that the fact that my maiden name is "Smith" and you get an idea of the challenges. Never a dull moment!

It helps to put the full name (first and last name) in quotes to reduce the number of results returned.

All the best,
Celia


Ah, mine is DART -- even with the addition of the word 'genealogy' is the search engine, I get dart boards, dart cars, tree frogs that dart across the water.... Aaaarrrghh!

marnen
31 August 2006, 07:06 PM
I have a somewhat different problem: KOSER (my father's last name) is a very rare surname among Jews -- in fact, I know of very few Jewish Kosers to whom I'm not related, and some of those are due to a recent name-change. However, Koser is a very common surname among German Christians, and my aunt tells me that there are towns in Pennsylvania where the phone directory is mostly Kosers. So you can imagine what my genealogical searches look like...lots of Kosers, and almost none even possibly related to me.

At least LAIBOW (my mother's last name) is so vanishingly rare that I've never seen it except for my relatives (actually, I've seen references to a couple of Laibows whom I'm not sure I'm related to...but I would bet that they'll turn out to be relatives of mine). Unfortunately, by the same token, it's very hard to find info about anyone on that side of the family whom I don't already know about. This is particularly true on Web searches, since my mother and I each have large numbers of hits on our names (we're both fairly well known in our respective fields), making finding mention of other relatives something of a needle/haystack situation. Ah well. That's what makes genealogy fun!

Marilynn
31 August 2006, 07:07 PM
Ah, mine is DART -- even with the addition of the word 'genealogy' is the search engine, I get dart boards, dart cars, tree frogs that dart across the water.... Aaaarrrghh!


And my surname search is GRAVES. What do think that brings up?!?

Nic Maennling
31 August 2006, 09:16 PM
Although I have moaned about this before, try searching for the surname CLAN !! The swirl of bagpipes accompanies every hit ! Clan this and Clan that. However, I have made considerable progress because I am stubborn. By the way, does anyone out there have any connections with this surname ?

I very much enjoy reading ReunionTalk, so much useful information.

Kind regards to all,
Nic Maennling
Lanark, Ontario
Canada

Tom Robinson
31 August 2006, 10:46 PM
do you know how hard it is to research the name "Roswell".. most often I get alien sites!
Most search engines allow you to exclude sites.

e.g. In Google type:

roswell -alien

Which will search for all pages which contain Roswell but don't contain 'alien'.

Cheers

marnen
01 September 2006, 04:56 PM
I always shy away from exclusions in searches. It would help to trim the clutter, but you'd probably also miss pages that say things like "The ROSWELL family -- no relation to the New Mexico town of alien-research fame -- is descended from..." or even "Josiah ROSWELL came to America in 1696 from Scotland. He was what we would now call an illegal alien."

MarilynKay
10 October 2006, 11:10 PM
My Finnigsmier name was at one time Viening in Germany. Try entering a Google search for "viening." First you get all the folks who can't spell "veining." Then if you try other spelling possibilities

fmlyhntr
28 October 2006, 06:54 PM
Then there is Wilson. Or Wolf--and I don't mean those fuzzy canines. And of course Mule. I can't write enough exclusionary terms to manage that one. (Mule is a Danish family of some minor importance.)

Christina Wilson

idfitter
03 November 2006, 09:52 AM
I get loads of sites about health and fitness when I do a search for my surname.

Sara
03 November 2006, 06:54 PM
Oh, come on - try LOVE! I also have LONG, WORD & LEMON

Nick
03 November 2006, 07:44 PM
Common nouns as a name are hell. But so is my own surname of course, which is one of the most widespread of given names! I just can't 'google' it: there's no point...

linders
04 November 2006, 12:08 PM
Oh, come on - try LOVE! I also have LONG, WORD & LEMON

Try Zwolle. All I get is the city in The Netherlands and the town in Louisiana. I've tried genealogy "Zwolle" and still get the same. I have to use a spouse name to get to the Zwolle side.

msdebbiep
06 November 2006, 06:04 PM
thanks to everyone for their responses - I'm definitely not pouting about the name search any more
I think I have it easy.

Debbie Roswell

kmuch
06 November 2006, 06:25 PM
Just Google my great-grandparents: MUCH and HARM. Lots of spousal abuse sites, among others!

Kathleen Much

Metheo
03 March 2007, 03:56 PM
Try Zwolle. All I get is the city in The Netherlands and the town in Louisiana. I've tried genealogy "Zwolle" and still get the same.

Just noticed you're investigating on the Zwolle family name. Try 'Swolle' or 'van Swol' as well, it's often spelled like that. I may have some useful info for you! Best to drop me an email on metheo@freenet.de.

Pat Bell
25 March 2007, 03:12 PM
I have ancestors with the surname of "Harry" - that always causes lots of problems with general searches because it returns everyone with Harry as a first name. Add to that the fact that my maiden name is "Smith" and you get an idea of the challenges. Never a dull moment!

It helps to put the full name (first and last name) in quotes to reduce the number of results returned.

All the best,
Celia

I used to be a classroom teacher, and one thing that drove me nearly nuts was what I called "yo yo names." These are names where you can't tell which is the given and which the surname. Little goodies like Harry Thomas, or even one I found in my husband's genealogy -- Blasingame Harvey. (Harvey is the surname).

Pat Bell
25 March 2007, 03:13 PM
LOL!

In one school where I taught, there were two sisters in the system. One was Miss Hart and the other Mrs. Love. I kid you not!

STEVE
25 March 2007, 05:47 PM
Well, I ended up with a mixed pot. My last name is BYARS. If I find one, he, she, or it is part of my family. I also have a BROWN line. The only name in America more common than Smith. And let's not forget the RAND's. Run that through Google some time if you're looking for a giggle.

:-) STEVE

Pat Bell
26 March 2007, 04:23 PM
And my surname search is GRAVES. What do think that brings up?!?


Well, tell us! Have you dug anything interesting up? (Wonder if you have any kinfolk in Erie, Pennsylvania?)

dseifert
26 March 2007, 11:39 PM
Well, tell us! Have you dug anything interesting up? (Wonder if you have any kinfolk in Erie, Pennsylvania?)

ah ha! Finally! Someone with a sense of humor :)

arlem
11 June 2007, 04:00 PM
You could try using Google's synonym facility. Try searching for Roswell -alien ~genealogy. The tilde automatically generates synonyms for the word following it so you get sites which mention genealogy, ancestry, etc. I use it frequently.

Barbara Marsh
08 July 2007, 02:05 AM
How about the sir name LAND. There is no end of those links.


Barb

daw640
08 July 2007, 12:18 PM
And for the same challenge from a different angle, try patronymics.

There are about 35 surnames which are borne by 80 - 85% of the Welsh or people of Welsh descent worldwide; the most common of which (in order) are Jones, Williams, Davies, Evans, Thomas, Roberts, Hughes, and Edwards. Given names don't do anything to help either, because even the smallest villages in Wales will have multiple John Joneses, William Williamses, and other combinations. So how do you tell which of the 8 David Evanses in town is "yours"?

The solution used in Wales was to attach a nickname to the name, so the butcher might be known as "Evans, the meat", the shoemaker as "Evans, the boots", and so on. Unfortunately those distinguishing appellations don't make it into the records.

Many years ago I was asked to help an acquaintance to find some information about his Welsh grandfather, Christmas Evans. I thought, "ah ha, this will be a piece of cake. How many Christmas Evanses can there be?" Well, we found tons of Christmas Evanses in the records. Little did I know at the time that Christmas Evans (1766-1838) was one of the greatest preachers in the history of Wales, and he had thousands of namesakes over the decades. Oh well...

The Scandinavians also have to suffer with patronymics, so at least the Welsh are not alone!!


Dave Williams

Doctort
08 July 2007, 06:26 PM
And my surname search is GRAVES. What do think that brings up?!?

Well, when I give a talk or tour on a certain subject I study, I often jokingingly call it "Graves on Graves". Add to that that I do tours with a man named Major so we extend the title to "Graves on Graves and a Major Undertaking."

Tom Graves, a descendent of Deacon John Grave of Hartford, CT.

Sharon Lunde
09 July 2007, 06:27 PM
And for the same challenge from a different angle, try patronymics.

There are about 35 surnames which are borne by 80 - 85% of the Welsh or people of Welsh descent worldwide; the most common of which (in order) are Jones, Williams, Davies, Evans, Thomas, Roberts, Hughes, and Edwards. Given names don't do anything to help either, because even the smallest villages in Wales will have multiple John Joneses, William Williamses, and other combinations. So how do you tell which of the 8 David Evanses in town is "yours"?

The solution used in Wales was to attach a nickname to the name, so the butcher might be known as "Evans, the meat", the shoemaker as "Evans, the boots", and so on. Unfortunately those distinguishing appellations don't make it into the records.

Many years ago I was asked to help an acquaintance to find some information about his Welsh grandfather, Christmas Evans. I thought, "ah ha, this will be a piece of cake. How many Christmas Evanses can there be?" Well, we found tons of Christmas Evanses in the records. Little did I know at the time that Christmas Evans (1766-1838) was one of the greatest preachers in the history of Wales, and he had thousands of namesakes over the decades. Oh well...

The Scandinavians also have to suffer with patronymics, so at least the Welsh are not alone!!


Dave Williams

Scandinavian patronymics are a challenge. To indicate which Hans Olsen one was talking about they included the name of the farm. If Hans Olsen moved, he also got a new "address" after his name. This makes a family tough to follow. I have spent many hours pouring over church records to try to find
a family. At least you always know what the father's name was.

Karen Peters
09 July 2007, 09:01 PM
I was lucky that some nice Norwegian ladies did my husband's family genealogy and his father had the published books. I spent days just reading the introduction that explained the naming patterns before it made any sense to me.

Larry Jelf
01 August 2007, 12:13 PM
Ah, mine is DART -- even with the addition of the word 'genealogy' is the search engine, I get dart boards, dart cars, tree frogs that dart across the water.... Aaaarrrghh!
Try Henry Hollindale in the Sheffield, England area. Everyone must have been named Henry.

Pat Bell
03 August 2007, 05:48 PM
Oh, come on - try LOVE! I also have LONG, WORD & LEMON

I once knew a lady, Miss Virginia Hart. Her sister, who taught in a school where I later did, was Mrs. Love.

laura
06 August 2007, 07:16 PM
The judge at my divorce hearing was named Love. I thought that was really out of place!

My trickiest surname is Fudge. I'm just grateful that none of them had children named Chocolate.

martha
08 August 2007, 01:42 AM
The judge at my divorce hearing was named Love. I thought that was really out of place!

My trickiest surname is Fudge. I'm just grateful that none of them had children named Chocolate.

Hahahahahaha!! Thanks for my morning laugh, Laura!!

Martha

Karen Peters
11 August 2007, 04:58 PM
I once knew a lady, Miss Virginia Hart. Her sister, who taught in a school where I later did, was Mrs. Love.

My son's first band teacher in elementary school was Mr. Valentine. In Middle School, he had Dr. Love.

I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't happened to us.

Pat Bell
28 August 2007, 05:42 PM
I once knew a lady, Miss Virginia Hart. Her sister, who taught in a school where I later did, was Mrs. Love.

I should have told the rest of the story. Both ladies were teachers; Mrs. Love taught Latin; Miss Hart's specialty was Romance languages.

I kid you not!

John Beare
20 November 2007, 06:54 PM
Icelandic practice used to be that children were named after the father's first name, not his surname, with 'sson' or 'dottir' appended for sons and daughters, respectively. This makes Icelandic genealogy really challenging. To use English names for my example: if Tom Johnsson had a son named Dick and Dick had a son named Harry, then Dick would be known as Dick Thomsson but Harry would be known as Harry Dicksson. I'm told that it was pretty important to keep good family records to keep track of who was related to whom.

Larry Jelf
23 November 2007, 01:26 PM
Ah, mine is DART -- even with the addition of the word 'genealogy' is the search engine, I get dart boards, dart cars, tree frogs that dart across the water.... Aaaarrrghh!

Are you by any chance related to Gawaine Dart, the potter?