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xejn
16 December 2006, 03:04 PM
When Ulysses S Grant was President he wanted a history written about every county in the US for the centennial celebrations of 1876. One such book covers the early settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois

SGilbert
16 December 2006, 04:51 PM
Eventually---add them all! For now, do as much as possible, and add as the time & inclination arises. You might try one branch/family at a time,and carry it out to it's conclusion.

I had the same delemma several years ago when my wife presented me with a 1908 book with many thousands of her ancestors----glad that's finally over!

Be sure to either mark who's already included, or keep detailed notes.

Ron Snowden
18 December 2006, 10:34 AM
As a newcomer to intense genealogical research, I too have been pondering the extent to which I include people. Just yesterday I located and downloaded a 553 name gedcom emanating from my great great grandmothers sister. The quality and documentation is superb, and it would be a nice addition to a relatively small site. ( I have close ancestors from all over the world, and finding one name can take days of research.)

On the other hand, my wife is connected to Mormon pioneers and polygamists, the Mayflower, kings of England and France, and has one line (royalty) traced back (and authenticated) to 256 AD. Barely a week goes by that she adds less than 30 names; sometimes as many as 50.

I'm interested in what this group does. Where do you stop?

Thanks for the excellent questions and responses. This forum is an education in and onto itself.

theKiwi
18 December 2006, 10:51 AM
If someone is related to me then I definitely include all I can about them and their families, whether I have to enter the data by hand from a chart or other printed material, or I can get a GEDCOM file

On the other hand I also get enquiries from my web site from people who are related to people who are linked to me on my site - eg they're related somehow to a spouse of someone related to me.

These I think about including - sometimes I do and sometimes I don't - to some extent it depends on the amount of work involved. If there's a GEDCOM file that's much easier than hand entering dozens or hundreds of people from some kind of printed matter.

As to sources - at the very least I try to include a pointer to where the informaiton came from, so that any future contact to me about this data can maybe/hopefully lead back to the person who sent it to me.

Roger

msdebbiep
19 December 2006, 07:20 AM
Luckily (or unluckily) I don't have thousands of names in my database. What I have found is that it is best (at this point) to include anyone and everyone that is connected.
My experience has been that "so-in-so's" 2nd cousin's husband's father-in-law (well that's stretching it a bit, but you get the message) has done a detailed family history and has either a lot of information on my family or a tidbit that is a clue to breaking through a brick wall.
So, as long as they are "related" they go in my info (at this point) and I keep an eye open for their family trees, just in case.

debbie

Michael Talibard
19 December 2006, 01:03 PM
On the other hand, my wife is connected to Mormon pioneers and polygamists, the Mayflower, kings of England and France, and has one line (royalty) traced back (and authenticated) to 256 AD.
With the greatest respect, it doesn't make much sense to claim that any one person today is descended from any one person in 256 AD, because over that stretch of time, we are all descended from all of them. Let me try to justify this. The time in question is 17.5 centuries, which is around 70 generations. If you create a fan chart 70 generations deep, the outer ring has around 1 million, million, million cells. That's a one and eighteen zeros, or to put it another way, 5000 million million times the population of the planet at that time. How do we explain this paradox - that we each seem have millions of times more ancestors than history could provide, even if we knew it all? The answer is that the same few people have to appear repeatedly, each filling millions of those cells. Another way of saying this is that we are descended from each of those people by many different routes (myriads of routes). Unless a person (any person) living in northern Europe in 256 AD had no offspring, the chances that any of us is NOT descended from them by at least one of these routes is vanishingly small. QED. Actually, you don't need to go back that far. Aside from those who have entered Europe or America recently from (say) Japan, we are all direct descendants of William the Conqueror.

Tim Powys-Lybbe
19 December 2006, 06:54 PM
With the greatest respect, it doesn't make much sense to claim that any one person today is descended from any one person in 256 AD, because over that stretch of time, we are all descended from all of them. Let me try to justify this. The time in question is 17.5 centuries, which is around 70 generations. If you create a fan chart 70 generations deep, the outer ring has around 1 million, million, million cells. That's a one and eighteen zeros, or to put it another way, 5000 million million times the population of the planet at that time. How do we explain this paradox - that we each seem have millions of times more ancestors than history could provide, even if we knew it all? The answer is that the same few people have to appear repeatedly, each filling millions of those cells. Another way of saying this is that we are descended from each of those people by many different routes (myriads of routes). Unless a person (any person) living in northern Europe in 256 AD had no offspring, the chances that any of us is NOT descended from them by at least one of these routes is vanishingly small. QED. Actually, you don't need to go back that far. Aside from those who have entered Europe or America recently from (say) Japan, we are all direct descendants of William the Conqueror.

With even greater respect you are totally right about the number of descents; there are some of my ancestors from whom, through several intermarriages of their descendants, I am descended certainly scores of times. But does not make that early person any less an ancestor.

However what I would quarrel more seriously with is the statement that there is anyone of whom we know and can authenticate that we descend from them and who lived in 256 AD. There simply are not surviving documents to support such a claim. Back to 400 AD possibly, to 600 AD there are a very small number and to 750 AD there is always Charlemagne some of whose offspring and descendants are well documented. But not 256 AD.

RCarruthers
19 December 2006, 08:10 PM
I consulted web-published genealogies twice. The first one showed my mother descending from her mother's first husband - not her second husband, who lived with my mother and her sister across the street from us. The second one showed a wife dying in the 1890's and a husband with no date of death, when I could easily find the wife, a widow, with the proper age, name, and children into the 1930 census. I'm on a salt-restricted diet so I only accept information that I can personally verify with GAGRE (Generally Accepted Genealogical Rules of Evidence)

martha
20 December 2006, 01:56 AM
... Actually, you don't need to go back that far. Aside from those who have entered Europe or America recently from (say) Japan, we are all direct descendants of William the Conqueror.

Actually, I was with you until this comment. Not all of us are descended from William the Conqueror - I know that my tribe, the tribe of LEVI, is not descended from him...and alas, I am missing a few generations to trace myself back to Moses and the boys.

Martha

John M. Leggett
20 December 2006, 07:19 PM
As a newcomer to intense genealogical research, I too have been pondering the extent to which I include people. Just yesterday I located and downloaded a 553 name gedcom emanating from my great great grandmothers sister. The quality and documentation is superb, and it would be a nice addition to a relatively small site. ( I have close ancestors from all over the world, and finding one name can take days of research.)

On the other hand, my wife is connected to Mormon pioneers and polygamists, the Mayflower, kings of England and France, and has one line (royalty) traced back (and authenticated) to 256 AD. Barely a week goes by that she adds less than 30 names; sometimes as many as 50.

I'm interested in what this group does. Where do you stop?

Thanks for the excellent questions and responses. This forum is an education in and onto itself.

Something important here needs to be considered..the concept of authentication or documentation or whatever, as being proof.

I doubt that many historians or genealogists would consider as proof whatever it is that you consider authenticates a claim of being able to trace a relative to 256 AD.

With all due respect to you, I suspect that as you become more familiar with genealogy research, you will agree.

We all have grown up with family traditions about being related to famous people that upon careful investigation are difficult (if not impossible) to prove to anyone except Aunt Edna who is convinced it is true because when Edna was a child her beloved mother told her that and her mother would not lie.

John M. Leggett
20 December 2006, 08:56 PM
Actually, I was with you until this comment. Not all of us are descended from William the Conqueror - I know that my tribe, the tribe of LEVI, is not descended from him...and alas, I am missing a few generations to trace myself back to Moses and the boys.

Martha

I agree, but I suppose it might not seem as far-fetched to some who believe in what, I think, is called British Israelism. There will always be persons who build elaborate hypotheses on a desire to attract followers, coincidence, and shoddy genealogical research.

The phone book in the city I grew up in listed only a very few other people bearing my family name. I recall that as I child I discovered their names in the phone book and told my father that they must be relatives. He said "I don't think so." When I insisted that they might be and he just wasn't aware of it, he said flatly, "I know them; they're black." His tone of voice carried no overtones of racism--just absolute certainty. Then he reminded me that we're all related as human beings if one goes back far enough.

Ron Snowden
20 December 2006, 10:46 PM
I have always had a knack for stirring debate; and this question is no exception. But, it certainly got me thinking and resolved my question.

I too was skeptical of the 256 date; but when I looked it over I thought it looked pretty reasonable. The LDS Church will not accept anything beyond 1500 without special authentication. The names on these FGS's given to her 25 years ago were quite interesting--certainly nothing like we use today. I don't think statistical probability comes into play either, particularly when the only records that exist are royalty and religious. I don't know with certainty how accurate it is--but thanks for the commentary.

For my personal family history, I have decided to put Homo Erectus Snowden as the final entry, and keep at it until I reach him.

marnen
21 December 2006, 05:38 AM
Agreed. Thousand-year genealogies are hard enough in countries such as China, despite a long tradition of excellent record-keeping. In Europe such a thing would be completely impossible -- not even royalty goes back that far.

marnen
21 December 2006, 05:55 AM
For my personal family history, I have decided to put Homo Erectus Snowden as the final entry, and keep at it until I reach him.
"I am in point of fact a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule."
--W.S. Gilbert, The Mikado

xejn
21 December 2006, 12:44 PM
I'm on a salt-restricted diet so I only accept information that I can personally verify with GAGRE (Generally Accepted Genealogical Rules of Evidence)

Where might one find some guides to GAGRE?


Cheers,

Michael

SVass
21 December 2006, 05:31 PM
Actually, I was with you until this comment. Not all of us are descended from William the Conqueror - I know that my tribe, the tribe of LEVI, is not descended from him...and alas, I am missing a few generations to trace myself back to Moses and the boys.Martha

Actually, there is a logical error leading to his math. He assumes that all of his descendants did not marry relatives. That is KNOWN to be untrue. Otherwise there would be far more people in the past than there are now. And my dna tests as well as others demonstrate that most Jews are more closely related to each other than they are to Europeans. I claim the tribe of Judah (as my surname was once WEIL) sam

grannyroots
21 December 2006, 07:12 PM
Where might one find some guides to GAGRE?


Cheers,

Michael

Michael,

Usually one wants primary documentation but back that far I do not beleive one can find it, maybe if you are of nobility it exists.
Some primary documentations are:
1. Original entries of birth, death, marriage, burials, land and probate/estate. (church records/parish records and courthouse/record offices.) I beleive it will be hard to go past the mid 1500s.
2. Bibles can be considered original documentation if they have original entries and not copied entries. Date of bible is a clue to original entries and also if the hand writing is ln the same or if it varies showing it was entered at different times.
3. Original census sheets not copied.

Anything that has been copied would be a secondary documentation and not necesarrily reliable. Often many errors in copying.

So you see it would be very hard to prove/document you go back furthur than the 1500s.

Hope this helps!

Mary Arthur
21 December 2006, 07:15 PM
Where might one find some guides to GAGRE?


Cheers,

Michael
If you haven't read 'Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian' by Elizabeth Shown Mills, I'd start there.

Michael Talibard
22 December 2006, 05:04 AM
Actually, I was with you until this comment. Not all of us are descended from William the Conqueror - I know that my tribe, the tribe of LEVI, is not descended from him...and alas, I am missing a few generations to trace myself back to Moses and the boys.

Martha

Yes, you're quite right. My argument shows (I think) that we are all related to each other if we go back a thousand years or more, but only within certain large gene pools, of which there are a few, and as you point out, more than one even in Europe. Of course, none of them is absolutely watertight, and I guess they all merge if we go back (say) half a million years, to a rather small world population of homo sapiens.

xejn
22 December 2006, 10:25 AM
3. Original census sheets not copied.

Anything that has been copied would be a secondary documentation and not necesarrily reliable. Often many errors in copying.

So you see it would be very hard to prove/document you go back furthur than the 1500s.


When you say copies, you mean transcriptions right?

Photographically reproduced copies (photocopy, microfilm, scanner (not OCR)) are OK though aren't they?

I agree ca. 1500 seems like the birth of beuracracy in Europe. My European lines (eminating from 3 out of 4 grandparents) are from a group of islands where the stewarts of the islands mandated record keeping starting in the mid-1500's (I forget the date). Saddly, the record keeping was done by parishes who generally do not have time for genealogy researchers, so genealogoists generally relly on a collection of the parish records created by a man from the 1800's who wanted to do the genealogy of all the people of the islands. The collection is known to have dates that are off by +/- a year (sort of like using a Census to figure out birth years). So, I may have records that go back to 1500, but only access to a transcribed copy (in Latin (official Language of the chruch) and classic Italian (the official language of the Order who were the stewarts of the Islands) no less).

grannyroots
22 December 2006, 06:06 PM
When you say copies, you mean transcriptions right?

Photographically reproduced copies (photocopy, microfilm, scanner (not OCR)) are OK though aren't they?

Yes, when I say copied, I mean transcription of the actual original image.
Could be hand-written or typed. Errors in transcription can occur and sometimes other information not in the original may be added and may be wrong.

Photocopies of originals, scanned images, fiche, microfilms are all copies of the original and are primary documentation.

Jean

martha
23 December 2006, 04:48 AM
... I claim the tribe of Judah (as my surname was once WEIL) sam

Sam, please contact me off list regarding WEIL [and I thought they were LEVI, not Judah].

Martha