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Thread: Your Ancestors From Long Ago & Far Away

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Your Ancestors From Long Ago & Far Away

    This Bear was doing some internet research on my family name. During previous searches I knew that my long-ago ancestors were instrumental in founding a large city in northern Europe. Tonight I wanted to clarify some details of that adventure. Here's what I know.....

    My dad always talked about his Mother and her recollections of life in the area that is now northeastern Poland. Before my grandmother and her family left this area, sometime around the turn of the century, this countryside was sometimes Poland, sometimes Russia, sometimes Germany, sometimes Lithuania. That much I knew. But there is more, from way, way back.....

    In 1437 King Casimar IV of Poland ceded a large chunk of land to my family. This land, located along the Bialka River, was given by a King who was ruling Poland, and later Lithuania. (One of King Casimar's sons would later be canonized as Saint Casimar.)

    That land became a village, then a city, known as Bialystok. It now is a larger city, with a central city population of 291,000 and a metro urban population of 350,000.

    You all have enjoyed a polio preventative poke.....Albert Sabin, famous for his polio vaccine, is from Bialystok.

    If you have studied any history of concentration camps and urban ghettos that contained Jews during World War II, you know of the burning of the "Great Synagogue". Nazi exterminators moved 3000 Jews into the largest wooden Synagogue in Europe, locked the doors from the outside, and set it on fire. That horrible scene became the "logo" of the much-acclaimed television series many years ago, "Holocaust".

    Bialystok is not my family name, but I do feel a certain kinship to this place. Perhaps there was also a lumbering bear-like family member, bringing smiles to the faces of friends and neighbors, all along the banks of the Bialka River.

    What say you? Know anything about your long ago and far away ancestors?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I'm 4th or 5th generation Floridian, my ancestors coming from Illinois on my Dad's side and settling in the Sarasota area, then he came to Orlando in the '40's, after law school.

    On my Mom's side, the Bairds came from Scotland a couple hundred years ago. There's a family history in book form that my Mom has, but I haven't read it yet. They settled in PA, and my mom came down here in the '40's. Her grandfather was the first dentist in Orlando, in the 1800's.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    On my mother's side - UEL family buried in a cemetery with founders of scarborough. The family joke is that we waited for a letter from the mayflower before we decided to come over.

    Father's side - BUN so it is your "family" and "friends" that did all those horrible things to mine.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Grandpa Jake immigrated from Finland before 1900 with three other families. The families homesteaded communally on some redwood forests in Calfornia and made their lives off the fat of the land (making split stuff, shake bolts, railroad ties). Grandpa Jake died during the 1919 flu pandemic before my dad was born. My uncle Waino raised my dad. Dad met my mom during the Big War (WW II), in England. She came from a nationally known disfunctional family (that explains a lot about me (and I know little about them)). Grandma Jake lived a long life into the 1960's and never learned a lick of English. That's about all I know about my past.
    What would RJ do?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    I can trace my father's side of the family back to Dieppe, France in the 1500s. My mother's side of the family... well, that's a bit more difficult. Given the emphasis that has been put on male heirs over the years, the maternal side of a family tree is normally hard to trace.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Tracing the name back is one thing, but after a few generations back, family trees begin to lose meaning because the number of people involved gets to be so huge. Consider:

    Code:
                |  Number of direct 
    Generation  |  ancestors in generation
    ------------|---------------------     
     0 me       |  0
    -1 parents  |  2
    -2 grandpts |  4
    -3          |  8
    -4          |  16
    -5          |  32
    -6          |  64
    -7          |  128
    -8          |  256
    -9          |  512
    -10         |  1024
    So if you go back seven generations, you have to look up over 100 people, just in that generation alone, and they are all direct ancestors of you. Three generations later, that number's up to over 1,000 people. Realistically things quit mattering after generation 5 or 6.

  7. #7
    I have a relative from the 14th century that was a silk trader in Denmark. He was apparently quite influential and friends with the royal family. He left part of his estate to the king and established a fund to be used by any widows in the family as a means of social security, which fund was managed by the royal family. In the mid-70s, my family received a letter informing them that the fund had dwindled to about 3600 kroner ($900 US), the royals were tired of being the family bookkeepers, and the check was in the mail. They sent it to my mom who used it for airfare to visit her mom on her 90th birthday. I have the geneology form they used to verify we were the rightful heirs -- pretty cool stuff.

    On my father's side, my grandmother swore up an down that we were directly descended from an Irish king -- Brian Boru. He, uhh, apparently fathered a substantial number of "heirs" via the backdoor.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    I only have several claims to fame via my ancestors. My family started out to what amounted to game wardens in the Black Forest. My great grandfather's generation were movers and shakers in northwest Indiana, but lost their influence during my grandfather's time.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    On my fathers side, my great great grandfather and his wife and three kids came to America in 1881 from Germany. They were on the Gellert and left from Hamburg with a stop in Havre and then to New York. From there, they stopped in Ohio to visit family that had previously emigrated, and then came up to Michigan.

    Above is just my dads paternal side. His mom was adopted, so we have no information on her family. On my moms side, her family was french and then prussian. I am fascinated by ancestry, but like JordanB said, it gets overwhelming.

    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    On my father's side, my grandmother swore up an down that we were directly descended from an Irish king -- Brian Boru. He, uhh, apparently fathered a substantial number of "heirs" via the backdoor.
    I didn't think one could reproduce that way
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 07 Sep 2005 at 9:04 AM. Reason: double reply

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    My dadís side is from a small Island of the cost of North West Ireland.

    My momís side is from some other place in Ireland.
    "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love." - Jim Carrey

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    1. Gabriel Budgie (b. 1750?) was a Revolutionary War vet from Harford County Maryland.
    2. Thomas Budgie, son of Gabriel, m. Lorena Cahill, moved to Fayette County, Ohio in 1803 and later lived in Allen County, Ohio and Louisa County, Iowa.
    3. James Budgie, son of Thomas, lived in Fayette County, Ohio and Allen County, Ohio. m. Elizabeth Jane Ireland.
    4. Thomas Budgie, son of James, lived in Allen County, Ohio and served in the 118 OVI in the Civil War. He married Sarah Hastings and migrated to Greenwood County, Kansas in the winter of 1869 along with several other relatives (most ended up in Coffey County, Kansas). Died in 1873 due to lingering Typhoid Fever he picked up during the war.
    5. James Robert Budgie, son of Thomas, was born in Lima, Ohio and grew up in Greenwood County, Kansas. M. Margaret Mahala Curry.
    6. Earl Roy Budgie, son of James Robert, lived his entire life on the farm in Greenwood County, Kansas. Married Icie Amelia Oliver.
    7. Earl Junior Budgie, son of Earl Roy, grew up in Greenwood County, Kansas and became an oil man. Lived in several places including Bolivia and Indonesia. M. Velma Mae McIlvain.
    8. Dennis Eugene Budgie, son of Earl Junior, grew up in Madison, Kansas and spent 22 years in the Air Force. Married Rosa Linda Sowers.
    9. Budgie Budgie Budgie, son of Dennis Eugene, lived a life of indulgency and Cyburbia. What a waste. Married the "Woman Formerly Known as Spouse".
    10. Three Kiddoes.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Anyone know of any sites or starting places for family history research? (Free sites are best)
    "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love." - Jim Carrey

  13. #13
    My family's not big on this stuff. Nobody kept in touch with "the old country." The story goes that after the "Great Famine" my mom's side immigrated from rural Western Ireland to the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia before my grandfather decided he'd have better job prospects in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania... (too bad 30 years later the mines were all closing down, but I guess I don't fault him for not being a mind reader). When my mom was in her 30s, before she got married, she went to Ireland to try to find any kind of lineage, but the only clues she could track down were the possibility of birth records of people who may have been related. When she found the church that was supposed to have such recordings (as apparently the Catholic church controls all legal documents in small towns over there), she was told that all the records had burned in a great fire that consumed the entire town at one point.

    My dad's side are Pennsylvania Dutch (a term which bastardizes the term "Deitsch" to mean German, not people from the Netherlands!) and even less in touch with their roots. We have a very small family. My parents were both only children, my grandparents' siblings all died before marriage (they had a lot of them but this was back in the days of awful access to medicine for the poor), and there are (including myself) 5 living people we know who are related. In fact, I'm the youngest male in the family, and if I got hit back a Mack Truck tomorrow without passing on my seed, the "family name" would die.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Anyone know of any sites or starting places for family history research? (Free sites are best)
    http://www.familysearch.org/
    http://www.ancestry.com/
    http://genforum.genealogy.com/
    http://www.genealogy.com/index_r.html
    http://www.rootsweb.com/

    Family Tree Maker is a pretty decent program if you get into it. There are also some shareware programs that work pretty well to.

    I have over 2000 names in my file, going back up to 12 generations.

    If your getting started, make sure you record the source of the information you find. Be cautious of information done by other researchers. There is a lot of conflicting information.

  15. #15
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Perhaps one of my Potratz line had a few laughs from the Bear ancestor back in Poland. Most of my people came out of Ireland though. Some from Larne, where I would like to visit sometime. I also have a line that came out of Ireland and ended up forming the village of Rineyville, KY. Interestingly enough, that line includes another Cyburbian.
    ďAs soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fallĒ
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I was basically told from my mothers side that "I didn't need to know, that stuff doesn't matter" Mostly because my grandmother had wound a very desrtuctive web of lies about the paternity of my mother. To this day I really don't know but all the variations of the stories are interesting. I have no clue about that side.

    I was able to trace my fathers side.

    Maiden name "Harloff " definately German.

    We were late comers to America. Late 1800's, long after the civil war, so I can truely claim absolutely nothing to do with slavery!

    It looks as if they entered through the great lakes area. Interesting picture of great grandfather and his four children shows a caucasion male with four children that are all much darker skinned with wildly curly hair. But no know pictures of Great grandma. The explination was that he had lived in the Pennsylvania Dutch Area.

    That's about what I know except that there are very very few people with my last name.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I know my ancestry comes from the part of Germany that was given to Poland after WWII. My ancestors came to America sometime in the 1800s and settled in Chicago. One of the reasons they came to America was because of land disputes between Germany and Poland going on all the way back then. I am, in fact, of German ancestry, though, and that land will always be Germany's!!!
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Anyone know of any sites or starting places for family history research? (Free sites are best)
    www.ancestry.com
    www.usgenweb.org
    www.rootsweb.com

    I think I got the addresses right.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  19. #19
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Back in 1066, my ancestors left their homes in Normandy to help take over a little soggy island called Britain.

    Later one of them gave Henry the Eighth a whole bunch of money to finance his army and Henry knighted him. Some members went over to Ireland to mess with them. He sent his second son to Oxford to study beer-making. His second son went to sea and eventually became a sea captain who sailed between England and the New World.

    His son immigrated to Virginia, and began our family's slow migration west and south across North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. All along the way displacing the natives.

    Our family is truly Anglo-American. We've worn out our welcome in several countries and states! We've stolen land, killed natives and owned slaves. An American success story.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  20. #20
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    The "Boik"er name goes back to somewhere in SE Poland/Czech/Ukraine area based upon the information passed down to me. Whether or not the name was americanized is questionable. My great grandfather settled in NE South Dakota and raised a family of a 8 kids to labor on his farm. I'm 3rd generation to carry the name. I really have no idea what employement or significance any of my past family was.

    Mom mom's side was traced back through generations of mothers to the late 17th century in Nova Scotia. Mostly a French heritage on that side.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    My grandfather was born in 1893. His mother was apparently widowed at least by 1880. How is this possible? OK, I know how.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I never met any of my grandparents. I think two of them died a long time before I was born, one died before I was five years old, and one died in East Germany in 1996. My dad is 80 and I am 40, so my dad is only a year younger than my husband's grandmother who lives in the same town (my husband is my age -- to within a few weeks). I never got around to reading the family geneology on my father's side that was sent to me some years ago. It was thrown out this year, along with almost every other imaginable thing I owned. I suppose I am now a woman without a past.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian plankton's avatar
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    hey cuz......

    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    Back in 1066, my ancestors left their homes in Normandy to help take over a little soggy island called Britain. Our family is truly Anglo-American.
    My maternal lineage descends from William the Conquerer of Normandy. I have a great family geneology dating back to the 10th century. I wonder if we were warring families or friendly ones.....??

    Currently doing research on my paternal side right now -- have traced dad's family back to the Indiana, PA area circa 1850 or so.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by plankton
    My maternal lineage descends from William the Conquerer of Normandy.
    My maternal lineage descended from John the Shrubber.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  25. #25

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    The Nellises were politcal refugees from the Palatine region of Germany, who went briefly to England, and were then sent to the New World as janissaries, i.e. as expendable settlers who formed a buffer in the Mohawk River valley - the Indians would raid them first, before moving on down to the settlments on the Hudson. They came just in time to fight in Queen Ann's War (1711) and later on fought in the Revolutionary War. Like many families, they split and the Tories moved up to Canada as Nelleses. How my immediate ancestors got from NY to Kansas is less clear, but they came to the Grouse Creek Valley in the 1870's and had just gotten well established when the Depression/Dust Bowl hit.

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