Sunday, February 26, 2012

Warthen line

My maternal grandfather, Eldon Bernard Warthen, wasn't on my pedigree chart on New Family Search, so I found him and added him (from what my mom has told me, I'm reasonably sure that I added the right person). From what is already entered into Family Search, it looks like the Warthen line has been traced back to the mid-1600s. At some point the name becomes Wathen instead of Warthen. The people were born in England and died in Maryland. Ryan's thought was that maybe they still spelled it with an R, but with their accent it would have sounded like Wathen. Interesting.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Message in Grammy's Hymnbook

A while before she died, Grammy wrote a note to me in her hymnbook and then gave the hymnbook to me. I think it is such a blessing to have it. Here is the note (I'll try to get a scan of it later):

Dear Marcy,

I give this book to you. Enjoy it as I have done. I have used this book and have gotten more enjoyement [sic] from it than anything I have owened [sic]. I am so glad to be able to give it to you. Use it as you would a dear friend. It is to enjoy, Love, and some times let off anger.

I love you.

My siblings and I were the only ones that called her Grammy. Our cousins called her Grandma. Apparently she heard of somebody being called that and decided she wanted to be Grammy too, but that was before I was born and after my Warthen cousins were used to calling her Grandma.

As a side note, when I was growing up I used to go by Marci, but I guess Grammy didn't know I spelled it with an I.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Discovery

Recently I've been thinking about doing some research about my family history. All my life I've had the impression that most of the work on both sides of my family was "already done," so I figured that this would mostly be to learn their stories. I strongly believe that there is more to family history than just getting a list of names. If you aren't interested in the stories, you might as well just read a telephone book or write down chemical formulas. So I thought that even if my family members' temple work has mostly been done, at least some day when we meet again I will be able to say, "Hello, Hans Peter Jensen!"

Well, today I got on the New Family Search and started taking a look at what was already on there. After following the generations back quite a ways--amazed at all the names I didn't recognize at all--I went back close to the beginning and clicked the link for my grammy (maternal grandmother), Jenna V Jensen. And here's a taste of what I saw:

Does it make any sense to you? NO??? Well, it turns out that what happened is that a bunch of people at some point put information about Grammy on the IGI and the Ancestral File and other things, and when they started New Family Search, all of that stuff got put into a big database and dumped into New Family Search. So, while all the names on New Family Search are somewhat useful, there aren't actually any original sources entered for my grammy, or any of her ancestors, as far as I can tell--just all of these numbers representing various submissions into the IGI and other programs, which didn't have a way of putting a source. So, there is work to be done. Not temple work, but I can search for census records, birth certificates, and all sorts of other records, and then on Family Search I can enter the information for those sources so that other people can find those sources too. I looked at some of the family history for my dad's side, and it looks like some of my relatives have already started doing that for some of my Glenn ancestors. I had been feeling like I needed to start with my mom's side of the family, and this confirms that feeling.

So, I am gradually going to start working on getting a family history that is backed up by sources, and while I'm at it I will also be collecting stories, journal entries, letters, pictures, and such. I will be posting what I learn, both about my family and about doing family history, on this blog. It may be slow going, since I'm attending college part-time and raising two active children, but it's a start.