Family history research or genealogy can be fun and exciting. Researching your ancestry can provide you with many surprises. One surprise you are sure to have, regardless of your family, is the fun you will have researching your family tree. Another surprise you will have for sure is how easy it is to research your family tree and how much you learn about your ancestry as you begin work on your own family tree.
You might be wondering how I know that researching your family history can be so fun, rewarding, and educational? Well I know that researching your genealogy can be all of these things and more because I myself have researched my own genealogy. I will share with you some of my own experiences with researching my own family history.
To be fair it makes it easy to research my family tree because I do come from an American Aristocratic family, sure unless you are from the East you may not know the name Ware but we have been around along time and have streets named after us and everything. All I really have to do is wiki some of my famous ancestors and see how a great (well many greats but just one great will be used for relations) uncle was the father of American architecture, or one of the most famous Ware’s Henry Ware Sr. founded Harvard divinity school, the Unitarian church in the US, and was friends and roommates in college with a great grandparent future president John Adams. In fact going to a university your family literally founded and being surrounded by building and streets with your families names on them such as Eliot, Winthrop, Adams, Lowell, Standish, etc it is not hard to learn about your family even the professors will occasionally notice a less well know name like Ware and wonder if in fact that is you and how much your family has done for the university.
To be fair that is just my father’s side. My mother’s side does have a pilgrim and some early American settlers and minor members of the American aristocracy but not like my fathers. But research into my mother’s side has a lot too. In fact researching my mother’s side we have found all kind of royalty and other famous people. In fact if you can get back to European royalty you can trace your heritage back to Adam and Eve though the information is a bit apocryphal but surprisingly comes from the Jewish royalty who were to have left Jerusalem and married with Irish royalty and in fact I learned in an archaeology class that there is evidence that such intermarriage between the Jewish and Irish royalty exists.
Many people are actually related to royalty if you go back far enough you would be surprised. Also many people are related to American aristocrats for example Bill Cosby, Steve Young, Christopher Reeves, Humphrey Bogart, Tennessee Williams, Herbert Hoover, and John Kerry are just a small sampling of the famous descendants of Thomas Dudley the second governor of Massachusetts. That lists should give you and idea how varied the people are who are related even and African American like Bill Cosby is a relative. Admittedly I am fortunate to have it come much sooner then most with royalty less then 10 generations back and of course a straight line on the male side to American Aristocrats. You may also find that much of your work is already done.
To be fair even for me it has been hard. Oddly the Ware side has been the hardest. Sometimes in researching your family history there just wont be information and sometimes you just hit a dead end. On the Ware line we had thought we had hit a dead end in the Colonial days because my great grandfather was a Harvard Whaling captain (captains were actually highly educated and rigorously tested much like a doctor or lawyer) who was in fact a Little (also an old aristocratic American family earliest family to go to Harvard around 1640). Grandpa Little’s wife died in childbirth and my grandpa Ware was raised by his uncle who was the brother of my grandmother that had died. After my grandpa Little cam back from a whaling trip he remarried and had my grandpa Ware live with him again but my grandpa had grown up knowing the Wares as his family and kept running away from home to live with the Wares. So grandpa Little let them adopt grandpa Ware. The adoption was not legally done and the information about the births and deaths of all involved was lost to us so going any farther back was impossible though we kept looking anyway. After literally decades of our family researching we were able to find the information and able to trace our Little and Ware line and finally prove we were Wares and that many of our stories that were based on family legends were finally proved to be right. While roadblocks and dead ends may frustrate and may take a long time, and like my grandma you may never see anything come of your search, when some unforeseen information locked away for centuries does come to light it is the most rewarding genealogy research you can do.