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Old 11-21-2023, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default November 21, 2023: Family Ties

November 21, 2023: Family Ties

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Old 11-21-2023, 01:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: November 21, 2023: Family Ties

Myself, my cousin, and my great-aunt chased my maternal grandmother and grandfather's line all the way back to the 17th century (for my grandfather's people) and the late 17th (for my grandmother's people). My family has roots going back deeper than that, but that's all we could find. My cousin is still working on it now and then. It'll be ready one day.
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Old 11-21-2023, 09:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: November 21, 2023: Family Ties

I've done my family lines as far back as I can, and it's a fun dive into what once was. I just wish I could trace my paternal Great Grandfather to his parents, but after his service in the Union Army, he cut all ties with his parents and everything about his past becomes a mystery.

One set of distant cousins worked for a small manufacturer of mining equipment once located in St. Louis, and weirdly, I'd built a model of one of their locomotives decades ago!
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Old 11-21-2023, 11:20 AM   #4
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My roots are in China, and I discovered an interesting twist that pretty much killed my ability to track any genealogy. In the farming towns where my family had its origins, primogeniture was much more important than anything we would recognize as genetic heritage. That meant that before the one-child-per-family policy became settled law, every household there got past the problem of taking a chance on the gender of their first child by always adopting a son to start. That meant my grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather were all adopted and not blood relations in any biological way. There's something beautiful and poetic about building up a family and a community that way, but it pretty well blows up any chance of drawing a family tree as we would understand it in the west.

The lack of formal records and genetic evidence also robs me of the ability to confirm one of the most interesting narratives in my family history, that one of my recent ancestors might have been a student at the Foreign Mission School in Connecticut. In the 1820s missionaries sent Native American, Asian and Pacific Island children to that institution, ostensibly to teach them religion and western values. What it did instead was create a pile of interracial marriages that made the people of the time very uncomfortable, and so the vast majority of those young men were sent home. That's a big shame because some of them were promised the chance to become naturalized citizens. In a way my Chinese family has been "American" for two whole centuries.
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Old 11-21-2023, 03:09 PM   #5
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One of my great-grandfathers was a human trafficer.

He married "above his station" in Gilded Age Canada. His in-laws were determined to take possession of grandma and grandpa's infant first born. So Gramps arranged for said infant to be smuggled across the US/Canada border with work friends, while Gramps took another route and Grandma made her own way south.

Did I mention gramps was a railroad man?

It took a few weeks, but all three met up safe and sound. Things continued well until the Great Depression ruined everything.
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Old 11-21-2023, 06:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: November 21, 2023: Family Ties

I don't have to do the family tree. There's a local database (the infamous and mistaken app) where genealogists have gone through all written sources and the company has then established a database that any Icelander can apply to access. I have looked through the tree for a bit and have discovered that I've had ancestors in Iceland for the whole of the history of Iceland.
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