Trapped in Our Tree: a look back at two years of family history research
On September 24, I will complete two full years of my genealogical journey into my family tree as well as my wife’s heritage. The best part of my work has been the experiences I cannot measure: conversations with family, connections with other researchers, knowledge of local history, family artifacts, intriguing stories, solved and unsolved mysteries, seeing our ancestors in the context of a greater historical narrative, etc. While I cannot quantify those experiences, below are some things I can measure.
People in tree: 9327
Marriages in tree: 2891
Most marriages: Sarah Bell Aitkens Abbey Reagan Long Casteel Land (1873-1921)
Space used: 19.7 GB
Earliest birthdate in tree: 1530 William Jollifee in Winterbourne, Dorset, England
Unique places in tree: 1454
Most popular county in tree: Conway County, Arkansas
Media (unique items attached to people such as pictures, documents, etc) in tree: 2788
Media not yet added to tee: 853
My ancestry: Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Native American, Russian, Scottish, Welsh
Wife’s ancestry: African, Scottish
Most generations: I can trace my niece, Katherine (born 2012), to her 15x great grandfather, William Jolliffe (born 1530), for a total of 18 generations
Most incestuous: I have seen one branch (not direct relatives) that commits incest three consecutive generations in the 20th century.
Out-of-state research roadtrips: three- Haywood County, Tennessee, Lincoln County, Tennessee, Tate County, Mississippi
Workshops/fairs attended: four
Books printed for people: six
Ways I spent money: gas, travel meals, printing, ancestry.com subscription, Family Tree Maker software, Arkansas Death Certificates, an obituary from Nashville, workshops, and probably other ways I do not care to recall
Blog posts: 20
Popular first names:
Martha/ Mattie- 83
The past two years can best be summarized as follows: I’ve climbed high into my tree, and I can’t get down!