A Conversation for Tracing your Family Tree - Part 1: Back to 1837

And perhaps most important, do not be shy to ask questions

Post 1

Rev Nick - dead man walking (mostly)

It is known that my family name and progenitors came to Canada sometime in the early 1840's. A census not many years later
stated them as 'Prussian'. In the day, that covered a huge amount of geography. Family tradition has it whispered that perhaps
the earliest (coincidentally also named Nicholas) was one and a half steps ahead of the law. Other notions are that the law is
the entity that paid the way to cross the Atlantic Sea

In the end, much of that generation was very tight-lipped about their home and history, as was the next and the next. It was
only during her few remaining days that a great Aunt seemed inclined to share history. And then no one took the time to ask,
to take notes.

And so, aside from a guess that our lineage hails from the Nordrhein/Wesphalen region of what is now Germany, we will never
know for sure.

And perhaps most important, do not be shy to ask questions

Post 2


Seconding this! Spend time with your elders at every convenient opportunity and write it down. It was accepted in my generation that my mother's father's parents had died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1890 until I mentioned it to an elder uncle who told me only she had passed; my great-grandfather was Justice of the Peace until 1931. His sister-in-law took it upon herself to raise the children away from him. This was lost in one generation, except for Uncle Will.

When I found this out, I was able to go house-to-house in the census, and finally uncover him as a boarder on a near-neighboring farm. He was never far away. It changed my view of the whole situation. And this detail was lost in a family that has will and probate recordings back to 1661, so they're not exactly weak record-keepers.

As you can tell, this science gets a little addictive.

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And perhaps most important, do not be shy to ask questions

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