Today we are going to Muse about finding one’s roots. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me. Click to check out my artwork
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From Whence Cometh Thou?
My great-grandmother, Clara Beauchamp, came to America in the mid 1800’s after sailing from England to Australia and then to San Francisco, not one trip, but still pretty impressive. One of my grandfathers worked on the Panama Canal as a boy and was later a professional baseball player in the Southern League. The other grandfather had shoe stores. Two of my great-grandfathers fought on the Union side at Gettysburg.
That pretty much sums up what I knew of my family history.
Fast forward, several years ago I was contacted by a distant cousin who was researching the Tribby family as part of a larger project underway with the Tarvin Family Association, the Tribbys being descended from one of the Tarvin women. He wanted to know if I was a Tribby whose father was Maurice Beauchamp and whose grandfather was Maurice Leslie. I told him, “yes” and that is how I learned about the Tarvin Family. The Tarvin family is linked to the original Jamestown Settlement in Virginia.
But still I knew very little of my family origins. I had been told that we were English, Irish, Scottish and Welch. I suspected that we went back to the Norman Conquest because of the family name, Beauchamp, which in English is pronounced Beach ham but in French would be Bow shaamp.
So fast forward again, and my younger brother has been researching family using Ancestry.com and he got me interested.
It is fun and relatively easy. You might like it and you will learn a lot.
When you enter a name in your lineage, if there is information or records about this person, a green leaf will appear next to their name indicating one or more hints about the person. These might be a marriage license, a birth or death notice, census data or family trees of other people who are related to the individual. So many people are researching genealogy that there is a great deal of information already recorded about thousands and thousands of families.
I was amazed at what I did not know. because I never really gave it any thought. By the time you are considering your great-grandparents, three generations back, you are dealing with sixteen ancestors. I only knew of six. The other ten family lines were unknown to me.
Well that is largely changed now. I can trace a part of my family back to 550AD. In the 1400’s the family is linked to titled nobility. Going back in time nobility married and gave birth to nobility. There is a great deal of public historic information about these families so the research has already been done for the most part. And it is kind of fun to see Barons and Earls, Sir Knights and Kings and so forth as part of one’s heritage. I wonder where it all went. Hah!
What is astounding is to consider the number of persons involved. My family link to the Jamestown Settlement is Adam Thoroughgood, who arrived at the colony in 1621. He is my 9th great-grandfather. That is eleven generations back. With each generation the number of individuals doubles. You have one father, two grandfathers, four great-grandfathers, eight great-great-grandfathers and so on. By the time you reach eleven generations into the past you could have, by my calculation, 1,024 9th great-grandfathers.
If Ancestry.com is telling the truth, William the Conqueror is my 28th great-grandfather, 30 generations back. If you do the math there could be as many as 536,870,912 28th great-grandfathers and a like number of 28th great-grandmothers. I don’t think there were that many people living in all Europe in 1066AD. Obviously some of the lines did not make it.
More to come
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