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I imagine you had the same sentimental rush of emotions when you visited your grandmother's old home. I ran into 3 elderly people sitting on a bench next to a mountain spring fountain. One was swatting away bees. I went over and spoke to them and spent a half hour there. They knew practically everything about my family though we haven't had a family member in the village for decades. My father now has Alzheimer's and he is no longer a source for tying family relations, but the woman sitting there told me her sister had married my father's cousin (no surprise in these mountain villages) and moved to the USA. I hadn't been to that village since I was 7 years old, and we wouldn't have gone this time were it not for the shabbiness of Athens.

Recently, I discovered the Mormon Genealogical Archives online. They are truly committing an act of cultural heroism with the archives, even if the stated intention is the after-death conversion of people to Mormonism by Baptism. I found records of 3 men from my mother's village with her same last name that came to the USA in the 1890s. My mother checked with an older relative who confirmed the men were my grandfather's cousins and one uncle. Would have never known had it not been for the Mormon archives.

by Upstate NY on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 08:43:33 AM EST
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Yes...but I am thinking...is it actually really good to know too much about our ancestors, ha-ha ;)
Honestly what they never told us maybe shouldn't be told at all...I don't know.
As I am getting older I am curious to know more about them and I am even writing a sort of novel for my grandchildren so they may know more once. Obviously it is easier to write about others and especially about those that are not present any more, ha-ha.
My aunty that was last one in my immediate family (on my mother's side) who could tell us more, just died...I am planning to do more serous research  if I ever go back to Serbia to spend more time...seems like there are a lot of secrets that no one was willing to tell...especially details...
During my visit to my grand grandmother's (on my father's side) ruined home and non-existing village (photo here) I found some relatives in nearby town that I never knew existed...and they showed me a photo of my late grand grandfather. I saw his face for the first time in my life. Where the hell they found photographer in this part of the country and this God forgotten village a hundred years ago is above me...
It is all so sentimental...and interesting...
There is a program on TV here where kind of celebrities are searching for their family history, with a help obviously for the purpose of this program. It goes back to Europe because that's where most of them came from (a lot of them as convicts so some are really surprised with who their ancestors were actually). They are searching archives, historians are helping too. Very interesting stuff...    


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 09:25:30 AM EST
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Recently, I discovered the Mormon Genealogical Archives online.

I knew about it earlier but discovered that it is freely accessible nearly a year ago. I used it to complement one particularly interesting branch of my family tree in the period between 1750 and 1850 (a work done over multiple months). But I got to curse at both sloppy church record keepers and idiotic naming traditions (firstborn after father/mother, next after uncles etc...): some village pastors entered rather scant data, thus it was impossible to separate the lineage of several people with the same name and surname who lived in the same village.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 10:46:29 AM EST
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They are very enthusiastic about collecting data, but their vetting process is questionable. It's more important for them to have a list of people to baptize than it is to have strict accuracy. And it's hard in any case because the records get pretty lousy pretty fast.
by asdf on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 12:24:15 PM EST
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