figmo: (Lynn-Lady)
[personal profile] figmo
I love researching my family tree. I was very close to all four of my grandparents, so for me it's a case of looking up stuff about people I adored. Every once in a while I check to see if there's anything new.

Yesterday it felt like I hit the motherlode. Specifically, they now have Pennsylvania Death Certificates online from 1906 through the end of 1963. Since most of my mother's family and a few of Dad's relatives lived and died in PA, this was a treasure trove.

I now have maiden names for my great-grandparents on my mother's side. Unfortunately, trying to tell which "John" and "Anna" Petro were my great-great grandparents is dicey at best, especially since they were already married when they came over from Austria-Hungary (now Slovakia).

A little over a year ago I exchanged email with someone who had my entire maternal grandfather's family tree, in humungous detail, in his tree. I couldn't tell whether he was related to me through my Grandpop's mother or father because I saw both last names in his tree. After more examination last night, I realized why: My Grandpop and this guy's grandmother were double-cousins! His great-grandfather was my great-grandmother's older brother, and his great-grandmother was my great-grandfather's younger sister. Unfortunately, doesn't handle double-cousins properly. Instead of showing the family trees double-linking, it shows the married siblings of his parents separately with separate branches.

What will be interesting is to see when he uploads more digitized photos of his family. I am very curious now to see whether his mother's family looks a lot like my mother's family.

Now I get to anxiously wait till they upload more PA death certificates. I am eagerly waiting for 1966, when my great-uncle Sam died, so I can see my Egyptian great-grandmother's name in writing. They didn't just have the data; they had the actual images, so I could verify that I was indeed looking at the right certificates. One of the fields is for the person "reporting" the death -- usually a family member -- and in every case I saw the name of someone I recognized. Needless to say, I'll be spending time this weekend further filling out family trees! W00t!!!

They also have more phone directories uploaded. Looking at one from 1933, I can see that whenever my Mom's maternal grandfather gave info for it, all his kids (and his brother-in-law) were still living under his roof. I know that later in 1933 a couple of them had moved in with Mom and her parents. Mom was especially close to them, and I suspect that had something to do with it. Back then, everyone who might be living in a household was listed, along with their occupation, whether they were a renter or a homeowner, and in some cases their marital status. In some cases they even listed the name of a widow's late husband!

Date: 2015-03-29 04:47 am (UTC)
howeird: (CamoOcto)
From: [personal profile] howeird
Interesting, the double cousins. I have something like that but not as far back. My father's father married a woman from Hungary, they had a boy, she died soon after. Grandpa then married another Hungarian woman, a cousin of his deceased wife. They had a boy, my dad. So my dad's half-brother was also his cousin. And I think because his father had been married to a cousin of his mother, dad was his own cousin?

Date: 2015-03-29 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
W.'s paternal grandmother had two daughters with her first husband, who then died. She then married his younger brother and had two boys, the younger of whom eventually became W's father.

Apparently it was relatively common for folks to pair off with a sibling or close relative of their first partner when that person died. My mother's maternal grandfather was dating a young woman who died. He then started dating, and eventually married her younger sister, aka my great-grandmother.

Date: 2015-03-29 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Are you aware of It's the LDS non-pay site (Ancestry is their pay site). The pull in data from a lot of sources. I don't know what Ancestry does, I'm cheap.

Date: 2015-03-31 04:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I also have a account. has some things they don't have and vice-versa. One thing I recently found on that doesn't have is my paternal grandmother's mother's death certificate (the data from it, anyway).

Date: 2015-03-31 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's cool. Some of the nifty things I've found include draft registration cards for a couple of my great grandfathers for WWI.

Someday I might try ancestry just to find out something about it, but right now it's too rich.

Date: 2015-03-29 09:29 pm (UTC)
elemirion: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elemirion
My Great Grandfather and his daughter, my Great Aunt did a lot of the family genealogy, then my uncle did a lot more, sadly he seems to have lost most of what he did. We have double cousins too. I have been doing the thing too. He did his on but lost his that info is lost to us. You have an incredible treasure in this cousin? over there, we have nothing from beyond this country except for some names, but not where. I know I have family that goes back to Scotland, we have a fair amount of that, but the Irish, English and Welsh branches it just says that they came from that country in such and such a more than that.

Date: 2015-03-31 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree that I'm lucky to have found that cousin. I've located several cousins via, which I find kind of cool. I've also gotten updates on some of my other cousins through that site. It's kind of weird telling Mom stuff about her first cousins that one of them should have told her but didn't. ("Did you know so-and-so died a few years ago?" "Did you know so-and-so moved from the house that had been in the family for decades?")

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