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Ever since watching Sarah Jessica Parker find a link to the California Gold Rush, I’ve been hoping to find one in my family tree, too. I have family in California (some of whom show up repeatedly in marriage and divorce records) but my research says they all migrated in the 20th century.

Still, each episode of Who Do You Think You Are? motivated me to search for something new in my family tree. I dug through military records, passenger lists, tried to locate a small town in Slovenia (or was that Yugoslavia or Austria-Hungary?) in the Jewish Community Locator, find a 20th-century female ancestor who liked to remarry (yes, just like Susan’s grandmother, except without glam or glitter), searched agricultural censuses, slave schedules for 1860 and 1850, newspapers and more.

If something from Who Do You Think You Are? inspired you to conduct a whole new search or hit a previous research path armed with new ideas, I’d love to hear about it. You can send the details to me at stories@ancestry.com (note, that if you couldn’t get your story through to this email address earlier, it’s working now). I’m looking forward to reading each and every one of them … and picking up a few more new tips, too.

About Jeanie Croasmun
Jeanie Croasmun has been working at Ancestry.com while futilely attempting to prove the horse thief story in her family history for over seven years. During that time, she learned enough about her family to determine that the story is likely a great work of fiction. But the search continues ...

14 comments

Comments
1 Bonnie LandsbergerMay 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

The e-mail address stories@ancestry.com is still not working.

2 Jeanie CroasmunMay 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for the info Bonnie. Let’s try jcroasmun@ancestry.com for now – I don’t want to miss any stories.

3 Jeanie CroasmunMay 6, 2010 at 9:21 am

Everything seems to be fine with stories@ancestry.com now, so please send them on.

4 Joan McGrathMay 6, 2010 at 11:26 am

I got hit with the genealogy bug almost 20 years ago, but it lapsed about 6 years ago when my ancestors seemed to all become prone to disappear. Then I watched Sarah Jessica Parker get all lit up and remembered exactly what it felt like to find those moments when you connected with a long lost relative … and so I re-registered with Ancestry, and found out how amazing it has become as an online source! OMG! OMForCryingOutLoudG!! I have found so much more documentation, collaboration with other trees — even connected with living people with my maiden name that I thought had completely disappeared! I am newly addicted, online every day, and now teaching 3 other people how to get started with their family histories. The joy is back! Thank You!

5 Vicky KingdomMay 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I have been researching my family on and off for a few years now. I watched the first episode with Sarah Jessica Parker and wondered if Ancestry.com could help me. I had been using the site freely for awhile but with no luck on my family.
I “bit the bullet” and bought 6 months subscription. Within 1 hour I was emailing a cousin I never knew I had. Turns out her sister and other family members all live within 10 minutes from me.
Needless to say Many Thanks to Ancestry. Without you guys I still would be passing my cousins in the street.

6 Bonnie WoodmanMay 7, 2010 at 5:55 am

After watching the one for Matthew Broderick, I contacted Brad Quinlan (the Civil War expert) and asked him about burial sites. I have a g-g-g-grandfather that was killed in the Civil War and was never able to find his burial site or much else about him. Brad has contacted me and is helping me find out more. I love the program! It also gave other suggestions for others I’m searching for.

7 Nancy TimmMay 7, 2010 at 10:37 am

I spent years tracking down ancestors of Morgan horses. In January of this year, my brother told me that our grandmother, who died of postpartum hemmorage and shock had a sister. He gave me her name, and where she lived. I did some digging and got info to add to what my brother had told me. I found out about a geneology group that meets in a nearby town, and joined. One of the members stated that Staples had one Family Tree Maker kit left in stock. The next day, I went into town and grabbed it. I have joined Ancestry.com world, and found out many things about my family, and have begun to share what I have found with others. I am having a blast!!!!!!!!!! Nan

8 Sheri ClemonsMay 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I loved the series, Who Do You Think You Are? I have been working on my family history for a couple of years now. Ancestry.com has been very helpful to me in finding out basic information about my ancestors. The television series gave me additional ideas and information about conducting more in-depth research outside of Ancestry.com, and with the Internet generally. I have already visited some of the locations where my ancestors once lived. Now I am aware of more potential resources, which may be of help, on my journey to learn more about my ancestors.

9 Pat MalcolmMay 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

About 5 years ago I began searching in earnest for my grandmother, Isabella Mulvaney O’Neill, of Jersey City, New Jersey. I found a little information about her husband’s family, but nothing at all to indicate she had really lived at all! It was very discouraging, and I soon gave up. I knew she had died during the flu epidemic in 1918, and Census records told me she and my grandfather weren’t even married in 1910, so I didn’t know how I would find her. Then I watched Sarah Jessica Parker and Brooke Shields find their families, and I thought I could at least try the free trial, to see if anything might have changed. I worked hard every evening after work during those two weeks! Working from a family tree for my grandfather’s family I tried every angle I could think of, and soon found my great-grandfather’s family tree on the site. I contacted the person who had posted it, and after just a few emails learned that she had my grandmother’s burial record! Finally, a real record with the first solid information I’ve seen! I’m past the two weeks, have subscribed again, and can’t wait to see where this new information will lead me!

10 Laura BunyardMay 10, 2010 at 6:49 am

I got into genealogy back in 1984 when my dad’s cousins gave me a pedigree chart that went back to 1781 in South Carolina for Joab Moseley. I used the materials at the local FHC until one day I found Ancestry.com and paid for a subscription. I am hooked on finding people or matching names to the pictures I have. I really enjoy conecting with cousins and being able to share information. I also follow leaves where they lead me and have connected wtih people who had no idea we were related. I grabbed a picture for one of our kin for her grandchildren. I am able to show my g-grandmother’s brother and parents living in CA past the 1930 Census using the city directories. This is so cool!

11 JOHN FREDRICK AUGUSTUS.May 12, 2010 at 7:12 am

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT MY FATHER HIS NAME WAS
SYDNEY DOUGLAS AUGUSTUS
BORN ISLE OF WIEGHT RYDE
ENGLAND.

12 Therese'May 16, 2010 at 7:51 am

Hello, I had a 5 month subscription to Ancestory.com but never got my 14 days free trial.

I spent almost every waking minute in those 5 months doing my family tree and have found so much. It is so large already and I still have so much to find. It is extremely exciting, but there are not always nice things to find.

I am based In South Africa therefore cannot phone the USA from a land line. Please will you tell me why I never got my 14 days free? Thankyou so much.

13 Bell ZeoliMay 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Help, I have been looking since forever for my mother. Her name was Mona Louise Brown born 1920, with my 14 day free trial I think I have found an uncle (deceased) I cannot find anything on Mona, birth, marraige or death. I know she married my father John W. in 1938. I was in foster care from two years old until I married in 1962. On and off I have looked and reasearched and founf nothing, I really was hoping to find a death notice. Any suggestin for me would be very helpfull.

14 Richard H.May 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm

The “Los Angeles Times” has just concluded a three part article by Joe Mozingo telling of his year long search into the background of his family name. It’s just as fascinating, if not more, than the recent television series, “Who Do You Think You Are?”. The main feature deals with a mixed racial history as Joe searched for the origins of the Mozingo family.

Part one – Sunday, May 16
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-mozingo-first-20100516,0,4419674.story

Part two – Monday, May 17
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-mozingo-second-20100517,0,1038258.story

Part three – Tuesday, May 18
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-mozingo-third-20100518,0,6259272.story

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