Making a Game of It
For fun, I used to recite my ancestors, starting with the immigrant ancestor Thomas Porteous (he came to Vermont then Montreal circa 1785-1790), and name the subsequent direct-line, male descendants down to me. I would then ask one of the children on the spur of the moment who their great-great-grandfather was, and they would tell me. Then I would ask who his father was and his father too. I’m sure you get the idea. My children are now ages 28, 23, 22, and 16, and they know their Porteous direct-line ancestry as far back as we have been able to go. When children are young, make it a game and it becomes fun.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
My husband’s family has a wonderful way of preserving a “living” legacy from his grandmother. When she died back in the 1970s, her ten children got together to divide up the estate. Grandma had quite a few beautiful African violet plants. The plants were divided and every sibling’s family got a cutting. Now thirty-odd years later, we are all still dividing the plants among the descendants as they establish their own homes. Such a simple thing, but now even great-great grandchildren who never knewÂ Grandma canÂ have a loving, living personal part of her legacy. I even still have Great-Aunt Amanda’sÂ cactus–she died in 1956!
Maple Grove, MN
Census Search Tip
My tip involves a little, heretofore overlooked (at least by me) gem in connection with census searches.Â
When you are looking for someone and you know the approximate area (town, city, community) where they lived, and you know a family member or neighbor who lived very near to them, do a search on that family member or neighbor. Click on the “(year) United States Federal Census Record.” Look down at the info provided before you click on the census image itself. You will see either “Neighbors: View Results” or “Family and Neighbors: View Results.”
I knew one of my grandmother’s first cousins lived less than a quarter mile down the road from her, but could not find them in the census records.Â By locating the cousin in the index and clicking on “Neighbors: View Results,” there he and his wife were–with their last name definitely misspelled!
As the phrase I coined says:Â “The rainbow is where you find it, not necessarily at the end of the rainbow.” I found him, but not where I expected.
If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!
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