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Thread: roots

  1. #1


    A few things that have been going through my mind lately, as I researched my family history... I suppose there's a looming midlife crisis in there somewhere, what with the boat project and career plans and all, I've started looking back as much as I'm looking ahead and it's brought up quite a bundle of emotions, anyway I thought I'd share it with you guys and see where it goes.

  2. #2
    Registered: Dec 2011
    Location: Ferrol - Spain
    How old are you?
    Where did you learn English?
    And Valencia is not a Catalan city. Where and who told you that?

  3. #3
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Family history is always fascinating.

    Speaking of France, the oldest line I could trace was through my mother's maternal grandmother's line, the Easley's (IIRC), and that line went straight back to 15th Century SE France, something like the 1480s in some small village in the French Alps. It's by far the furthest line I could trace by a few centuries. (Then their son ended up in Brittany, which I thought was kind of funny. It's like how far from my parents can I get and still be in France?)

    Most of the other lines end somewhere in the 18th-19th Century Deep South US, Virginia, Georgia, but also Illinois. My own surname line apparently traces back to 17th Cent Birmingham England, with our namesake coming to Georgia debtor's prison. In the 19th-20th Century it's mostly Oklahoman roots, Sooners on my father's side (meaning they settled mid-19th Cent before OK was a state).

    These days I feel completely drifting, not attached to anywhere. But when I visit my father, I guess because he's rather old now, he likes to talk about 19th Cent. family history in Oklahoma a lot. To the extent I feel attached to it, it's like to a legendary time and place that doesn't really exist anymore. I mean my family fought for the Confederacy. It was a completely different world.

  4. #4
    Just south of 38. I would be hard pressed to answer that second one (why, by the way?). And as for the third, I didn't need anyone to "tell me", I've been to both. While it is in its own province and not "Catalonia" proper, it is most definitely and undeniably Catalan, politics notwithstanding. (And I won't go into a political debate online, if you don't mind, there's plenty enough here already...)

    [edit] Dema, that's pretty much where I'm at too. I'm not attached to a place in particular. I guess that's why I want to go live on a boat and not get a house... But I suppose I've also come to the point where I realized that my folks won't be around forever, and I've been trying to catch up on these stories, because it's part of our journey as much as our own lives are. I want to get as much first-hand as I can before it's too late, so I can pass it on when my turn comes..
    Last edited by raph; 8th Jul 2017 at 14:36.

  5. #5
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    I've never done any genealogy research, because it never interested me. I don't see what the lives of those people in the past have to do with mine. I know my grandfather used to own a large textile company, but first the Nazis took it away and then the communists. And all that was left in the end was a tea trolley and a water colour painting of sea roses that sold enough to buy an apartment once. Now there's only the tea trolley. But sometimes I notice a cold and mean trait in me and I know my mother had it from her mother. And then I begin to wonder how far back can this shit go? And it just makes me more determined to break the chain.

  6. #6
    Well, that's cool too.

  7. #7
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    My dads side of the family goes back to the vikings apparently. Makes for good family lineage conversation. Quite a rare last name from my experiences.

    Mothers side - British/Scottish mix. FAR more common last name.

  8. #8
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Not Kansas
    According to my mom (now late) my maternal grandfather traced his family's ancestry back to the 1500s in Germany and my grandmother's ancestry back to the 1700s (also Germany); his father had begun the research when my grandfather was a boy and my grandfather continued the project. Sadly, the records were lost during WWII.

  9. #9
    It baffles me that people can go back that far... Woah.
    We have a coat of arms too, which should be pretty cool if authentic, but we don't really know where it comes from any longer. Supposedly the replica was a faithful copy from the model whoever made it has found in the mid-50's or 60's, but recently we were looking for it online and in various databases and the one time we found a hit for our family name it was completely different. .

  10. #10
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I know quite a bit about my roots, and one branch of my family tree was interesting to trace because I learned a lot of history in the process. Here's a quick summary if you're interested, pardon the long post.

    My oldest known relative is Sir Alanus de Berneval, who was a knight in William the Conqueror's army. According to records at the Tower of London, his descendant, Sir Michael de Barneval, was a captain in Strongbow's army who invaded Ireland in the 12th century under Henry II. He was the first in the family line to emigrate to Ireland and he raised a family on a large tract of land in Cork granted by the king. The family was slaughtered during an Irish uprising in the early 13th century, except for a grandson, Hugh De Berneval, who was in London studying law. Hugh returned to Ireland and was granted the lands of Terenure and Drimnagh by King John. For the next 400 years, the family was one of the leading Irish noble families, owning lands and several castles spread around Ireland and representing the county of Dublin in the Irish Parliament. The Anglicized name Barnewall (or Bernewall, or Barnwall, or Barnwell) is reasonably well known in Irish history so I've heard.

    During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Nicholas Barnewall was asked to raise armies to fight the Irish Catholic gentry, but instead fled to Wales, in part due to the family's Roman Catholic background and in part due to his good relations with other Irish gentry. He returned after the rebellion. Despite that bit of disloyalty, he later received the title of Viscount of Kingsland by King James II due to his service and that of his sons in England. That is how Kingsland entered the family name. The family who remained in Ireland kept the Barnewall name (or its variants), while the decedents who emigrated out of Ireland dropped Barnewall and took Kingsland as their surname.

    One of Nicholas' sons, Major Nathaniel Barnewall Kingsland, was sent to Barbados in the mid-1600s to become the first Governor General of Barbados Island, and became a sugar cane plantation owner and had slaves. The plantation stayed in the family for about 100 years or so.

    The American part of the family history started when Nathaniel sent his nephew Capt. William Sandford to New Jersey to acquire land for British colonization. Sanford purchased 15000 acres between the Passaic and Hackensack rivers in Northeastern New Jersey in 1668 and split it with Nathaniel. One of Nathaniel's brothers, who lived in London, died with young children, and Nathaniel became their guardian. One of those children (Isaac Kingsland) disgraced himself in London by marrying his bride without her father's permission, and Nathaniel offered him the New Jersey tract if he would develop the land. And so Isaac was the first Kingsland to emigrate to America in 1670. He was followed by his brother Gustavus. The Kingslands prospered in New Jersey and Isaac was a member of the colonial government.

    The family was split over the American Revolutionary War. Some loyalists moved to the Canadian Maritimes during the war. Others fought for the Continental Army or one of the militias. After the war, one of the Kingslands purchased a manor in New Jersey that is now a historical landmark: Back in the 1980s I attended a national family reunion there.

    Some of family moved to nearby NYC starting around 1700 or so, and a large branch of the family grew in New York. Eventually they spread upstate, and to Western New York where my great grandparents settled. This branch of my family tree runs through my paternal grandfather, so it gave me my surname.

    My paternal grandmother was a first generation Dutch American whose parents emigrated to New York from one of the islands of Friesland in The Netherlands in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the family that remained in Friesland.

    My maternal grandmother's parents both descended from German immigrant families. I'm not sure what parts of Germany, but both surnames are Prussian, so probably somewhere in modern East Germany. The first to come was my great, great, great grandfather (+5 generations from me), who was born in Germany in 1825. He settled in Rochester, NY and built canal ships for the Erie canal. His son was a tailor, and married the American-born daughter of Irish immigrants. Their son, my great grandfather, was a machinist, and married the daughter of a family who owned a large farm on Lake Ontario that became a summer camp and is now a county park.

    I know very little about my maternal grandfather, who died before I was born and I never met any of his extended family. All I know is that both of his parents were born near Rochester, New York, in 1875 and 1884. One of the surnames suggest England or Wales, the other is Scottish.

    Unfortunately, if you descend from immigrants who came here during the mass migrations of the 19th century, it's very common that your family history is untraceable beyond their arrival. It seems that people just didn't keep records of the family they left behind, and often the names were altered or Anglicized when they arrived. A lot of American's have trouble tracing their family history because of this.

  11. #11
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Lille, France
    Once I talked about genealogy with someone.

    He refused to know about it saying he's not interested about the "Fils du facteur" as we say in France or "the milkman's son"...

  12. #12
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    *Tilts head to one side*

    Wish I knew both about my Spanish, rumored French and indigenous roots.


  13. #13
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_Key View Post
    Once I talked about genealogy with someone.

    He refused to know about it saying he's not interested about the "Fils du facteur" as we say win spins on foxy features in France or "the milkman's son"...

    Oh, I thought that I've seen all the MP episodes... dunno how I missed that. Thanks for the vid anyway
    Last edited by JoellenMaskell; 30th Jul 2017 at 04:26.

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