One of my newest hobbies is researching genealogy. I remember when my sister was in fifth grade, she had to research her genealogy. I don't remember if she found anything on our mother's side of the family, but I had saved her portfolio from what she saved from our dad's side of the family.  Unfortunately, in our last move, I lost the portfolio, so I had to start all over. It's been fun, though, and I've decided that some time before I die I want to visit all the places that my ancestors lived, both in the US and internationally.

Genealogy websites
For my genealogy search, I've used various sites including (I have a trial subscription), (I have an institutional subscription), (I have no subscription), and (I have no subscription). Of course, I've also googled as a last resort to see if there's some random family reunion website. versus and complement each other well; though, I wish there was more of an integration: they each have their advantages and disadvantages, and I've found myself copying and pasting between the sites. is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Genealogy is a very important aspect of a Mormon's faith, and by creating a family tree on the familysearch website, one can also see which ordinances ancestors have received or need to receive. The two things I love about this site is the level of specificity to which I can search and the related products/services associated with the website. Familysearch allows me to look at records narrowed to one location or year. I can also use my logon from familysearch on a website such as treeseek and create a beautiful family tree graphic I can print -- for free. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages. Familysearch's partner site (, that allows users to create their family trees assigns a locater ID to each individual added to a tree. While the websites have the same domain, they are not connected, meaning while you can search for ancestors on, it will only retrieve individuals that have been added to others' family trees. If the information is incomplete, it could cause someone to misidentify the record and create a new one. Therefore, duplicate records get created and can be hard to correct. The locator IDs aren't all bad, though. If the record is accurate, all information, i.e., all of that ancestor's ancestors that have been added to another's family tree, is integrated into the family tree.  Unlike, integrates their expansive ancestor search with family trees, but their searches cannot be made to be as specific as Nor, can the family tree created on be imported to a free site like treeseek where one could print a graphic poster. It would seem the only sites that would print something worth framing require payment. Another thing I like about is the hints it provides when you add an ancestor to your family tree. Granted, this feature isn't perfect. The hints can provide more complete information about an ancestor but only adds the information from that related record. For example, if ancestry has a census record related to your ancestor, it will provide that as a hint. That census record might provide the individual's name, spouse's name, children, and/or parents. More than likely, this will create more hints rather than integrate all ancestral information like does.

My ancestry
At this point, I have been able to trace the lineage of my father's side of the family (well my father's paternal family) back through the early 1700s in the United States. I'm sure my ancestors fought in both the revolutionary and civil wars. I even have an ancestor named George Washington Webb! My father's maternal family's lineage has proven a bit more difficult with ancestors living in Canada and England.
By far, the most difficult lineage to research is my mom's family. The most I can find about her father is the marriage date to her mother, and they divorced shortly after my mother was born. The surname is too common, and I don't know who he might have remarried or if he's still alive. My mom's maternal family's lineage has been a fun search. Her great-grandfather immigrated from Portugal and changed his last name at least three times before his death. Her great-grandmother used her first and middle names interchangeably throughout her life! Needless to say, the search for census records was a great undertaking!

I would encourage genealogy research to anyone. It's a great way to learn about your past, and if you can learn more about your ancestors than just names and dates of birth, you can learn more about yourself! And, if you are already a genealogist, contact me using the box to the right! Maybe we can share information.
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