By: Allison

A family member was recently cleaning out her storage when she found a family tree handwritten by my grandfather.  The single piece of paper was filled with my grandfather’s notes and the family tree sprawled across the page.  I was delighted to be given this lovely piece of family history because it really made me feel like I was continuing down a path that my grandfather began years ago. 

After figuring out how he organized the family tree on the page, I began checking his information against what I already had in my family tree.  Materials such as this family tree are invaluable to genealogy research; however, they must be taken with a grain of salt.  My grandfather was a very intelligent man but even he could make mistakes.  I found a few discrepancies and used the original documents to determine which research was accurate.

The best piece of information on the page was the married name of my grandfather’s aunt.  She has been a brick wall for me for years.  She married sometime after the 1880 Census and I lost her trail.  According to my grandfather’s note next to her name, she was the black sheep of the family.  I soon discovered that she had been married at least twice and her last husband was about twenty years younger than her.  Armed with this new information, I was able to flesh out my family tree a bit more. 

The discovery of this forgotten family tree is a reminder that you never know what records other members of your family have in their possession.  It is a good idea to frequently remind both close and distant relatives that you are always looking for more information to expand your family tree.