Saturday, March 05, 2005

Family Tree

Our houseguest arrived last Saturday afternoon. After picking her up from the airport, we dropped the boyfriend at home and I took her for a walk at the beach. When we returned, boyfriend said I'd received a call from a man in Indianapolis (I'll call him Indy)--someone who was working on the genealogy of my family, the Italian side. Whaaaa.....?! He said he told the man I was out but would return shortly; the man said he'd call back at 6:30. And he did...on the dot.

I had a nice chat with him. He's married to a cousin of mine. She's my 2nd cousin, once removed. (Can anyone explain that 'removed' part to me? I've never understood it). I've never met his wife and didn't even know of her. This man, with the assistance of a couple of others, has traced our Italian roots all the way back to my 5th the 1700's. (That's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandpa Domenico to me.) :)

He had found information on my Dad and first phoned him. Dad suggested he speak instead to his sister (my aunt), so he called her. She suggested he call me because I'm the only one in the family who's been to my grandmother's birthplace in Italy. My Dad and Aunt were happy to cooperate, but felt I would probably remember more familial information than either of them. Indy was looking to flesh out the family tree by gathering information on our branch. He filled me in on what information he had and what he needed, and followed it up with several emails with attachments (a genealogy report, an index of names and several photos of my grandmother's birthplace--he's been there a few times).

I called my Aunt the next day and between the two of us, we put together the bulk of the information. I emailed what we had to Indy and he sent me a revised report. I called my Aunt to discuss it so we could make any corrections, and then we each went off to collect some missing pieces via email and phone calls. As of Thursday, I had most of the information compiled for our branch of the family. I emailed the last set of corrections to Indy last night. Our branch is now nearly complete. He's going to send me a revised report Sunday night. I don't know what software he's using, but the report is personalized--so it tells me how every single person in the family tree is related to me. It's very cool.

All of this genealogy stuff got me thinking about the blogosphere, and how it's sort of a fabulous combination of genealogy and "Six Degrees of Separation." Through linking, we're creating our own virtual family trees. There are marriages and divorces and children (blogs the owners have created because they've been inspired by reading other blogs) There are definite branches to the tree, even though many of us hop from branch to branch.

That's all just to say that I'm so glad you're all in my virtual family tree.


Blogger Katherine said...

that is so cool! -both your own family tree and the thought that the blogosphere is one too . . . yes :)

11:19 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

Wow! I've always been so fascinated by family trees but I know very, very little about who I come from on both sides. But I love this idea of the blogoshere being another family tree. YES!

Funny, do you know that I have ties to the worlds most famous blogger, Her Dooceness? Its true! She linked recently to some women who have inspired her, one of them was Kelly from Baggage Carousel who in turned linked to little ole me. ME! Heh. And I link to you so there you go- You're 3 degrees (or would that be 2?) from Dooce

1:03 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

That's so exciting to find out about your genealogy. My mom is a genealogist and has written many many books on both our family's history and others'. I would guess that your cousin is using Family Tree Maker for the computer program. It's really the best one out there.

As far as the 'removed' means 'removed a generation' (even if you're the same age). For instance:
My cousin's children are my first cousins once removed. THEN...
My cousin's children are second cousins with my children.
(And their children will be third cousins.) So second cousin once removed means: he's your second cousin's son. It's easier to understand when you see it written out :) but hopefully that helps a little bit.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Dawn Falcone said...

I would love to find out about my genealogy. It's quite a project! Let us know if you are related to anyone famous or infamous.

4:04 PM  

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