Climbing the Tree

I have various hobbies that weave in and out of my life. One of these is genealogy, and it is weaving itself back in as a result of an upcoming reunion of the Weinbaum side of the family in Nashville in June 2007. I’ve actually maintained a family tree since 1975, and have updated it periodically as information comes in. I go through bursts of writing inquiry letters, but I’ve never gotten to the point of actually going to geneology clubs, or going to some of the LDS research centers I’ve heard so much about.

As a result of the recent Weinbaum inquiries, I’ve been getting a lot of information from that side of the family. It is one of the sides that has been in the US the longest, generally centered around the Nashville, Memphis, and Paris TN areas going back to the 1860s and earlier. One of the researchers has a large tree on Ancestry.Com, and so I’ve activated a two-week trial membership before it charges my card. As some others are actively researching Weinbaum, I’ve been focusing my research on some similarly related lines: Seches, Powell, and Meyer.

I’ve had some luck with the Powell line, finding some whole new trees. I’ve been stymied by the lack of an 1890 census online, as well as the lack of records after 1930. The presence of daughters is also frustrating, in that they change their name when they get married, making it difficult to continue to track them down. I’ve had less luck with the Seches line, as there appears to be an orphanage involved, and I have records of an entire tree somehow connected, but the reasons for that connection are lost to the fog of time. Meyer has been even more fruitless: it is a very common name, and I have been unable to (for the most part) find records that confirm anything, or even seem to place a particular set of siblings together.

Still, I’ll keep looking, but it does get to be frustrating. Now that I’ve gotten started, if anyone has ideas on other good places to research, please let me know. I’m particularly looking for records that might show familial relationships, births, deaths, marriages, etc. I do tend to try Google searches, but that usually doesn’t find much. I’ve still got to check out Rootsweb and Jewishgen. I should probably make my tree more available online (I do have the names online), but some family members have privacy concerns. In terms of Geneology software, I’m currently using RootsMagic, which is the successor product to Family Origins, a product that goes back to the days of Parsons Software (remember them?). I’ve never been a big fan of Family Tree Maker; that sort of biases me against I also don’t like the fact that tends to try to charge for everything.

This sort of comes together this afternoon: I get to go to an unveiling for a close family friend of my mother’s.