Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Family History Hints, Part 1

When we were working on the Genealogy Roadshow, we discovered that a lot of the folks on the casting and production teams were unaware of some of the research techniques and other aspects of the field that those of us involved in family history just take for granted. I had to turn in daily reports to the staff and began to include little hints and concepts that guided us in our work. Some of the research team members liked the information and asked me to write these up for general consumption, hence the posts to follow.

Some of these "hints" will be brief while others are more involved. Check back or subscribe to this blog to get the latest posts . . . who knows, maybe one of these informative entries will help you break through a wall. Enjoy.

At one point, those we worked with mentioned confusion over the difference between a person who is "related" to someone and a person who is a "direct line descendant."

A direct line relationship follows one’s pedigree through parent, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. This type of relationship is necessary for any proving of connection for lineage societies (e.g., DAR, DUV - Daughters of Union Veterans, SUVCW - Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Mayflower Society, Colonial Dames, etc.). For those interested in those organizations, there MUST BE a direct line relationship (hence the name “lineage society”). Just being related (e.g., cousin, grand-uncle, spouse’s parents, etc.) is not sufficient; neither is adoption usually acceptable, though some societies may have different rulings on this (e.g., as the wife of a direct descendant of Roger Williams, I am entitled to join the Roger Williams Society). Therefore, the connection we seek may have extreme importance to the applicant (esp. if seeking money - e.g., scholarships - or other benefits of lineage society membership). Being related to William Penn is not the same thing as being a direct descendant.

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