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Jabberwokky
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30 May 2014, 11:38 pm

Recently I have taken up genealogy and it has become an all-consuming activity. It is all consuming such that I don't play Runescape much anymore. If that doesn't mean anything to you then to be precise, that's incredible. This happens throughout my life; I find something that fascinates me and I pursue it single-mindedly. Of course, genealogy is more constructive than Runescape but it has started affecting my sleep patterns and my general mental state.

Who else has developed a genealogy interest and to what extent has it taken over your life?

I'm hoping that it will all settle into a normalcy soon on its own accord.


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Shadi2
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31 May 2014, 12:07 am

I have a cousin who is an "unofficial" expert in genealogy (my favorite cousin), it is his favorite subject and hobby, and he found all my ancestors (I say "my" ancestors because I was adopted so my biological family is not the same as his, but I also know the ancestors of my adoptive family), starting with late 1600s (then it can become pricey), it is incredibly interesting. You could have a nice career with this too, a lot of people would give you a nice salary to find their ancestors.


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Webalina
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31 May 2014, 2:24 am

I LOVE genealogy! It hasn't been all-encompassing for me, but it's definitely a hobby of mine. I can see how something like this could be an Aspie interest, with all the detail and depth you can get into. It comes and goes for me. I'll get really into it for a while, and then either get discouraged when I hit a wall on something or else get involved in something else, and so lose interest. But I always get back to it.

My uncle (Dad's brother) already traced the paternal side of my family. I have a tree back 100s of years, mostly to Scotland, but there's some Irish, English, German and Hungarian as well. I didn't get any details on the family because my uncle's computer crashed and he lost all his info. But at least I have names, places and connections.

I'm trying to trace my mother's side, but it's difficult. Her father was born in Ukraine. Mom never knew him (her parents divorced when she was small and living in foster homes). I really wish I could find something on him. There is some talk that his grandmother was Chinese. I found a site online who will do Ukraine research, but you have to submit your request in their native language, which unfortunately I have no knowledge of.

So I'm working on Mom's maternal side. Once again, I'm finding lots of Scottish blood. I've found family in Revolutionary War and Civil War. My biggest obstacles are:

1) Most of my family I'm finding to be farmers, so there's not going to be lots on them.
2) I'm in Texas, and the family I'm researching is mostly in Vermont. Online sources help some, but seeing the actual records is so much more accurate.
3) I have one line of family that seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. And that's not just my opinion. I've found several instances where other people on Ancestry.com have tried to find into on this line as well, and they've come up empty.

If I had the money and time, I'd take a trip up to New England and do nothing but search courthouses, city halls and cemeteries for like a month.


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Shadi2
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31 May 2014, 2:37 am

This is so cool Webalina! Myself I discovered that I had Native American ancestors, Irish, English, Scottish, Swiss ... and I think I'm forgetting some lol can't remember, but anyway it was so interesting to learn about them. My cousin even found pictures of some of them!


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Jabberwokky
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31 May 2014, 2:38 am

Its become very evident after about a month of extreme research efforts that this could get really big either costing a lot of money or being a source of income (as a researcher). If I had the money I would definitely visit Angus and Aberdeenshire in Scotland and Cloughjordan in Ireland. A trip back to South Africa (my country of birth) would be helpful as well. My paternal line 'drops off the cliff' so-to-speak so I'm going to do the paternal DNA test to try and crack that code.


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Jacoby
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31 May 2014, 3:03 am

My mom was obsessed(not on aspie) with genealogy about 10-15 years ago, traced our lineage back to the 1600s in the Netherlands. My great-great-great-great-great-great-whatever grandfather was one of the first settlers in New Amsterdam. Had ancestors that fought in the Revolution and the Civil War. She was pretty consumed by it until she reached an end and she couldn't go any further, after she was finished researching she went and visited a lot of places my ancestors lived and died over in New York and Virginia. She basically wrote a little book detailing all that she learned, I have it around somewhere.



Murihiku
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31 May 2014, 7:33 am

I've been researching my family history for a few years now. I was helping my father look for information online for one of our ancestors, and then I ended up getting really interested in it myself. I had a lot more success looking for information online that my father did (he's still kinda learning, though). The ancestor he was looking up (my g-g-g-g-grandfather) ended up being an Aussie convict; now I can't pay out Aussies for being the descendants of criminals. :P :oops: Along with my Māori ancestry (which my family already knows going back a couple hundred years) I managed to find English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestors. I've never been to the UK before, but if I ever get the chance I'll spend a lot of my time there looking up my European ancestors. I'm sure it'd be an exciting trip.


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31 May 2014, 10:52 am

I've had TWO experiences with Genealogy.....

1. When I was living in Britain, a life-long friend of my uncle's asked me to see what I could find on his relatives in England. I had a BLAST!! I've always been so very analytical anyway, and so I LOVED doing the research.

2. I have tried working-on my own family----but, it's very tedious if you can't pay these websites. Anyway, it's quite possible that my Irish Ancestors were slaves on Columbus' ship(s), but I couldn't find the EXACT link between the families. I, like OP said, do it off-and-on, I'll get back to it, again.....



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31 May 2014, 10:57 am

My only experience with genealogy was with 23andMe.

But I did find out I'm mostly German and French (I'm extremely "white" :? ) .

And that I have 3.1% neanderthal DNA.......ooogabooga!!


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Webalina
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01 Jun 2014, 12:23 am

Campin_Cat wrote:
I have tried working-on my own family----but, it's very tedious if you can't pay these websites.


I had the same problem with pay sites. I can't afford Ancestry.com, plus I have a dialup connection at my house, which slows down sites like that. But I discovered that the local (well...kind of local -- 60 miles) historical library has free access! I'm sure there's something similar in your area.

XFilesGeek wrote:
My only experience with genealogy was with 23andMe.

But I did find out I'm mostly German and French (I'm extremely "white" Confused ) .

And that I have 3.1% neanderthal DNA.......ooogabooga!!


I SO want to do this! Money is tight right now, but as soon as I am able, I'm gonna do it. I want my mom to do it too, so that I'll know which of the genes I have are from her and which are from my dad's side.

There are stories of Native American bloodlines in every family, and mine is no exception. But it's one of those things that hasn't been proven thus far. Plus the story that I heard makes me at most 1/64 Native American, not hardly enough to claim.

Funny story: An acquaintance of my mother's -- not a friend. because he's actually an ass -- used to brag and gloat all the time about an ancestor who was a Confederate soldier (this was a big deal to him because he -- like many Southerners -- is still fighting the Civil War in his head). The funny part is that when he finally was able to prove the ancestor's existence, the soldier turned out to be a deserter! It knocked him down a couple of notches, and I just laughed at him for being so cocky.


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Darmok
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05 Jan 2016, 5:07 pm

Genealogy is a great aspie-friendly activity. I sometimes wish I had made it a professional study to do for a living.

A couple years ago I was visiting a major genealogy library and while working at my desk I could overhear some of the staff people talking in a side room. My "aspie radar" noted one person standing out in the conversation, and I immediately got an aspie vibe from him. I later discovered that he was in fact quite a prominent genealogist, whose name I knew, and who had published quite a few well known books.

It's a great time to be interested in the subject, as well, since more and more sources are becoming available online (including for free), and the price of DNA testing too is dropping year by year.


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Ashariel
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05 Jan 2016, 6:39 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
And that I have 3.1% neanderthal DNA.......ooogabooga!!


Haha cool! I don't really care about the exact identities of my recent ancestors, but I definitely feel drawn to my cultural roots, going back to prehistoric Europe, and particularly Britain. By learning about those cultures, I feel a connection to my ancestral heritage, and a sense of belonging, which I don't feel with modern society.

As for genealogy, I've learned enough about my own family that I don't want to know any more! 8O



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05 Jan 2016, 8:06 pm

Ashariel wrote:
... I've learned enough about my own family that I don't want to know any more! 8O


I find there are two categories of genealogists. One group wants to identify hundreds of remote cousins so they can hold a great big family reunion and socialize with big crowds of strangers. In other words, they wish to create an aspie nightmare.

The other group likes to organize information and discover complex interrelationships among obscure facts. These people like to trace ancestry backwards, because then they can be sure all the people involved are long dead and so won't impose many social demands. That's the group I fall into. :D


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AspieUtah
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05 Jan 2016, 8:55 pm

Darmok wrote:
Ashariel wrote:
... I've learned enough about my own family that I don't want to know any more! 8O

I find there are two categories of genealogists. One group wants to identify hundreds of remote cousins so they can hold a great big family reunion and socialize with big crowds of strangers. In other words, they wish to create an aspie nightmare.

The other group likes to organize information and discover complex interrelationships among obscure facts. These people like to trace ancestry backwards, because then they can be sure all the people involved are long dead and so won't impose many social demands. That's the group I fall into. :D

Yeah, but do we descend from ancient autistics?!? Shortly after my diagnosis in August 2015, I learned that I am related to Scottish noble Hugh Blair of Borgue (1708-1760s) (as a cousin; I descend from the same family) who was alleged to have engaged in a number of unusual behaviors including:

--Collecting bird feathers, twigs, and pieces of cloth.
--Always wearing the same piece of clothing.
--Requesting the same seat in church and engaging in repetitive acts.
--Attending every nearby burial, regardless of whether he knew the deceased.
--Making unannounced visits to others and being oblivious to social cues.

Modern writers have speculated that records of Hugh Blair might be consistent with a modern diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Blair_of_Borgue ). My diagnostician told me that Hugh's story is taught in medical and psychology colleges as the classic model of autism and ASD.

I keep looking for other autistics in my pedigree, but I guess one like Hugh is enough. :wink:


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05 Jan 2016, 9:15 pm

AspieUtah wrote:
Modern writers have speculated that records of Hugh Blair might be consistent with a modern diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Blair_of_Borgue ). My diagnostician told me that Hugh's story is taught in medical and psychology colleges as the classic model of autism and ASD.


That is neat to learn! And it sure beats being descended from a mass murderer... I present to you my 10th great grandmother (like I said, I'm scared to dig any deeper!!) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Duston



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05 Jan 2016, 9:28 pm

My Father was totally absorbed by it and became the unofficial historian for a while. I'm staying away from it because I can see how I could get sucked in. I got enough to deal with.

Shadi2 wrote:
This is so cool Webalina! Myself I discovered that I had Native American ancestors, Irish, English, Scottish, Swiss ... and I think I'm forgetting some lol can't remember, but anyway it was so interesting to learn about them. My cousin even found pictures of some of them!
Holy crap!! Are we related? LOL That's almost my mix to a tee......LOL


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