Take me right? I have ancestors I know nothing about. I was doing some research just now on Ancestry. Apparently I have Swedish records going back to the mid 1500s. Only problem is, I know nothing about these people. Why is it that we know nothing about those before us?

I've taken to archiving everything I can. I have some knowledge up to a few of my third great-grandparents. Anything prior I don't know. If you can, I'd recommend doing the same. Be warned though, it is time consuming. You also may dig up stuff about people and or yourself you may find shocking (and the rest I'd have to write is for another post).

So what do you all think? Why is it we don't know about our past ancestors?

Take me right? I have ancestors I know nothing about. I was doing some research just now on Ancestry. Apparently I have Swedish records going back to the mid 1500s. Only problem is, I know nothing about these people. Why is it that we know nothing about those before us? I've taken to archiving everything I can. I have some knowledge up to a few of my third great-grandparents. Anything prior I don't know. If you can, I'd recommend doing the same. Be warned though, it is time consuming. You also may dig up stuff about people and or yourself you may find shocking (and the rest I'd have to write is for another post). So what do you all think? Why is it we don't know about our past ancestors?

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I would guess that it’s due to most of the population being illiterate until recently.

Also because most people didn't write journals. Most didn't pass their journals onto children. And without digitization, copies were scarce and so even if they did only one child would get it, and one grandchild, and so on. People had a lot of kids in the start of this country so if your lines pass through the revolution you are very unlikely to be the one with personal records.

Actually a lot of white heritage is passed on by Family Bibles keeping track of who married who where they moved to their kids and even occupations for the families that went that far and put the time in.

Interesting idea, I have had quite a few elderly clients over the years that this was their hobby.

Yeah people do this as they get older, not when they're our age.

I've found mine to be aggravating and interesting to work on. I've dug up extended family that I didn't even know existed through my research.

I had an uncle that did it and couldn't really find much on my fathers side and I'm not sure I would have much luck on my mothers side if I did look into it. Not to mention atm I'm far too tied up to take on a project like that.

It's time consuming. You'd be better off having your wife do it and even then, it's a time drain. Even then, I'd recommend paying somebody but that's expensive

Immigrants in the past were expected to let go of the old country so that, along with genealogy being sort of a hobby of older people, would explain probably explain most of why people don't know much of their ancestry.

Because we don't live in the lands of our ancestors anymore.

If you lived in Sweden you could go down to the local church and look up centuries of your families marriages, baptisms and deaths. Its entirely possible that you'd own a 400 year old family business. You could go visit a family plot and see generation after generation of your ancestors. If they could speak to you from beyond the grave you'd understand since you still share the same native tongue. And it's not just a single lineage line, its all of your lines as well as those of your spouse, neighbors and friends. You'd all share the same lineage and its evidence would be all around you.

I know a lot about my ancestors. There's only one branch I don't know that much about.It's pretty easy when almost everyone has come to the US since 1900.

Because your family members before you were little shits who just didn't care enough to track it or talk about it. This isn't some vast conspiracy, good grief ,🙄

Seriously, my husband's family knows all of their ancestors and the stories that go with them all the way back to their old countries (Ireland and Italy). I have to hear at every family gathering the story of my husband's great great grandfather who forged his way across the nation and took care of his mother and nine brothers and sisters after his father died working in a coalmine, and that he too was a great man...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

At my family get togethers I I have to hear for the bazillionth time that my great grandmother was a yodeler from Switzerland who married a Scottsman and when she wanted to embarrass my mom she would yodel. My dad's side of the family we have a HUGE binder that has all our ancestors dating back to the 600's, a lot with photos of them in their open casket at their funeral and then their tombstone (I always ask, "WHY!? This is so gross guys!" And everyone rolls their eyes and the elders will say,, "It's just our tradition". I've made my sister's promise not to let anyone take dead photos of me at the funeral). And just for reference I'm as white as they come. Swiss, English, Scottish, Irish, German, with a tiny bit of French

[–] P8rtsUnkn0wn 3 pts (+3|-0) (edited )

>a lot with photos of them in their open casket at their funeral and then their tombstone (I always ask, "WHY!? This is so gross guys!"

This was actually a thing back when cameras first came out. Not only would they take pictures of people in their caskets, but they would also prop them up into positions and take pictures. Their was even special equipment to help keep dead people in a chair or even standing up for a picture.

I'm full Western European.

Father's side is from Argentina, Spanish and Italian. I don't know much about it.

Mother's side, it's odd.

Maternal grandfather has a father with long time American heritage. The last person who knew a lot about the father's family died in 2016. That side no one knows much. My great-grandfather didn't really talk much about his family. I think there was a lot of problems. Like his father/my 2nd great-grandfather married a woman who was three years older than my great-grandfather. The two had five kids together. Never knew about marriage number three till a year ago.

Maternal grandfather's mom has direct tied to Sweden. Again no clue about that. But we do have a journal or two people kept that was in Swedish and a bunch of old pics and scrapbooks from that side.

Maternal grandmother's family is more comical and complicated.

Maternal grandmother's father is of Irish descent on his dad's side and English on the mother's. For whatever reason, never spoke much about it. His paternal grandfather was a drink asshole and got my 2nd great-grandfather and siblings orphaned. My great-grandfather died 2010 do that info is lost and his sister died too. The sister's daughter may know some stuff. There's also extended family for various reasons we don't talk to cause problems.

Maternal grandmother's family is from Canada. They were potato farmers. Anything prior to 3rd great-grandparents, we know nothing. And in certain parts of that family, nothing but fighting. It's almost laughable at best.

So that's some insight and you're probably right. Some of my ancestors were probably not the best people

Sorry OP. I was being facetious. That sucks. But you could always do your own research and write quick paragraph size bios on each person...

I've been documenting everything I can about my family. I know a lot about the great-grandparents on my mom's side and have spoken extensively with one of them.

For european stock, if you don't have church records, you don't have anything written down.

There was a church in Ireland that had a bunch of records in it. Whole place burned down and everything has since been lost, including some of the records for my Irish ancestry

I've got my mother's side of the tree back as far as a person's arrival in the states or colonies. I don't know if anyone has done that on my dad's side, I know it would be short since my grandfather was born here after his parents left the Soviets in 1927. Just going by what I know about my ancestry explains quite a bit about my character (roughly equal parts Irish, German, Russian/Georgian, Polish).

As for why, how many humans were able to read or write in the 19th century? Add in questionable record keeping and the ability to move hundreds of miles away and become a new person on arrival. If anything, it is easier to keep track of ancestors today just from a record keeping perspective. No matter how good an entity's record keeping is, you will reach a dead end where the records just end because that was when they began.

As opposed to our future ancestors? I dig 23andMe. Early adopter.

What makes you comfortable using 23andme?

I get shitloads of info, and I haven't committed an felonies so I don't care who knows what about me. I mean ... ancestry, recessives, health risks. Met two second cousins I never knew about. Like I said, early adopter: $79 and a vial of spit well spent, IMO.

My take on it is privacy.

It gives someone else your DNA.

Someone once gave me a theory. What if they took that DNA and put it into a database right? And then, they use it to track people by satellite or something.

There goes your privacy.

As for you having done it; good for you and I'm glad you found extended family, especially that of a second cousin.

My aunt did a thing like that. We got all the stuff for the US but not online. She actually went to the towns they lived in and found documents in libraries and the town halls also. The problem is a lot of history in Sweden, Normay, and Denmark is hard to find and you'd likely have to read Swedish to be able to find and read the records. I wouldn't worry to much. Just think of the good part, you don't live there now.

Yeah I'd have to learn Swedish to directly work on my Swedish Ancestry.

I feel bad for my 4th cousins in Sweden though

Dunno man, I can trace my family tree to the mayflower, the domesday book, both sides of the civil war, allied side of ww2, and nothing for the korean war. Muh daddy wuz a vietnam motorpool faggot tho. My sisters DNA test? I'm heavily mixed eastern/western euro garbage. Crazy how that works out. All those direct points of contact and such a varied bloodline. Aint that American?

I have two cousins that are descended from the Mayflower. You could very well be an extended relatives of theirs

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