Monday, April 6, 2015

Shaking the Family Tree

Do you have any famous ancestors, like:

Henry VIII?     

Marian Anderson

Alexander Graham Bell

Billy the Kid



If you don’t know, and you want to find out, the Fresno County Public Library offers Ancestry Library Edition, a FREE version of
Let the Search Begin!
Start with the basic facts you know about an ancestor or relative:

  • Name
  • Birthdate (you can even find a lot of information with just a year or decade of birth)
  • Where they lived (born, died, or any place an important event in their life happened)
  • Other family members (parents, children, spouses, brothers/sisters)
  • Something important about that person (military service, profession)
With just a few bits of information, you’re on your way to discovering your past!
My Family Story
I’ve always been fond of the stories about my great-grandfather, Alexander Baird. Using Ancestry Library Edition and his name, where he was born and the year (Scotland, 1830 or 1832), I found:

  • His parents (Robert Baird and Agnes Bell)
  • His wives (married 4 times: one divorced him, one died)
  • His children (22 of them)
  • His military service (3 tours in the U. S. Navy; he was with Commodore Perry’s expedition to open Japan to Western trade)
  • His theatre company
  • The name of the ship he took to bring his family to America (The Cynosure)
  • A story about the hand-me-down gun he took on his trip West across the Great Plains (one shot could bring down 20 birds)
  • 3 obituaries
  • His prison record

(Some sources say he was the man on the far left. I think he was the bearded one on the right.)
You may not locate as much information as I did about Alexander when you search for your relatives, but—whatever you find—it will make you go “Wow!”

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