(Just a quick post, more to host this than anything else. I promise it's back to the rest of the Iceland stuff soon!)
From top: Edward Kendall Whitney, Mary Bliss Parsons, Zebulon Whitney, Asa Bigelow, Mr. and Mrs. Dangle, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Wright, Pomeroy Pedigree, Bess Marr.
I have been meaning to look into our family's history for some time. I had a discussion with my wonderful Aunt Merry Rama over the holidays, and it got me thinking about the subject again. I finally bit the bullet and loaded some info into ancestry.com, and spent a couple weeks intermittently following leads and expanding our family tree. Until this point, the only thing I knew was that we had John " I fell of the boat that one time" Howland of the Mayflower as an ancestor.
There's still a lot of work to do, but I was happy to go back through our great-great-grandparents for all of the lines. Most went back much further. Given the exponential rate of increase in numbers as you go back (1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512,1024,2028,4056...) means that you don't have to go very many generations back before your tree has thousands of branches. I took things back to about the point most of the lines came to this country. Oddly enough, the 1600's seem to be the key date for a vast majority of the lines.
Lots of English, lots of Scottish (a surprise), lots of French/Canadian, even a little Irish and German. Nothing too surprising (except maybe a Wampanoag ancestor from Massachusetts and an extra Pilgrim or two), but it was interesting to see the vast number of people that lived, died, strove to bring a new nation onto the continent, and eventually, make me.
I'll probably work on this more at some point, if I can get more information from family members, but at about 3400 members so far, I'm pretty happy with my first effort. I can only imagine how long this would have taken before the information connectivity of the internets.
I did follow two lines as far back as I could...both to about the 11/1200's. One, an English noble family, and the other, a Scottish noble family. Not sure what happened to us in the intervening years...
The most current ancestry.
For the family, the full ancestry with all available lines can be downloaded as pictures here. If anyone wants to see it in interactive context at ancestry.com, let me know (because they make it ludicrously hard to let anyone see it...I can't just paste a link)