Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I've been researching my family since I was in high school.  In the early 1990s, my mother humored me, driving me to the National Archives to search for census records and boat manifests on microfilm.  She also brought me to the local Family History Center where I pored over more microfilm.  I spoke to my grandparents and recorded all the names they told me in the MSDOS version of Brodebund's Family Tree Maker.  I updated it on and off through the years but didn't really do more research.

Then in the summer of 2011, I helped to organize a family reunion.  My great-great grandfather Yechiel Suttleman was married three times (including to two sisters) and had twelve children.  I bought the new Family Tree Maker (and unbelievably it was able to take my decades' old file) and started exploring with the free subscription to Ancestry.com.  And in 5 minutes I found all the documents that I'd spent weeks looking for on microfilm, including some I'd searched for but never found.

I made sure to document everything possible on my tree but then wanted to see what else was out there.  To come on this blog....  Tracing parts of my family centuries back using metrical records and poll tax records from the Russian Empire, finding a surprisingly close relative through DNA, figuring out that a fourth cousin lives in my neighborhood and has a ton of friends in common, and more.

And so it begins.

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