As I have discussed on the podcast before, I am a bit of a family historian. I have claimed that title since I was in high school, trying to dig as far back into our family as possible. Things have not always been easy, but it’s something you have to set your mind to and try not to get discouraged.
One of the easiest tools to use is Ancestry.com. You may know the website from the successful NBC program called Who Do You Think You Are?. I love watching the show. Each week, they take a celebrity and they pick a branch of his/her family to trace. There are many fantastic episodes, but one stands out in my mind. And I wonder why?
Kim Cattrall, Samantha on Sex In The City, was one of the “test subjects.” She wanted to research her grandfather, George Baugh, who had run out on his wife and children in Liverpool, England, in the 1930s. You can read more about the tale and the conclusion of her research on the Who Do You Think You Are Magazine website.
After seeing that episode, my determination to find my lineage became even greater. I do not have the resources to travel around the country, much less England, to find the missing pieces needed to make this puzzle complete. I have, however, been asking people in and around where I live if they have any research in their possession that could help me.
Do you ever get that feeling that something you are looking for lies right under your nose? That’s the feeling I have at this moment. There are so many Baugh clans and lineages floating around the southern US. I can’t possibly imagine that there were so many different clans that we weren’t all related.
Facebook has helped in many ways as I was able to befriend a few Baugh family members across the nation. At one time, the state of Texas had the most Baugh households within the US. The earliest recorded Baugh immigrant into the US was named Thomas, who arrived in Virginia in 1619. Others arrived in Virginia later, as well as San Francisco, Pennsylvania, and even in Barbados. That would have been a great location to end up!
Going back through my family tree on Ancestry.com has led me to some fascinating results. For instance, my 12th-great grandfather was named John Moncrieffe. He was born in 1554 in Perth, Scotland and died in 1635. There’s no location given for his death. That, in itself, is worth monthly membership fee charged to use the records made available along with the hard research completed by others. When you add someone to your tree, a leave will appear in the upper right corner of the entry. When you hover over the leave, it will tell you how many possible “hints” there are that could help you in the search. WARNING: Don’t just look at this and say, “Oh, they have the name of my relative! He must be the one I’m looking for.” Don’t do that to yourself because it could lead you down many wrong roads and to a family history that isn’t truly yours. Be patient and talk to family, especially your elders. In the recesses of their minds, they hold information that you need and want to achieve your goals.
I hope that my journey will bring about more of a sense of who I am and where I came from. Be ready to find out anything and everything that you may or may not want to know. In the US, where slavery ran rampant during the 1700s-1800s, you may very well find that your family possessed slaves or that you might be a descendant of held slaves. Blair Underwood was on the episode of WDYTYA I watched last night. He found that he was a descendant of a free slave who owned property…which also led to him finding relatives in Africa through DNA testing. Alex Haley, the writer of Roots and Queen, found that he was a descendant of a slave owner in Marion, Alabama…who just so happens to share my last name. Definitely somewhere I am trying to center some of my research.
I’ll keep you posted!