New Members - Introductions, Research interests...etc
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I'm a New Englander and both sides of my family have descended from the early colonists of New England, most lines coming over in the first 100 years, and almost no immigrants over after the very early 18th century. My mother and father's trees are also tangled together, and the same immigrants often appear more than once, some as many as 5 or 6 times on my tree.
Which is all to say that having nearly 400 years of family generally in one geographic area has allowed me to really get to know the sources available, and apply both my years of book-reading of New England social history, and my local geographic & historical knowledge to the task at hand.
Lately I've been helping those I have a DNA match with—people in Oregon, Kansas, Missouri, Texas...etc—suss out their New England ancestry. And that has been really interesting (because we don't always know the connection between us).
Other branches, not so much. One of my eight great grandmothers was made pregnant by her employer, who refused to recognize the child, and we have no idea what his name was because, y'know, family shame and all that. And that happened in Finland so really, no hope at all except through the DNA thing but even that seems unlikely to arise.
I've been contacted by two people, one with an adoption in their tree, another with an ancestor who, after the Civil War, moved from Maine to Minnesota, and up and changed his name (and no one knew about it).