Question of the Week: What's on your genealogical bucket list?

+24 votes

500px-Question_of_the_Week-78.pngWhat's on your genealogical bucket list? Tell us about it with an answer below. You can also use the question image to share your answer with friends and family on social media. 

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
Ireland. I want to go there. My free air miles are piling up just for that purpose.
To be able to discover any information on my father's side. Very limited information so far. It appears that no one else is even looking. Everyone around them has documentation, but it seems like that branch of my family must be cabbage patch people.
To discover my unknown grandfather in Ontario, Canada, my great-grandfather last found in 1913, and the identity of his  father in Surrey, England. Not too much to wish for?
Candy, I feel you frustration. I have been able with confidence to trace my Cook ancestors back to my great grandfather, but the trail ends there. Not sure, if my great grandfather Cook had any siblings or where he had been the first 32 years of his life. A real mystery and he does not show up in any census records for those first 32 years. So, I would like with confidence to find out who was my great great grandfather Cook and where did he come from. Maybe they were all homeless people or in prison!
Finding Out Who the Parents of My 2nd Great-Grandmother Emma Rose, ( Not the Daughter of John Crippen Rose and Bridget Smith)  and My Biological Grandmother is. I Believe She Was Born Lillian Francis Douglass. My Sister Insists She Was Born Lillian Horton.
I am 48% Norwegian and I am trying to find my pathway to Norway through my Ancestors.  Then I want to go to Norway.  I have been doing research and watching videos about Norway and I am just drawn there.  I WANT TO GO!
I know in WWII dad was in the South Pacific and other details but would like to pin them down.

Finding my paternal grandmothers first 3 Canadian children (1/2 siblings of my fathers) and their descendant's. The 2 fathers previous to my granddad and what happened to them (one family note referred to grandmother as a very young widow). Also records of her 3 marriages. Whether in Canada or US.

And of Course...Travel to ancestor's country's.

Do you suppose there is any correlation between the achievablity of one's bucket list, and the number of years estimated in which to achieve it? (In other words, do the folks in their 80's have longer or shorter bucket lists than the folks in their teens?)

My bucket list doesn't ever get shorter. The more experiences you have, the more experiences you want to have. I want to try sky diving. You couldn't get me to skydive when I was younger but now I figger what have I got to lose?
To help my son find his birth mom and father.
Betty --I hear that.
I will try again: Today I lost access to all my belongings which were in my home for the last 70 years. This includes my father's birth certificate which bore his mother's name. His father and his legal  wife adopted my dad. I found out the day my dad died in 1981 and had just came close to documenting my grandmother's name. Now I lost access to the document and everything I own. I am 73 and would like to find the truth before I die but the government cares less. I am trying to post this just to let off steam and once again my cell phone keeps changing what I write...

65 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer
1) I would love to visit Cornwall and see the Gulval Parish Church where my ancestors worshiped. Walk the graveyard there to see who I might find.

2) Visit Gettysburg with my brother and walk the grounds where our ancestors fought. Stop at Appomattox on the way home.

3) Collate my dad’s papers so I can finish his bio properly.

4) Organize all of my material genealogy so it will be ready to be passed down to my daughters.

5) Have supper with my WikiTree South Carolina Dillard cousin and eat  blueberry pie for dessert.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
selected by Joyce Vander Bogart
Pip, I just gave you a best answer star. It has a little of each. The overseas ancestral tour. A more local tour -with your brother. The organizing papers project- so that you can finish dad's bio.  Organizing papers- so they will be ready to be passed down. And have supper with your cousin. I love how you are connecting the past, the present, and the future. Thank you.
And many thanks to you, Joyce!
6. Have John Barrowman sign your kilt. =)

I know it isn't genealogy related. But, come on. You know you want Captain Jack to sign one.
LoL, Chris that's a good one!
Well, it was him, Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant or Peter Capaldi. Either one would do. Can't get Sean Connery any more. =(
+20 votes

Complete as many circles as possible for my ancestor Jean Joseph Vatant. The 3 first circles are complete unless I missed something, the 4th one I intend to complete before the end of 2021 (a few hundreds of profiles to add).

The 5th one (several thousands) could need a couple more years, unless I get a little more help from my cousins.

I hope to live long enough to see the 7th circle cross the 10,000 threshold ...

by Bernard Vatant G2G6 Mach 6 (67.9k points)
+22 votes
I am hoping to get my granddaughters more interested in genealogy. The 18 year old wanted a DNA kit for Christmas, and she has sent it in. The 21 year old only wanted money. I am also hoping to join my family in western Oklahoma for Memorial Day, and to go to the cemeteries and take photos. Of course, I am always planing to get photos labeled and organized
by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (466k points)
Neither my sons nor my sister are interested. I told my sons what I wanted for Mother's Day was for them to look at my (THEIR) family tree and tell me one interesting thing.
Joyce, that is a wonderful idea for Mother's Day; we have to try to get them hooked on genealogy any way we can!
I know this with my kids but the oldest, 27, now wants to know more and go to old places with me. Hooray!

I hope your grands pick it up.
Thank you for your comment S Brandelius; glad to hear that your oldest wants to know more and go with you. I called my second cousin’s father in western Oklahoma and told him I was coming for Memorial Weekend. They go out to a cemetery that is impossible to find, if you are not familiar with the area. I want to take photos—so we will see who wants to go with me.
How is it that it seems interest in genealogy often skips generations, Alexis? It apparently happens in my family.
+17 votes
I won't live long enough to get through my genealogical bucket list!! One item is to find the parents of one of my 2xgreat grandmothers - Levicy Smith to had three children and died when she was 22 years old in 1833. I have new leads and am combining those with DNA matches so hoping to break through that wall!

My other big one is to find more on my Butter(s) line. I have my immigrant to Louisiana back to England but cannot make the connection to Scotland.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (746k points)
+22 votes
I'd love to trace every branch of my tree back at least as far as the immigrant (or Native American) ancestors.

I also want to travel to some of their birthplaces (England, Scotland, France, etc.).

Oh, and I'd also like to find photographs of every ancestor who could possibly have one.
by Brian Lamothe G2G6 Mach 3 (32.4k points)
edited by Brian Lamothe
I’m with you, Brian. Back to every immigrant ancestor.
+17 votes
I want to try to break some brick walls or confirm my suspicions as to who my paternal and maternal line missing fathers may have been.

Even though I have a paternal line 3xgt grandfather's name I have nothing to support who he was given that he did not marry my 2xgt grandfather's mother.

In my maternal line, my gt grandfather on the paternal line has no father named.

Hoping to get my uncles to do a Y DNA test but still may be difficult.
by Hilary Gadsby G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
+19 votes
I really want to be able to travel to St. John, New Brunswick and to Kilkenny, Ireland to do more research on my more elusive 2 and 3 G Grandparents.  Scanned records and hard to come by online and supposedly there are some physical records in those locations that may give me some breadcrumbs.  Worst case scenario, I get a vacation in a new location!
by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 5 (55.7k points)
+19 votes
There are many. Online is to finish adding all my 'real' sources to wikitree. I have most of them in  a GEDCOM where I have added about half of a 2000 item profile. Getting into the more obscure to me distant cousins has been a constant thing I go back to.

In real life, I would like to go to Indiana and find the cemeteries where many of my ancestors were buried.

In real life, and more attainable after the pandemic would be to go to places in New Jersey where my ancestors lived and worked.
by Nancy Wilson G2G6 Mach 5 (58.2k points)
Good luck on your list.  We're 19 degrees apart and I too have many ancestors in Indiana, mainly in the Parke County area.
+18 votes
I want to develop a course for people of all ages who are starting with genealogy. And a bit different thn the now available ones. Of course they have to kow where they can find sources but I want to emphasise  things as sourcing, how to get all the information possible out of those sources. A way of thinking as if they are stepping in the shoes of their ancestors to make the researchers understand why some things are written down or not, or differently. And of course to write life stories and not just names and  dates.
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
This is great! I am doing research for my step-mother so finding dry records. Her sister is providing the family history with some vitals but a whole bunch of "life story". They will be able to combine all of the information but it presents as over-whelming.

Good luck!
+13 votes
I want to get back to the immigrants. One name goes back across the ocean and is well researched. But so many Irish names appear to have just bloomed on the Atlantic shore. A fellow with the likely name of John Henry died in Virginia but he was born in Virginia and Ireland, obviously I need deeper research.
by Kristina Adams G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
+16 votes

My mother's cousin Paul always wanted to find out more about the restaurant where his parents were married. He thought it was owned by his father's Uncle Adolph, and that it was in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Recently I found a newspaper account about the wedding of Adolph's sister Bella-- at Ye Olde Tavern, in West Brookfield. I Googled it, thinking maybe I might find a reference to it in an old newspaper or book. To my surprise, Ye Olde Tavern is still in business. It has been in business since 1760! Washington ate there! Lafayette ate there!

Paul has died, so I could not tell him. But to my surprise, Adolph's daughter Prudence is still alive, so I told her. She's 98 years old, lives in Florida,  is active on her computer, does Zoom and Facebook. Paul's brother, Charles, age 90, lives near me.

So my goal, which I can probably attain, is to drive to West Brookfield (about an hour from here) and eat in Ye Olde Tavern. The "wouldn't it be nice" goal is to take Charles with me. The "probably not possible, but wouldn't it be wonderful" goal is to find all the relatives and have a family reunion.

by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
Joyce, that is remarkable that Prudence is so with it on her computer. The restaurant looks like a wonderful idea, hope Charles or other relatives are able to go with you.
I love your thoughts on this!

I wish I could take my dad around and show him all the info I have found. Sadly he is ill and home-bound in Canada and I am in Calif. We call and email but it isn't the same, is it?
+20 votes
I want to get through all of the boxes of paper records my uncle left from his genealogy retirement hobby in the pre-internet days. At the rate I'm going, I will need to live to be about 200. :D
by Carolyn Comings G2G6 Mach 2 (27.4k points)
More attainable goal: find someone else (family member? historical society?) who would be interested in them. At the very least, put a note on the boxes "these boxes should go to the Historical Society." The "wouldn't it be wonderful" goal: find the relative who comes to your house and has fun looking at everything with you.
You hit the nail on the head. I call the boxes of paper records, and photos my "archeological dig." I forgot to put this on my bucket list. Here is why WE have to do this and not leave it to the next generation of genealogists who will be bewildered:

1. We can read cursive writing and we can tell who wrote a comment or a letter without even having the writer sign it.

2. We recognize pictures of people who have passed on whom the next generation will not recognize.

3. It will help us to curate and preserve the legacy before the paper crumbles.

Don't get discouraged by the volume. It is easy to become overwhelmed. Divide and conquer.
Yeah, I really need to work on the papers more. Except I keep finding new bunny trails to get lost in just with what's already up on Wikitree! I finally started a free space profile (once I figured out exactly what that was) simply to list names I run across that I haven't got time right then to excavate, and another one for established profiles that need further work. Sort of a "do this later" list. :) Yesterday I was working on a profile of somebody who had something like 14 kids, only one of whom has been added to Wikitree.... LATER!

And I had to use the scratch pad to start a list of links to my free spaces because I couldn't remember what I had called them. :D

Ain't this fun?  :)
My motto is "if you're not having any fun, there's no point in doing it." See my answer to the "Loss" question of the week.
+13 votes
On my genealogical bucket list is especially to further research my direct Lewerenz line.
The oldest Lewerenz I have found so far is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather Johan Jacob Lewerenz, who lived in Schwaan in Mecklenburg. His son, John Christian emigrated from Mecklenburg to Schleswig-Holstein in the 1790s. Unfortunately, there is no record of his birth around 1762 or of his parents' marriage, as the pre-1765 church record in Schwaan was burned in a fire at the sexton's house.
Because Johann Jacob was a shoemaker in Schwaan, I hope to get his ancestors via inhabitant lists, trade rolls or citizen books.  But since these are not available online, I have to go to the Mecklenburg State Archives in Schwerin. I hope that the Corona crisis will soon be over, so that I can go there and do research on the spot.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
One of my husband's relatives in Mississippi tracked me down. He had gone to Germany to research the immigrant family. He sent me not only all the information he had found there, but pictures of the church and the town (Gehrden, Brakel, Hoxter, North Rhine, Westphalia). He was excited just to find someone to share all this with. I am just as excited to see places where people lived!

When my library opens up again, (it is just down the street from me) I will research some people who lived near me (even though they are not relatives.) Samuel Harrison, chaplain of the 54 Massachusetts Civil War Regiment, (black soldiers led by white officers).
My ancestor was a shoemaker too. Louis Guertin dit le Sabotier ("Louis Guertin, known as the clog-maker"). (Guertin-6). Your ancestor made boots for soldiers; mine made wooden clogs for farmers and land-clearers. Everyone contributes to history.
Shoemaker was a good, respectable profession until after the 2nd World War when the industrial production of shoes began and the small craftsmen lost their basis of life and had to keep their heads above water as cobblers or go to the shoe factory as workers.

I love visiting areas where my ancestors live and I have a personal photo archive with photos of the churches where my ancestors got married, baptized or buried.
I have ancestors who were cordwainers (shoemakers who made shoes from new leather).  I haven't found any who were cobblers (shoe repairers who could also make shoes, but only from used/recycled leather).
+13 votes

I would love to be able to track down the ships that each branch of my ancestors sailed on to reach North America, and then get models of each. Kind of my own personal Maritime Museum. 

by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (459k points)
Don't you wish you had a Mayflower ancestor? Our family legend is that my great-grandfather came on a bicycle.
This is a really good idea. My family tree has many sea captains. Maybe one of them brought your ancestors to North America!

Not really, Joyce. Granted, the Mayflower is one of the ships with tons of models available (along with the Titanic and a few other liners), so it would be a lot easier to source the model, but I kind of like the family I've got, and I'm not anxious to trade them for anybody else's. (Besides which, the Mayflower just wasn't big enough to carry all the ancestors who would have been necessary to produce all the descendants who wish they could claim an ancestor from the Mayflower. Personally, I don't see what all the fuss is about. Riding on a particular ship doesn't make somebody special. Their own actions are what matters.)

Marion, wouldn't it be funny if multiple ancestors of yours sailed multiple ancestors of mine? Here are the ships I've been able to trace so far:

Last week on the "Fortune" question, Carolyn Adams said that her ancestor came on the Fortune, the next boat after the Mayflower. I pictured the kids in Plymouth in 1630: "My father came on the Fortune". . ."So? My father came on the Mayflower". . ."So? my father has more cows than your father." . . Betcha can't climb that rock over there."
Greg, I would like to know about this also.

I'll check out the ones you listed.

The problem is that I don't know the names of my relatives' ships. Of all the ancestors, uncles, and cousins I have who were sea captains, I know the name of only one of their ship, the SS Cuba. Maybe there is a registry of ships and their captains somewhere. It would be interesting to know which ships were lost in which hurricanes, as well.

Marion, every time I find a passenger list for any of my ancestors, the captain's name is listed (usually at the start of the list, or at the end, or both). But I've never looked to see if the captain's name is actually indexed so you can search on it. If so, you could probably connect a bunch of your ancestors to the ships they captained.

+17 votes
I want to get DNA testing for me and both my parents and tackle the subject of genetic genealogy.
by Jonathan Boyer G2G6 Mach 1 (17.7k points)
This is such an important goal. I have been able to peek underneath a genealogical "brick wall" using my brother's yDNA. You can learn facts that are not available any other way.
+14 votes
I'm out to prove that the Yorks of New York are related to other Yorks in the US. It requires DNA testing and dedication, and I've already convinced as many of the New York descendants of York as I could. We got all the way back to Daniel York. One day, maybe, we'll find how Daniel relates to Jeremiah York of Olney and North Carolina. I know there has to be a relation somewhere because of all of the York matches we New York York-descendants have to the descendants of Jeremiah, but nothing solid enough to triangulate.

One day. One day...
by G. Borrero G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+11 votes

I want to know who the parents of my 2nd great-grandmother, Domenica Gullo are.

That's really about it. I have a ton of DNA matches I sorted out. Right now I really just want to solve this puzzle.

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
+12 votes
I want to find the time to organize all of my research and notes into a single family tree with all of its branches. With over 10,000 people it will take some time and one very large piece of paper to put it on.

My second item would be to correct every profile I find that has a date before 1776 to not show United States and every profile before 1801 to not show United Kingdom as the location for any event.
by Dennis Hutchins G2G6 Mach 1 (11.6k points)
edited by Dennis Hutchins
Very large piece of paper. My friend told me this story: during a blizzard, she tried to occupy her 10-year old by giving him a piece of paper and showing him how he could make a family tree, with first his mom and dad, and then their parents, and then their parents. He kept saying, "mom, I need more paper!" and ended up covering the entire wall with his chart. She cut a hole in it for the light switch.
My Great-Aunt was an avid genealogist. When we had family reunions at the Home place she would hang a hand drawn family tree on the side of my greatuncle's house! Get yourself a big roll of paper and get started!
Hi, Sally, I just looked at your profile and see that this is your very first comment. It's a great one, and don't you wish you had a picture of that great big tree?
I was thinking of using one of the walls inside my garage, but then that means I would have to clean it out. Then I could hang each page as I filled it in.
Then you could say to your kids, "Great-Uncle Ralph is the one near the rototiller."

Other's tried to take pictures so that they could read the tree later, but I know I have a picture somewhere of a bunch of young people looking at the side of a house and scratching their heads. (It's a treasure because I was one of the twenty somethings)  lol
LOL That location issue! I feel you. I correct whenever I can.
I was so intrigued with the big piece of paper that I forgot to ask you the other burning question: do you find a lot of those wrong dates? Rip van Winkle slept through the American Revolution, but surely most people in the USA know about it.
Yes, I do find a lot of profiles with the incorrect place name. I try to correct them as I find them but I don’t go out of my way to look for them. It’s similar to correcting names written in all capital letters, annoying but manageable.
+11 votes
Apart from getting all of my tree and all Steurenthaler people into WikiTree, I would like to find out if my parents are actually remotely related. Finding any proof of the notable that potentially is my illegitimate grandfather, would also be nice.
by Florian Straub G2G6 Mach 3 (33.6k points)
Is there something I can help you with, Flo? Are your Steurenthaler people already in FamilySearch or somewhere? You know you are my favorite cousin, especially for the help you've given me in the past.

Awwww. That's a very attractive offer, which is very kind of you.

Yes, I have them all at FamilySearch: The only dead Steurenthaler at WikiTree so far is Ludwig, which is identical to LYY8-46F.

Any chance of being able to DNA test yourself? You can upload the results into GEDMATCH, and it has that question on the front page . One click and you find out definitely "Are my parents related?"
+13 votes
1. To find supporting documents of who Isiah Pease born abt  1818 in Lexington Plantation of Maine, parents are. Our Bible that burned in a house fire, listed Elijah Pease and Mary "Polly" Collins as his parents. Elijah and Mary had 13 children. Mary is listed as the guardian of the minor children in probate records. Children not listed. Elijah died in 1823, a few days after falling into a fire at Gilmond Pond, Lexington Plantation, Maine. Mary/Polly died in 1833. I found several probate news articles for Isaiah's death in 1867, listing his wife and children, not his parents. He is not Isaiah D Pease. I did a timeline. Isaiah is listed in his "brother's" household in 1850 Lexington, Somerset, Maine Census. He is in his brother-in-law's household in 1860 Augusta, Kennebec, Maine Census.

2.  To find out who Marietta Downs's father is. She married Isaiah's son George A Pease. She is the daughter of Melvina Downs and an unknown father. She was most likely born in 1866 in Belgrade, Kennebec, Maine. She died in 1955 in Knox, Rockland, Maine. My mother is listed in her home on the 1940 Belgrade Maine Census.

I hope this helps if someone decide to research them.
by June Butka G2G6 (6.5k points)

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