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

+36 votes
What's on your genealogical bucket list?
in The Tree House by Deborah Collier G2G6 Mach 3 (38.1k points)
closed by Chris Whitten

For those who haven't heard the expression, a definition from Wikipedia: 

  • A list of activities someone wants to do before he or she dies is often called a bucket list, because it is a list of things a person wants to do before he or she "kicks the bucket."
Thanks Karen- I tend to forget we all don't understand others 'expressions' :)
Well,one of my deepest desires is to find Godwilling,an actual Genetic,fresh & blood link,not just a link by Marriage to some famous person,such as either Albert Einstein,or some other notable,admirable person perhaps.

To find info on my supposed paternal 4th great grandfather



Birth BET 1742 AND 1749 • possibly Virginia

Death ?


and his wife




Birth EST 1752 • ?

Death ?


They had 3 daughters, of whom two are my 3rd great grandmothers.

Family lore is that Susanna may have been a native American.

Very little is known of Leonard & Susanna.

Try William the Conqueror every  one seems to go back to that Carpet Bagger and his family as the people he brought with him were related in some way or other. It was a time when nobody trusted each other but relatives felt some financial gain was to be got by being loyal and you must admit he employed people who kept very good records he changed the world in his short life and the changes are still being implemented. The System he introduced was far from perfect but it is a lot better than those introduced in a lot of other countries that are around us.

OH YES!  My thoughts exactly!
To attend the Crowley Clan gathering in County Cork, Ireland. Next one is Sept 2019!
Does anyone do any research in the Knox County, Kentucky area?

37 Answers

+19 votes
Fly to Aberdeen to do hands on research.  The two family surnames are so hard to research further back than 1550 - I really need to be there.  That is top of my list.
by Living Bowling G2G6 Mach 5 (60.0k points)

I want to find the exact place my oldest ancestor lived and go there, where ever that may be!!  :)

It's unlikely you'd find anything in Aberdeen.
Hi R J Horace

Aberdeen has a library, going by all the libraries I've been to they have an archive section.  The parish records in the churches, the graveyards, town records.

Unsure why you say it is unlikely I would find anything in Aberdeen - the area is immense?
Wendy, my sentiments exactly, sometimes I imagine myself in the 1600's talking to my ancestors - unfortunately - I talk so much I'm not sure they could get a word in edgewise.

I have a friend who visited the Aberdeen Maritime Museum and he said the building architecture, amazing ship displays/history coupled with the view of the harbor made this his most treasured memory of Scotland.

Also, try a local bookstore. The proprietor of the Wigtown, Scotland bookstore led me straight to the remains of my ancestor's home and the cemetery where he is buried.
+18 votes
Depending on the results of an in-process mtDNA test, my maternal line might lead to Cochin, India (Dutch East India Company). The records are in the state archives, and there is no expectation that they will ever be indexed. That would be a nice piece of research!
by Living Hampson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
Wow Chris, can you imagine how many traders and explorers (not to mention ordinary everyday people) have actually seen sunrises and sunsets from that Port?  Gives me the goosebumps!
I have 2 British East India Company soldiers in my line, one being the son in law of the other. No Dutch East India Company though. Is it possible that the records are in Holland? I' can have a look round online for you. I can read Dutch, so can read short docs for you.
Susan - that's a very generous offer!!
+24 votes
When I retire, I'm going to start work on a time machine so I can collect information about my ancestors firsthand :-)

This is an interesting question. I need to think about it. Perhaps it will lead to some useful plans for the future.
by Jeffry Ricker G2G4 (4.1k points)
Funny you should mention the time machine, I was just watching that old classic "Back to the Future III" where they go back to 1885 and I was clearly daydreaming about that very thing - talking to my ancestors firsthand
I think Jeffry wins "Best Answer!" :-D
very nice, very nice I like it... Take me along with you..
+23 votes
1. go to NYC without people who want to be tourist and take time to look up graves of my ancestors.  I know there are some in Manhattan and Long Island -- There is also a family cemetery in New York with a lot of my ancestors.

2. Go to Kansas City and see the Livestock Building where my Great Grandfather had his company.  They got sued and ended up going all the way to the Supreme Court and won!  I have seen pictures of it, but would love to touch it.

3.  Find the connection between my ancestors in Ireland/Scotland and my Great Great Grandfather.  I have hit a brick wall - i dont know who his parents are, but I do have a family tree from 1910 that shows ancestors in Ireland & Scotland but somehow the connection got lost thru the decades.

4.  Somehow find a picture of my paternal grandparents.

5. Go to Salt Lake City and dig around -- which btw I think I will do this summer!
by Darleen Totten G2G3 (3.6k points)
Now I am totally jealous of #5!!! That's definitely a bucket list item for me too!
+20 votes
Still the biggest question for me. What happened to my grandfather Oswald Allen? I have three facts:

a) Aged 43 he left his family and went off to the Boer war.

b) I have his attestation paper for the Kimberley Horse, where he claimed to be 34!.

c) His wife's death certificate in 1917 says she was the widow of a guard at a diamond mine.

I suspect the chances of finding the answer are approaching zero.
by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
Martin - I had to google the Kimberely Horse :) it must be so frustrating not having the correct birth date let alone, knowing how/where/when he died....
Ah, I do have his birth date. That's not a problem. He lied when he joined up. He also gave his sister-in-law's husband as his next-of-kin when his wife was still alive. In fact, his mother was still alive too.

Even of I came up with his death, I'll still never know what drove him to leave England. It happened shortly after his younger daughter died at the age of 8, so I've always wondered whether that was a factor.
Martin - your Grandfather sounds like a very private person so finding the answers to your questions will be extremely difficult. I can also speak from experience, our 15 yr old son was killed; and 19½ years later my husband and I still fight the grief - I totally agree that the death of his child may have been an extremely huge factor!
+16 votes
I have several bucket list items.... spend time in the UK, Bavaria, the Netherlands, but first I would like to spend some time in Rockland & Orange Counties in NY trying to break a few brick walls down.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
I can see that you're going to need some heavy duty travel arrangements to accomplish all this - hopefully, the NY connections can be accomplished and provide you with your answers.
+15 votes
Well, a couple of items - a few of which I might accomplish in my lifetime.

Travel to New Amsterda... um, I mean New York City and walk Wall Street and claim it in the name of my ancestor (as if anyone will listen to me... ha). Seriously, though, I would like to walk in their footsteps at least as much as is possible and see the city that my ancestor likely built some of the first wooden buildings that one day turned into some of the largest skyscrapers in the world. From there, I wouldn't mind doing a hop-skip-jump to New Jersey and visit the farming areas where my ancestors owned land. In each of these areas, it would be awesome to visit potential genealogical resources that are best to visit in person and see what interesting historical documents I am able to find.

And on the long-shot list, I'd love to travel to Oslo and look at any church records from the 1500's - somewhere Dirck's records have to be buried in some ancient baptismal book somewhere and I'd love to be able to at least look for it.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
I have to say that walking on the same roads and among the same farmlands that my ancestors created was absolutely the most exciting thing I have ever been able to accomplish - I wish you the same excitement in this lifetime!

♫ New York New York ♪ 

1877 great grands both b. in Bedminster, NJ & soon moved to NYC / (Vickery,Clark) lived yonder & both Grands met in Jamaica, Queens / Kew-Gardens / Rich-Hill, soon moved to Up-State (Go Orange Man!) I left Yonder' 46 years ago this week. 

 I wasn't Born in Texas, But I got here...  Quick as I could. :)

+15 votes
Hmmm... I've never thought of it as a bucket list, just a to-do list with some items that are farther down the list than others. I already use vacation time and money almost exclusively for genealogy trips.

My primary genealogy goal is to find the first immigrant ancestor (to America) in every line for me and my husband. Given that most of his ancestors came over in the 1600s, and at least half of mine did, that goal will probably keep me busy the rest of my life.

I'm a terribly disorganized person overall, and it's a real struggle to be methodical in my search and in my record-keeping. So maybe the only thing on my actual bucket list is to document what I find, in a way that it can be used by others after I'm gone.
by Carole Partridge G2G6 Mach 7 (71.1k points)
Carole - that is a massive undertaking!  I want to be sure my records are pristine and I am entirely too methodical, checking and double checking, so I understand your desire to leave your precious family history in a semblance of order for generations to come!
That is one of my goals as well.
+14 votes
1. Research in all the Southern USA States' Archives.

2. Visit counties and states where my ancestors lived, especially if they lived there a significant amount of time. Basically, this will be most counties in the states of TN, NC, AL, MS and AR as well as several places in SC, MD, VA, KY and PA. How could I leave Georgia and Texas off this list?

3. Become more active in DAR.

4. Update my Wikitree profiles so the information will be available for future generations.
by Margaret Meredith G2G6 Mach 3 (35.9k points)
Geneadiva - that's a monumental trip you have listed there!  I have to add that in your own personal biography - you have to explain how you were bestowed your beautiful and unique name!
I ♥ Texas
+13 votes
Looking for the parents of James Martin Silvey. He was born 30 Aug 1861 in Ava, Douglas County, Missouri. I would like to find the link between him and the Roane County, TN Silvey Family.
by Janette Huskey G2G1 (1.2k points)

Janette - you should definitely ask in the requests for genealogy help forum -

+13 votes
I would love to go to Eleuthera (and Nassau's archives) to track down my maternal grandmother's ancestors. I have hit a brick wall in tracing them.

I would love to receive a genealogical miracle and somehow find out who was my maternal great grandfather's father. My great grandfather was apparently illegitimate and went by his mother's maiden name of Stewart. That's been another dead end.
by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (228k points)

Eleuthera would be a beautiful place for a genealogication :)  

I have a similar goal/wish, Carolyn. My paternal grandfather, Harold, was illegitimate. His mother died 2 weeks after his birth, while she was still only 16 years old, so he was raised by her parents. The family was so private on this issue that on his father's death certificate, my Dad named Harold's grandparents as his parents. I wonder if a DNA test might help us.
Beverly, I think about the DNA test a lot. I have one uncle left who could give me clues to both sides of the families I mentioned, but we have been estranged for decades and I just don't know how to approach him.  It's difficult to even get through to him.  It took me three years after my father died to get hold of him, even though I suspect he was aware I was trying to contact him.  He's about 80 years old too, so I am afraid he won't be around much longer.  Anybody got any helpful suggestions on approaching him for his DNA? I'd be happy to pay for the test.  I'd have to be there when he does it and send it off myself, because I wouldn't trust him or his wife to do it.
No problem just tell him you are doing genealogy research and as he is the oldest member of the family you will be able to go further back into your family history find more fourth and fifth plus cousins and add a few more branches to the tree. Also if you are the one paying you need to do the test with him otherwise the kit will be thrown in the corner and forgotten.

You are the motivator get motivated.

Good luck
Easier said than done, but I guess it's worth a try. I really don't have anything to lose by asking. Thanks, Heather.
+13 votes
Great question!

I haven't really thought too much about this yet, but a trip to Sweden has long been on my list. I have first cousins over there I've never met, and apparently an entire family that I only recently discovered I was related to.

I'd also like to go hang out in North Carolina where my father's family settled for a while before they moved to Owen County, Indiana. It's so sad that I actually lived in North Carolina for several years but hadn't yet gotten into genealogy. I could have combed through all of the Moravian records and learned so much about my family.
by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (426k points)

Ohh the Moravian Archives are such a treasure trove but I think you're going to need a crash course in reading German Script to delve into those really old records!

Fortunately, I found a cousin here on WikiTree a couple of years ago, and I would bet I could talk her into a field trip!! ;-)
When you go to Sweden... can I go in your suitcase too ? :) J/K
Sure, John! The more the merrier!! :-)
+14 votes
I want to give my girls as much of their history. They should know where they come from. I would also like to travel to Germany to continue my history search.
by Rachel Gossett G2G5 (5.7k points)

Rachel - that is exactly the reason I started this wonderful journey into genealogy, wanting to make sure my family knew as much as possible about their ancestors! I commend you for having the drive and desire to make that possible for your daughters.

+13 votes

To find out who the parents of Isaac Shelby Lykins are,my great grandfather.

by Living Lykins G2G6 Mach 1 (12.1k points)

Jenn, have you asked for help in the requests for genealogy help forum -

+12 votes
I'd like to return to the UK & do more research.  Just made my first trip out of North America & did find my 3x great grandparents gravesite inInvergowrie, Scotland.  Would like to check out the Carnebie Estate to see where my 2x great grandfather lived as due to time restraints we missed that.  We first went to Shetland one of my ancestor roots.  It is like visiting another country (differs from Scotland) but loved it.  Would like to go to Yell & perhaps the Fair Isles.  Would also like to go to Germany to trace my germanic background & Ireland to trace my g.g.grandmother Jeffries -  not sure of her maiden name.  

Can aways wish, but my mobility is hampered & I am getting a bit long n the tooth for such travels but definitely "wish" to go.  Maybe?
by E. Lauraine Syrnick G2G6 Pilot (111k points)

Love that 'long in the tooth' - explains why I can always wish and dream...hopefully you can make a return trip in the future!

Thank you.
+14 votes
Write a historical fiction novel staring the most colorful characters from my family tree!  It's a toss-up between the maternal GGGmother who adopted many daughters and sued a man for animal cruelty when he whipped his horse or the wartime ancestor from the Revolution - I have more on the woman of course!

I am so lucky to live in the same area that my ancestors did, so I have a relatively easy time hunting down gravestones or local histories.  I wish I had more time!

I also want to visit the European cities from which my ancestors originated - so far, I have spots in Germany & England on the map, but not much else.
by Mae Isaac G2G Crew (620 points)

Mae - that is such a FANTASTIC idea! I can so imagine the characters from my family tree starring in a novel!!

+14 votes
My hearts desire is to find a Ydna match with a person who is stilling living in Scotland or No. Ireland and may know the history of those ancestors that set sail for the No American British Colonies in the early 1700's. How fun would that be?
by Kathleen McCord G2G1 (1.5k points)

Count me in if you're taking a cruise to Scotland or N. Ireland!!

I'll buy the first pint!  ;)
+14 votes

I would like to find "the missing link" between the Jean Pierre Bondurant who landed at Jamestown in 1700 and my great, great grandfather, William H. Bondurant (1841-1929), born in Virginia and died in North Carolina.



by Ron Pierce G2G1 (1.3k points)
Oh my - how will you ever find this out??? Parts of Jamestown were burned down quite a few times, have you located any surviving records?

I have Virginia kin from there about the same...  Jean Pierre Bondurant... sounds familiar. When I work that area again I'll keep it in mind :) Henrico Co. & Skinquarter, Chesterfield. John Goode, Edmond Goode, Tarpley Goode. All Confederates / CSA. Maybe you will also remember the Goode name while you hunting. 

Tis kewl for this Yankee-Boy to have found them. TY, HAGD

+13 votes
To find out why my great-grandpa, Ransom Nichols, disappeared for almost 25 years (from 1911 to 1934), where he was, and why during that time he changed his name to Robert "Roy" Doone.

He claimed to be a Sargeant in the Canadian Cavalry Army during WW1 & to have been a Constable with the mounted police in England, maybe in Cornwall, after WW1. But we can't find any records, tho we have 2 pics of him in uniform.
by Summer Seely G2G6 Mach 1 (12.1k points)
Wow - 25 years and nary a word? Thank goodness he returned!!
Robert Roy Doone???  Rob Roy?  Is there Scottish lineage then?  

I would examine the uniform he was wearing, make sure it isn't French Foreign Legion, which made it a practice to take on anybody, no questions asked, and usually with fake names.  Or else he was being lodged at her Majesty's expense and never let on to anybody.  Mounted police in England?  Sounds confusing, Mounties are in Canada.  Unless the British also had similar corps.
+16 votes
Oh my there's so many.

1. DNA on myself

2. Visit homelands.

3. Finally find what the campbell's main starter's father's name is.

4. Actually find the Ager family

5. Learn as much from my grandmother about her family's involvement in german history; Nazi's included.

6. Go as far as I can !
by Christine Preston G2G6 Mach 5 (53.4k points)
AncestryDNA is currently having a sale for 10% off. If you wait for the sale to end, you can still get 10% off if you are referred by somebody. You can also use a coupon code to remove the cost of shipping. DNA is a lot of fun to throw into the genealogical process, especially when you get close matches!
I agree with G - it's really fun to have your DNA results and find connections!

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