31 January 2012

The Big Project: The Abinah Wood Descendant Project

For about a year now, I have been working on what I have come to call "The BIG Project."

I have an UPDATE HERE!!!

The book was finally finished and info about purchasing the book can be found here!

What I am doing is this:

There is a book called History and Genealogy of the descendants of Abinah Wood and Susannah Humphreys. It was written by a few of their descendants after a family reunion in 1903 - that's right, I said the book was written in 1903. I have a nice photocopy of it in my genealogical collection. There is an online copy of it at Archive.org as well.

Image of the actual cover
Anyway, to get back on subject - the book listed all of the known descendants of Abinah Belford Wood and Susannah Humphreys in 1903....of which my great-grandfather was listed as well. I am taking that info and updating it, adding 110 years worth of info and trying my best to get as many descendants as I can before January of 2013. 

Why January of 2013?  That's when I hope to have a new book made with the findings of my research.  I still don't know if I am going to publish that as a real book, or just as a PDF book that Abinah and Susannah's descendants can print on their own.  But I am hoping to have as many descendants in it, as well as biographies of the children and maybe even some of the grandchildren!

EDIT HERE:  The book was finally published in July of 2013.

John Devender Wood and family, c. 1880s

It is a frustrating job!

First of all, I have to comb through pages and pages of database info online just to find the right families - sometimes finding one branch with just four generations takes all day. Second Abinah and Susannah had FOURTEEN children, of which only three died as children, and over ONE HUNDRED grandchildren alone so that means I have to find several families. It's a tedious job, and has taken me many months to do, and I've only scratched the surface.

Add on to that the family squabbles, the nitpicking of data, the general stubbornness to share info and the headache of having to be diplomatic with people (which is a trait my mother takes credit for giving me!)and you have my day. I should mention also that I am not getting paid for this and must schedule this around my normal job as a substitute teacher AND around my day-to-day chores and family life. Not to mention keeping up with info that I find on my other branches, since I still have "oooooh shiny!" moments and find stuff that pertains to my mother's branch or my husband's several branches.

And still, I trek on, with the help of countless others, some who offer up their entire research, others who give me what they can and help me find new info, and then others who give me moral support and the much needed pats on the back (I love my husband!)

William Clifford Wood and family c. 1930s
Shameless promotion plug here:

If you are wondering what surnames I am looking for in this project, here are just a few in the tree:


If you think you might be a part of this family, there is a group that was started years ago on Yahoo! Groups called The Abinah Wood Descendants.  The purpose of the group is the promotion of any and all discussion regarding the couple and any of their descendants.  This group has been a big help to me and to those who have joined it.

And as always, if anyone has info they would love to share with me, contact me!

And so people know off the bat - Charles Wesley Chapman Wood, who is listed in the book, was my great-grandfather.

30 January 2012

Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker 2012

So I caved.

I finally got a subscription to Ancestry.com.  I told myself long ago I wasn't going to pay for a subscription to any site online.  But with the project i am working on right now, I figured I could use the subscription for the time being (plus my library subscription wasn't able to find some info!).  I am doing the month to month thing right now, not wanting to shell out nearly 200 bucks at one time to get the US membership.  I am not planning on keeping it all year long, but for now, I'll pay 23 bucks for a month to get info on my family.

But I won't put my family tree on Ancestry.com

Here's why:  To even see most of the family tree info that Ancestry.com has you have to have a paid subscription.  You can't use a library subscription of log on as a guest or use a free log-in.  You have to pay to see what info they have.  And for the most part, it's the same info sites like Rootsweb and FamilySearch have already.  I have always freely shared my info with relatives, and expect to be able to do that in the future, so my trees will be kept on Rootsweb.  Plus, if I decide not to continue my subscription on Ancestry.com, I can still access and work with my info without worrying about it being stuck where I can't change it.

That said, I found a wealth of info - some off the aforementioned family trees, but most from the vast amount of collections that Ancestry has.  And with the new Family Tree Maker program I got as a late Christmas present from my hubby, I am able to plug it into the tree with a click of the mouse (at least until I decide not to continue the aforementioned subscription).

I know, I know, this seems like a big advertisement for Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker, but I can't help it.  I have never used any family tree program except Family Tree Maker, and since Ancestry.com owns it, I have to talk about them.   I figured it was time to do a semi-review about them.

Which reminds me - I have an old copy of Family Tree Maker 10 and several Family Tree Maker Family Archives CDs from Genealogy.com if anyone needs them.  I had to get the new 2012 version because FTM 10 doesn't work at all with Windows 7, which my new computer has, so the CDs are just laying here taking up space (I won't trash them though - too much family history!!!!!!!).  If anyone ever reading this post wants them, send me a message or comment here and I'll let you know which ones I have.  I wish they worked with 2012 so I could get the info off of them!