Tracing the Family Tree
Everyone is gathered around the dinner table, with the conversation flowing on all sides. Family members who lived in past decades are frequently mentioned, either with laughter, respect, or a sense of “should we talk about this in front of the children?” The kids of course are often clueless as to who these absent members are, what they looked like, when they lived, or what they did.
News You Can Use
- Developing a family tree (or genealogy) can be an interesting and rewarding activity. Detailed searching for names and relationships often takes years and a great deal of effort. Relationships are sometimes not clear, physical descriptions may (or may not) be accurate, and dates of birth and death could be incorrect.
- One common problem with genealogies is the naming of specific individuals within the family, especially if more than one child is named after a favorite relative. There may be several descendants named after that revered ancestor, and they may be in different generations. An unusual name is not likely to cause confusion, but more common names could be found in several families. The situation can get even more confusing if I, II, III (and so on) are part of the name. Look at the kings of England. We have at least eight Henrys, covering a period from 1100 – 1547.
- The same individual could also be referred to by more than one name, depending upon the specific family record being referenced. A mother may have special nicknames for her children that future descendants were not aware of. Names may change when marital status changes. In some instances, individuals have changed their own name (either legally or informally), adding to the confusion.
- Watch a video on developing a family tree at the link below:
Show What You Know
Use the links below to learn more about genealogies and nomenclature. Then answer the following questions.
- Do families have coats of arms?
- Will your surname always be spelled the same?
- How can I get copies of birth certificates?
- Why is “mono” used in the name for CO?
- For ionic compounds, which element comes first in naming?