How to Start a Genealogy Blog

genealogy notes

Having a genealogy blog can be beneficial in a multitude of ways, but can sometimes seem like a big and daunting task. Read about the 8 simple steps to starting your first blog with ease! 

Some may think that starting a genealogy blog is too difficult, or even unnecessary, but people who truly care about genealogy and ancestral research will benefit from this. Recording your findings is a big benefit of genealogy blogging, no content will ever get lost, and it will be very easy to share information with other family members and even the rest of the world. 

Blogging opens up a lot of doors and enables users to make new connections with other genealogy bloggers who may even be looking for the same information.

Choose a Type of Online Genealogy Content

girl working on a laptop

Come up with a few dozen blog ideas before starting your blog. Try not to keep it general, like “A post about grandmother”, but make it as detailed as possible – the beauty is in the details, especially with genealogy content. Put together a mindmap of points that you would like to cover in each entry, and some of the unique features that your blog will have that other writers may not, as it will make your genealogy blog more unique and interesting to other readers. Choose your genealogical specialty, it may so happen that another professional or enthusiast will come along to read your blog and find exactly what they were looking for.

“I found it difficult to reach such a wide audience. So many people come from so many different backgrounds and so their interests are vast and wide. I realized I don’t need to try to reach everyone all the time. Even just one person is worth the trouble if I can inspire, help them with a genealogy road block or learn more about themselves.” – Christy Walton, The Modern Genealogist

Create a Content Plan

working on a blog

Before commencing your blog writing, you will need to make sure that you create a comprehensive content plan that will keep you on track for what to post and when to post it. It’s imperative that you decide what to share and when to share it, before it goes out. 

You might decide to have some seasonal posts that can only go live in the summertime, or Christmas. The posts will be queued for the respective seasons, and will make it a lot easier for you to plan for future posts. The frequency of posts is also important, as you need to try and target the peak times in your region. Understanding when more readers are online will guarantee an influx of traffic to your genealogy blog. 

The best way to write a list of topics is to jot down anything that is in your mind at the time, and anything that you are keen on finding out or writing about first. As your blog will be genealogy research-based, you will definitely have a lot to talk about most of the time. Remember to go into a lot of detail when you are writing about your findings, as details are the most interesting bits of genealogy.

Choose a Blogging Platform

working on a blog

Once you have decided what aspects of genealogy you want to write about and what you plan to achieve through blogging, it is time to get down to the technical side of blogging. The first step is to choose a blogging platform. You should have a pretty good idea about some of the available platforms that will fit with your blog style and necessary plugins. There is an abundance of free options such as Blogger, WordPress and Medium, as well as some paid ones. There are certain limitations to using free platforms, so customizations will be somewhat limited. Nonetheless, these platforms will offer you a good degree of freedom with making your blog unique, with special plugins that you can use to make it more interesting and user-friendly.

Customize Your Blog

working with a tablet

One of the most important things that your blog will need is a face. A successful design and layout are half the battle of having a great blog. The popularity and appearance of your website will heavily rely on the theme you choose. Your first-time readers will notice your blog’s appearance before they even look at your text content. Choose a theme that stands out and works for your specific needs.

Fill in Your Basic Information

information gathering

Remember to fill out your basic information before publishing your posts. Think of an original and descriptive bio to introduce yourself, tell visitors what the blog is about, who you are as the author and why you chose to have a blog about genealogy. Leave your contacts, links to social media if you would like readers to be able to reach out to you. This will also add credibility to your blog, and make it easy for people to contact you if they have any genealogical leads, ideas or questions. 

Depending on the blogging platform you choose, you might be able to create separate pages for About and Contacts with a contact form and maybe some others.

Write and Publish Blog Content

blog writing

It is now time to start blogging, and you need to start practicing writing your blog posts. It should ideally be something valuable that people will be keen to interact with, and hopefully come back for more. 

Once you have written your blog post, you need to remember to proofread it for any spelling mistakes or typos. Make sure to add photos to enhance user experience and increase customer, or reader retention in the future. Turn on commenting to get feedback on your content.

Get Your Family’s Opinion!

family support

Now that you posted your first blog article, it is time to let your blog into the world! Remember that sharing your ancestry findings with other professionals and fans is only possible if your blog is discovered by them, so you need to work on spreading the word about your genealogy research and attract other readers to it! 

Ask your family what they think of your new blog, they will be able to give advice on the findings that you’ve recorded, and give you a very honest opinion and feedback on your work. You can even get content inspiration from your family, as they will know a lot about the past, and are probably itching to share it with you. If you are a member of a genealogy society or a community on social media, you can tell them about your blog too and invite them to read and comment on it.

You are now ready to start your very own genealogy blog! You have chosen your blogging platform that suits your style and tech needs, created a theme that will look fantastic once your genealogy blog is up, and have created a thorough content plan to make sure that you are not scrambling for ideas later on. Writing your very first blog is an exciting time, and following these 8 simple steps will hopefully alleviate some stress and answer questions about how to do it correctly. 

How to Start Genealogy Research

genealogy research

Family history, or genealogy, is the unique process of looking through records to find information about your relatives and using those records to link individuals to other generations. The primary rule of genealogy is to work deductively- so from the known all the way to the unknown. This is usually done to avoid attaching the wrong person to your family tree, and the following steps explain the genealogical process in greater detail to help you conduct a successful genealogical search.

Identify What You Know

The first step to beginning genealogical research is to identify what is already evident to you. Take the important pieces of genealogical information such as relationships, names and dates of birth. The best way to do this is to speak to your relatives about what they remember from their past, as they will most likely know a lot of useful information that they would love to share with you. They will bring you a lot closer to putting together your family tree.

Write Down All the Information You Know

Commencing your research is as easy as buying a notebook and writing down everything you know. A lot of genealogy apps will generate forms in a few basic formats such as research logs, multi-generational charts and the sources that are already available.

Interview Your Relatives

Asking your relatives is the best way to understand your family tree, they will tell you interesting stories about the past that will decipher a lot of the questions that you probably already had in mind. The best way to ask questions is to make them open-ended, avoid asking yes/no questions as it will cut the conversation short, and that is not the goal of the interview. The goal is to talk about special memories, emotions, and people with whom your relatives shared their special times. 

Gather Additional Information

Hands together

There are a lot of sources and places to be visited when doing a genealogy search, and gathering additional information is very important if you want to put together a good family tree. Apart from speaking to your relatives and putting together research logs and charts, you can also conduct a thorough internet search to see if there is anything else that you can find. There are many websites and tips for genealogical research that have the largest collections of free genealogy records and free name-search databases. 

Exploring specific websites after searching for last names in your family will also help you put together your family tree. Visiting your local family history centers can give you a lot of new information about what you are looking for. In the US, there are over 4000 family history centers where anyone can access a large collection of genealogical information. Using the local centers, you can find microfilm records from all over the world.  

Decide What You Want to Learn

Evaluate what you have put together so far and figure out what information is still missing. Determine what family members or individuals intrigue you the most and put together a list of the missing pieces to narrow down your search and set an objective or question to research, to make sure that you do not get distracted by the abundance of information.

“When I started blogging I was extra prone to getting distracted by all the cool side stories I found while researching my main target. I had a lot of margin notes about people and places I wanted to explore!” – Andrea Blair, My Hearth Story

Keep in mind that you should be focusing on one question at a time as trying to answer too many questions when doing genealogy leads to a lot of confusion and careless errors, getting distracted is normal, genealogy is a very broad topic with a lot of interesting facts to cover, every the most experienced genealogists also get carried away.

Prepare the Research Questions 

people discussion

Finding the appropriate genealogy questions is the most important step in your genealogy research. What are you hoping to find out? Some people just want to prove their lineage to someone, or just find new names. Others want to gather ancestors methodically and make new discoveries and connections. No matter what the objective is, having a list of research questions will help to keep you on track of finding out what you need to know and narrow down your search. 

Identify Genealogy Resources for Getting Started

Before getting started, you must locate and identify your sources. This is easier than it sounds, as options for finding genealogical information exist on the web, in libraries, churches, courthouses, and within your own house and family. Usually, the internet and libraries provide an array of free and useful resources about family, however, not everything can be found on the internet or in a book. Some of the records that can be scanned for information are vital records created by governments, these include records of births, messages, and death by towns or states. It can also include places, and mother’s maiden names. 

Emigration and immigration records are also good resources to have when getting started. Records are generated when tracking individuals departing or arriving in a country. This includes passenger lists, border crossing records, and passport applications. 

Search the Records with Genealogical Information

records

Searching records with genealogical information can give you lots of insights into the information you are looking to find. There are lots of records that you can go through, such as naturalization and citizenship records, which are generated through an individual applying for and becoming a citizen of a country. 

Beginning in 1790, the United States naturalization process required two steps. After living in the US for at least 2 years a person could file a declaration of intent to become a citizen, the information that will be available for genealogical information is the nationality, name, and date of arrival of the subject, as well as some information regarding the place of birth and offspring. 

Visit Genealogy Websites

There are many genealogy research websites that can help with your genealogical search. They are a quick, mostly free and accessible way to get important information that will help you put together your family tree. There are numerous websites about specific ethnic heritage and parts of the country where your relatives may have lived. 

“Much of my research wouldn’t be possible without information I find online that has been scanned in by volunteers. I am so grateful to the folks who take their time to make history available to everyone, and I support them whenever I can!” – Andrea Blair, My Hearth Story

Join Genealogical Societies

Over the years, many catalogs have been preserved in hopes that one day a person will come by to ask for them. Joining a genealogical society will help you understand your relatives’ past, and even meet people who know about the relatives you are looking to find. Having a membership can help you get access to this collective knowledge. Societies may have publications, newsletters, and correspondence or members-only sections on their websites. You may even be able to request local records, copies, photographs, school records, and other important information. 

Take a DNA Test

DNA test

Your DNA can hold information that will help make new discoveries about your family’s past, your family roots, as well as confirm the information in your family tree. The genealogy microarray-based autosomal DNA testing surveys a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations with a simple saliva sample. Taking a DNA test will solidify any leads which you may have found regarding your long-distance relatives. 

Organize Your Records

Having a lot of data can often be overwhelming, so sorting out a filing system can be a good way to keep your files stored logically. The best approach is to sort as you go, instead of waiting till all the documents are collected because chances are, you will get confused and make mistakes when sorting files, so remember to document as you go. Data recording can also be done in a spreadsheet or any genealogy software online. 

Starting a genealogy research process is a lot easier than it seems. If you follow all the steps correctly and thoroughly, it will be rewarding to find the relatives that you have been looking for. From the very first step of identifying what you already know, up to taking a DNA test and organizing your records, you need to make sure to follow each step and gather all the information that you can find, from all the sources that have been presented to you. The search may be long, but with the help of your own family, websites, documents, and archives, you will be able to achieve exactly what you have set out to accomplish! 

What is Genealogy? Why Should You Start Genealogy Research?

genealogy

Most of us have some knowledge about our immediate family members, far less about our remote ancestors. But if we seek a deeper understanding of our background, whether it’s due to health issues, legal matters, or simply out of curiosity, we inevitably turn to genealogy. 

What does genealogy mean?

The most common answer to the question “what is the meaning of genealogy?” is that it is a record of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, or group. It is also defined as the study of family origin and histories, or a group of individuals or species having a common ancestor. Within this article, we refer to the word “genealogy” in the context of pedigree research which normally starts with collecting names and most significant dates such as births, deaths, and other notable events. The process of gathering the information is quite exciting yet complex. You might have to turn to public records, censuses data, directories, mass media publications, and even do genetic testing depending on the purpose of your search. Therefore you need to set a goal, make a research plan, and define a list of available offline and online resources. Make sure to study the genealogy glossary before you start digging and analyzing.

What is Genetic Genealogy?

This field of study uses genetic material along with traditionally discovered information to identify if the individuals are related, find or and establish ancestry. The method has become quite popular and makes it possible to trace the ancestry even for those who aren’t able to use conventional sources of knowledge, e.g. orphans, adoptees, child migrants, etc.

What is the Difference Between Genealogy and Family History

Even though the terms genealogy and family history are often used as synonyms, most professionals conclude that the first one with its cold facts and dates is just the backbone for a more vivid and detailed narrative of the latter. When you put together all facts and stories behind them you get the opportunity to see previous generations in their historical and social context with all their joys and sorrows, triumphs and tragedies.

Why Do Genealogy?

Naturally, there are some other significant reasons for exploring your heritage other than creating a beautiful family tree you can be proud of. Although the primary purpose of research used to be seen as establishing kinship and succession rights, nowadays more and more people study their family line to connect with their roots and gain a sense of belonging.

“I started My Hearth Story because I believe in preserving stories – of people, places, & things! Every place has a story, if you know where to look. I am passionate about connecting the present to the human experiences of the past”. – Andrea Blair, My Hearth Story

Find Living Relatives

How well do you know your extended family, for instance, your great-grandmother’s cousin? And if you are an adopted child or have a history of adoption in your family tree? With the same likelihood, you may have a biological relative you’ve never met or even known about right in your neighborhood or anywhere across the world. If you have no information to help you in your study, you can start with ancestry DNA testing. Genetic testing not only allows you to look into your origins up to a millennium back but also helps you reach out to people who have the same DNA segments as you and maybe even have a family reunion.

Medical History

medical history

Another practical side of taking up genealogy research is taking care of your health. Knowing about your family history can help you minimize the risks of developing serious problems such as heart diseases, diabetes, or cancer. Even though you cannot change your genetics, you can adjust your lifestyle and change your habits to prevent or reduce the chance of developing an unhealthy condition. It is useful to collect information from your relatives by asking questions and looking into documents like medical records and death certificates to understand what inherited diseases might run in your family. For more information, you can turn to genetic testing, especially when you lack information about your family members.

Validate Stories

Suppose you’ve heard some legends about one of your relatives but never saw any facts supporting the story behind it. What if the proof that something happened can bring you peace of mind or the real reason to be proud of who you are. And if the legends are not all that bright, maybe you just need a chance to forgive and accept or have an educational experience for your children. One way or another, these are the worthy reasons to look into your genealogy and try to find the answers.

Famous Ties

Some people start genealogy research hoping to find proof of relation to a historical figure or someone prominent. It’s exciting to know that you are related to a movie star, a famous musician, or maybe even one of the American presidents. 

Deeper Personal Identity

Learning about your family’s history can give you a deeper understanding of yourself. When you look at every individual, whose life preceded your appearance, in the context of time and place of their existence, you might be able to find answers to many questions and assess the circumstances of many important events from a different perspective.

Conclusion

So why study genealogy? The older we become, the more we realize how valuable the family is to us. The more we find out about family ties and relations, the deeper is the understanding of our roots and background. It helps us learn to accept, forgive and empathize. When we analyze the disappointments and hard times our ancestors had to make it through and still survive and even be happy, it makes us more resilient to challenges in our own lives. We receive useful clues to staying happier and healthier and increase the feeling of self-worth.

Our family history can become an invaluable source of knowledge and a precious gift not only to us but to the generations to come.

How to Plan Genealogy Trips: 6 Tips for a Perfect Genealogy Research Vacation

Family Traveling

We live in the information age which makes it convenient to conduct genealogy research without the need to leave your home. Most of the records and data are stored online and can be accessed whenever you need them. No matter how easy it may be to find information about your family, you are probably thinking about visiting your ancestors’ birthplaces once in a while. In this article, we will share some useful tips to help you plan your first genealogy research vacation. 

Genealogy Traveling

What Is Genealogy Travelling?

Before we get down to the tips that help you plan your next trip more efficiently, let’s figure out what genealogy traveling is and what types of genealogy vacations are there. Genealogy traveling usually refers to a trip you make to visit your ancestors’ homeland and conduct your family history research. There are two main types of such trips:

  • Genealogy tours

If you are planning to visit the land of your ancestors where you have never been before or don’t speak the local language, it might be better to book a genealogy tour organized by the locals. Such trips are usually focused on visiting local libraries, archives, and even cemeteries where you can find information about your ancestors. These types of tours can be group or individual ones.

  • Independent genealogy trips

If you are not a fan of working with tour operators, you can plan a trip of your own. You are free to visit any places you want without following a strict tour plan. However, it is still important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you have everything you need to feel comfortable during your vacation.

Tips for Planning Genealogy Research Trips

Even though genealogy vacations have a lot in common with regular trips, there are some things you should think through before you get on a plane. These tips will help you get started. 

  1. Plan your genealogy trip ahead of time

    All of the genealogy research trips should be planned in advance. There are so many things to think of: from getting proper travel documents to booking a place to stay. With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting our lives, make sure to check whether you need to get a vaccine or be tested for infection before your trip according to the specific restrictions of the country you are planning to visit. You also need to decide what places you want to visit and what genealogical goals you pursue.  

    Family Traveling

  2. Conduct research before the trip

    Doing research while being in the place you’re visiting for the first time is not the best idea. We recommend learning as much as you can about your family before you go on a trip. For example, ask some of these family history questions to your family members to find out more about your ancestors’ past or any other information you can use during your trip. 

  3. Make copies of your family history documents

    Don’t take original documents related to your family histories such as records or family pictures. Make copies to take with you, especially if you want to show them to local researchers.

     

  4. Find a guide

    Get some help from local researchers and guides to show you around the area or drive you to the place you need. Guides can also help you with the translation, especially in small villages where people don’t speak a word of English. Try contacting genealogical societies in the area to find a local guide. 

  5. Pack your luggage wisely

    Besides clothes and toiletries, make sure you take all the necessary research materials such as a laptop, camera, maps, and a notebook to make notes along the way. Pack only stuff you will need and leave extra space in your luggage to bring back mementos. 

  6. Have fun

    Even though you are taking this trip to do research and learn more about your family’s past, you should still take it like a real vacation. Relax and be opened up to every opportunity this road trip can offer you.  

Once your trip is over, use all of the data discovered and pictures were taken to create a unique family tree with the Treemily builder. Share your findings with the entire family like if they were on vacation with you. 

The Shelbys: Family Tree and the Truth About the Peaky Blinders’ Leader

Peaky Blinders

The Peaky Blinders series will come back with its final season in 2021. The filming of the 6th season has already begun. Before we get to see the final story of the Shelbys, let’s take a look at every member of the family more closely. 

What Is the Show About? 

Peaky Blinders is a British crime drama series released in 2013. The show tells the story of the Shelby gangster family of Irish descent who lives in Birmingham, England. Their story begins in 1919 just after the First World War ends. The leader of the gang and the main character Thomas “Tommy” Shelby is portrayed by an Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Throughout the seasons, viewers watch how the family is working on expanding their business and influence not only in their hometown but also internationally.

Shelby Family Tree

The Shelbys family line begins with Mr. Shelby whose name is unknown and his wife Birdie Boswell. Birdie was a Gypsy Princess and a member of the largest and most powerful gypsy families in England at that time. Together with Mr. Shelby Birdie had two children, a son Arthur Shelby Sr. and a daughter Elizabeth “Polly” Gray (née Shelby). Take a look at the Shelby family tree created with the Treemily family tree chart maker

Shelby Family Tree

Polly Shelby is an accountant and company treasurer at Shelby Company Limited. She was married to Mr. Gray and together they had two kids, Anna and Michael Gray born in 1906. Both children were taken away by the parish authorities and separated right after their birth. Anna Gray was sent to Australia where she died of spring fever. 

Arthur Shelby Sr. was married to a woman from the Strong family. The couple had five children together, four sons and one daughter. Arthur abandoned his kids after their mother’s death. All of the children were raised by Arthur’s sister Polly. 

Arthur William Shelby Jr. is the eldest son of Arthur Shelby Sr. born in 1887 and is a Deputy Vice President at Shelby Company Limited. Arthur is married to Linda Shelby born in 1895. The couple has a son named Billy.

John Michael Shelby is the 3rd son of Arthur Shelby Sr. Also known as John Boy, he served as a soldier of the Warwickshire Yeomanry during the First World War alongside his brothers Arthur and Thomas. His first wife Martha Shelby died of unknown causes leaving John widowed with 4 kids to raise. His second wife Esme Martha Shelby (née Lee) is a member of the Lee gypsy family also from Birmingham. Together they have 3 kids. 

Ada Thorne (née Shelby) is the only daughter of Arthur Shelby Sr. and his wife born in 1897. She is the only member of the family who is not involved with Shelby’s family business. Her husband Freddie Thorne is a communist and a former best friend of Thomas Shelby. Ada and Freddie have a son Karl Thorne named after Karl Marx.  

Finn Shelby is the youngest of the Shelby brothers born in 1908. Even though Finn is involved with Peaky Blinders and their business, his brothers always try to keep him away from any dangerous and illegal actions.  

Shelby Family TreeThomas Shelby: The Irreplaceable Leader of Peaky Blinders and His Family

Thomas Michael Shelby was born in 1890 in Birmingham, England, and was a second child of Arthur Shelby Sr. He is the leader of the Peaky Blinder criminal gang, ahead of the Shelby family and Shelby Company Limited. During the First World War, Thomas received drastic experience while serving as a sapper and it has changed his life forever. As awful as it sounds, it was the war that gave rise to the Shelby family’s success and made Thomas a strong and fearless leader. His leadership qualities, as well as his strategic and commanding abilities, made him the head of the family instead of his elder brother Arthur who is too hot-headed and impulsive to make important decisions. 

Tommy’s wife Grace Helen Shelby (née Burgess) worked as an Irish barmaid when she met her future husband. Graсe was born in Galway, Ireland in 1894. Before marrying Thomas Shelby, she was married to an American banker Clive Macmillan. Grace and Tommy’s son Charles Shelby was born in 1922. Tommy Shelby also has a daughter named Ruby. Her mother, a former prostitute Lizzie Stark, was previously engaged to John Shelby but the engagement was called off.  

Discover other famous people’s family trees both real and fiction by checking out the rest of the Treemily blog articles. Don’t forget to sign up for our family tree builder and try it for free to create your own family visualizations. Share them with your friends and family or order a printed version of a tree to make a great gift for your loved ones. 

 

Michelle Obama: Family Tree and Contribution to the Society

Michelle Obama_

Every February the US citizens pay tribute to the past generations of African Americans who have struggled for their citizenship rights while contributing so much to society. It is known as African-American History Month (Black History Month) which also celebrates the contributions made to American history. We’ve decided to pay our own tribute to all African-American generations, future, and past, and tell you more about one of the most outstanding women in African-American history. 

Michelle Obama Early Life 

The future first lady of the US back then named Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, IL where she has spent her entire childhood. Besides African-American, Michelle has Irish, English, and Native American ancestry. She attended Whitney Young High School and entered Princeton University where she studied sociology and African-American studies in 1981. 

While growing up, Michelle faced gender and racial discrimination. It was important to her to prove and show the rest of the world that women, regardless of race, do have rights and the ability to speak up and succeed. Her final university thesis covered the topic of the black community at Princeton University and how African-American students felt while attending one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country. In 1988, Michelle also earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.

Contributions to the American Society

Michelle Obama has become a role model for millions of African-American women and girls. She always knew that her true destiny is to serve people and help them lead happy and active lives. Michelle previously worked as an assistant commissioner in Chicago’s City Hall, and later founded and directed an AmeriCorps program aimed to prepare young people for work in public service. 

As a first lady, Michelle introduced numerous initiatives, from Let’s Move! and Joining Forces to Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn supporting education and a healthy lifestyle. She also raised the awareness of poverty and the importance of fighting unemployment and hunger. Michelle still encourages millions of young people to be braver and work harder on the way to their dreams. 

Michelle Obama Family Tree

Parents

Michelle’s father Fraser C. Robinson III was born on August 1, 1935. He was a Democratic precinct captain and worked as a city water plant employee back in town. Michelle’s mother Marian Shields Robinson was born on July 30, 1937. Marian worked as a secretary for mail-order retailer, an executive assistant in a bank and currently helps her son as a basketball executive. Both Michelle’s parents were from Chicago, IL.

On October 27, 1960, the two got married in Cook County, IL. Their first child Craig Malcolm was born on April 21, 1962. He currently works as a basketball coach at Oregon State University. Michelle was the second and the last child in the family. On March 6, 1991,  Fraser C. Robinson III died from complications of multiple sclerosis. 

Grandparents

The roots of Shields and Robinsons families trace back to pre-Civil War African-Americans in the American South. 

Paternal Line

The Robinson family is descended from Gullah, African-American people who lived in the Lowcountry region of the South Carolina state. Michelle’s grandparents on her father’s side Fraser C. Robinson II and LeVaugh Delores Johnson were born on August 24, 1921, and February 6, 1915, respectively. Fraser’s grandfather Jim was born to a family of slaves in 1850 and was the first member of the family to become a freedman in 1865 right after the Civil War had ended. 

Maternal Line

Some of Michelle’s maternal ancestors were also born into slavery in South Carolina. Based on the latest research and DNA test, Dolphus T. Shields, the son of Michelle’s great-great-great-grandmother Melvinia was of a mixed-race and was a result of supposedly a continuing relationship between Melvinia and her master’s son who was a white man. 

Michelle’s grandfather Purnell Shields was born on December 19, 1910, and was a painter. His wife and Michelle’s grandmother Rebecca Jumper was born on April 5, 1909. Purnell and Rebecca had only one child together and died of unspecified causes in 1983 and 1988, respectively. 

Marriage and Kids

Michelle Robinson met her future husband Barack Obama born on August 4, 1961, while working for a Chicago-based law firm. The two got married in 1992 and had two daughters Malia Ann and Natasha born in 1998 and 2001, respectively. To learn more about Michelle’s family, check out the Barack Obama family tree article we’ve previously published on our blog. 

 

Final Thoughts

If you want to read more stories about the most outstanding women in US history, check out our article about Kamala Harris family tree and other posts on our blog. Join the Treemily community to create stunning family tree visualizations with our family tree generator for free and share them with your loved ones. 

Did Your Ancestors Participate in the Women’s Suffrage Movement?

Suffrage Movement



In August 2020, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women getting their right to vote in the US. Today, we would like to tell you more about this exceptional women’s rights movement and let you meet the women who made this all happen.

Women’s Suffrage History

The question for women’s suffrage was first raised back in the 1840s when the first women’s right convention called the Seneca Falls Convention passed a resolution defending the concept of women getting their right to vote and affect future legislation.

In 1869, the very first two US suffrage organizations were established by women’s rights activists. One organization was founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the other was led by Frances E.W. Harper and Lucy Stone. While both organizations were fighting for the same beliefs, the two couldn’t find the right way to unite. Finally, more than 20 years later, they were merged to create the  National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Susan B. Anthony became the head of the association. By the time the women’s suffrage amendment was passed, the number of associate members exceeded 2 million people. 

Votes for Women

Similar organizations and parties related to the topic were appearing across the country over the next decades. For instance, another activist Alice Paul formed the National Woman’s Party (NWP) in 1916 whose actions were mainly focused on passing a national suffrage amendment for women. Supporters and members of the NWP organized numbers of pickets, hunger strikes, and other protests. During one of such pickets near the White House, over 200 people were arrested, most of them were women. 

Finally, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed in the U.S. Congress. Since then, the US states and federal government were prohibited from denying the right of the US citizens to vote based on their sex.

Most Famous Women to Take Part in the Suffrage Movement

Susan B. Anthony born on February 15, 1820, was one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of the women’s suffrage movement. Susan was born in a family of Quakers and since childhood has not tolerated social inequality and slavery. Together with her friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton they founded the New York Women’s State Temperance Society, the  Women’s Loyal National League, and initiated the American Equal Rights Association before founding the NAWSA in 1890.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton is another great leader of the women’s rights movement. Besides the foundation of numerous organizations, together with Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, Elizabeth created the History of Woman Suffrage book that was published in 6 volumes between 1881 and 1922. The book contains over 5700 pages telling the entire story of the women’s suffrage movement. 

Alice Stokes Paul was an American suffragist, women’s rights activist, and feminist. Together with Lucy Burns, Alice was the one who organized the first suffragist parade called the Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington D.C. According to some records, the number of participants exceeded 10,000 people. For over 50 years, Alice was the leader of the NWP fighting for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment aimed to provide equal rights to all US citizens regardless of their sex. 

100 years ago, these and many other women made it possible to secure for women political, legal, and social equality. If you want to know whether any member of your family has helped women to fight for their right to vote, use Treemily to do research. You can later use our family tree generator for free to create a chart including all of your ancestors who have participated in this and other women’s rights movements.

5 Indoor Winter Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained

Cooking

It’s not always possible to keep your kids playing outside when winter weather can go bad in a matter of seconds. None of the parents want their children to catch a cold and get sick especially during the Coronavirus pandemic when everyone is recommended to stay home as long as possible. We’ve come up with a list of indoor activities that can help your little ones stay entertained and active throughout the day. If you haven’t tried them yet, now is the best time to start. 

Crafting

 

Crafts

You can start a craft project with your kids no matter what age they are. From DIY Christmas ornaments to simple photo frames and wall decorations. Teach your little ones how to draw, use colored paper and glitter, and get creative! This will help you to keep your children entertained and develop their imagination.

Board Games

Toy stores currently offer a great variety of board games and puzzles that are interesting to play and can help your kids to practice logic, creativity, and simply let them spend time doing something fun. Figure out what your children love the most and find games related to this particular topic (whether it’s a card game like Uno or a board game like Scrabble that can teach your kids new words).

Family Tree

Family tree

Involve your kids in the family research to help them learn more about your ancestors’ past. Create a family chart with the names of your closest relatives. Use our premade family tree template to fill in the information together with your kids. Or you may also try our online family tree generator to create unique family history visualizations and share them with your loved ones. 

Family Performance

Does your kid love movies or want to be an actor/actress sometime? Put on a short family play and divide roles between your family members. Or plan a family karaoke evening singing your kids’ favorite songs and making your home look like a real stage for performances. 

Cooking

Cooking can be very entertaining both for adults and their children. Let your kids mix the dough, shape cookies, or pour the batter in a tin to make a cake, and enjoy the final dish together with your family. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your youngest kids if you’re planning to bake something or cook with a stove. 

Take a Moment to Spend a Great Time With Your Family!

We understand that lockdown can get annoying and tiring for everyone. Try to stay positive and spend this time strengthening family bonds with your loved ones. Check with the family members to whom you haven’t talked for a while and bring up the best memories of your family’s past to teach your children about their origin. Keep safe and make sure to spend today’s evening with your family doing something fun!

 

Best of the Best: The Biggest and Most Famous Family Trees

Family library

It’s impossible to count the exact number of family trees that have been assembled over the years. From popular public figures and celebrities to individuals, people have been creating family visualizations to help them trace back the family lineage to past generations. In this article, we will share the largest, oldest, and most famous family trees of all time.

The Largest Family Trees

According to the Guinness World Record Book, the largest family tree ever assembled belongs to a famous Chinese philosopher and politician Confucius. One of the very first tree editions published in 1837 covered 80 generations and contained over 600,000 descendants. The tree currently contains more than 2 million names. It is now known that the descendants of Confucius live all over the globe, most of them reside in China and Taiwan. 

Confucius

The Oldest Family Trees

While the Confucius family tree carries the title of the biggest one, the Lurie family is known as the oldest one in the world. Its history traces back to 1037 BC. According to the records, the family lineage starts from the 3rd king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah called King David. The information about King David is mainly described in the Hebrew Bible, and largely confirmed by archeological discoveries. 

King David

The Most Popular Family Trees

Some events in our lives make people want to search for more details on their favorite movie characters or public figures. For example, when the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie was released, everyone wanted to know more about Harry’s godfather Sirius Black and his family history. Here is a family tree of the house of Black hand-drawn by J. K. Rowling.

You might have seen the tree before in the ancestral home of the Black family in the movie. You may also remember that several members of this family were removed from the tree by Walburga Black, the mother of Sirius. According to her beliefs, Sirius was also no longer honored to be a member of this family when he decided to run away. 

Another event that makes people want to find out more about someone’s family past is the US Presidential Election. We’ve already compared the family trees of the two previous US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. This year we’ve also decided to help you learn more about the recently elected President and the VP of the US Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If you are interested in the past of the previous US Presidents, you can also check out the article on the Kennedy family tree.

With the recent release of the Crown series 4th season, the royal family tree has become extremely popular, especially the one that covered the family history of Princess Diana. Diana, Princess of Wales belongs to the Spencer aristocratic family that was founded by Sir John Spencer in the 15th century. 

Diana was born on July 1st, 1961 to Edward John Spencer and Frances Ruth Spencer (née Roche) and was the 4th child in a family. In 1981, Diana became officially engaged to Charles, Prince of Wales. The couple got married the same year on July 29th. Together they had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Diana and Charles got divorced after 15 years of marriage in 1996. A year later, Diana died in a car crash in Paris. She still remains one of the most popular members of the British royal family. 

Stay tuned with Treemily and be the first to know interesting facts about the most popular family trees. Try our family tree maker online to create your own visualizations and trace back your family’s past. 

The Key Differences Between the Treemily Ancestor, Descendant, and Dynasty Family Trees

Family tree

To make it easier for the Treemily community to choose one of the Treemily products, we’ve decided to make a simple guide describing the key features and differences between them. In this article, we’ll tell you more about the Ancestor, Descendant, and Dynasty family trees to help you pick the one for creating your own stunning family history visualizations. 

Descendant Treemily

As it’s clear from the title, the Descendant tree features up to 5 generations of your descendants. You can create a Descendant family tree for an individual or a couple to include their kids, grandchildren, and further generations all the way to their great-great-grandchildren. One tree can include up to 11,222 names but if you have more members of your family, our team will be glad to work on a custom visualization just for you. We also believe that such a tree can become a great holiday present for your grandparents. Check out our walkthrough video to see how to make a Descendant tree with Treemily.

Ancestor Treemily

Our Ancestor family tree maker can be used for creating a tree that describes your family heritage all the way up to 10 generations. Just like the Descendant one, this tree can be made for an individual or a couple to describe their ancestors’ history. If you want to trace back your generation’s past, this is the best choice for you. You can also watch the walkthrough video to see how easy it is to make such a tree with the Treemily builder. 

Dynasty Treemily

Dynasty family tree was primarily designed for people willing to show their connection with famous people. No matter how far the connection goes, the tree will show exactly how you are related to a scientist, an artist, or any other luminary. The tree features your lineage of up to 150 generations.

Dynasty

What Do They Have in Common?

All of the above-mentioned trees allow placing pictures of your ancestors directly on the tree. You can also order any of your family history visualizations as a poster, a framed picture, or a canvas wrap, or download its digital version. 

What Product Should I Choose?

Your choice of the Treemily tree depends on your major purposes. If you want to show your connection to a world-known celebrity, go for our Dynasty family tree. If you want to trace back your family history, try out our Ancestor family tree maker. Or create a Descendant family tree to describe your family’s descendants known to date.

Join the Treemily community now and create your own dazzling family trees to keep the memories of your loved ones alive!