Baker-Dorng Genealogy

A New Line for Research

Posting Member: Jake
Topic: Branches and Research
Family Name Associations: Dorng, Smith
Location: Watching the rain
Mood: Yippee!
Music: Merely the voices in my head.

I was recently contacted by a branch of the tree that I had no idea existed. I’ve been researching my family history for well over 15 years now. During part of that 15+ years my mother was still alive, and I still didn’t know this branch existed.  And I can hear her “Oh Yeah!” right now as if she was sitting right next to me.

The new branch in question is via the first wife of one of my mom’s cousins. They had a son together, then ended up going their separate ways. She found my mom’s information online and decided to contact me. We’ve been emailing back and forth sporadically (mostly due to me not checking my email often enough) for the past month, and today she shared some pictures with me. I have to crop them all out of the Word document she uploaded them in and then eventually I can share them.

My mom was the greatest at remembering days gone by and who married who and what happened when. She really was, but I think I inherited my non linear thought patterns from her. She was the O.R. – Original Randomness.

She was the biggest driving force in my life to become who I am today. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, just not sure if it was here or not. After she died, my aunt wrote a handwritten family tree that mom had given her. And again it was a who’s that moment? She liked to keep some things mysterious I guess.

Genealogy isn’t an exact science. There’s no perfect way to go about finding one’s ancestors. If you’re lucky enough to have family members that remember the stories and the people, then you’re a step further in your quest. However, utilize them as much as possible before they pass. Trust me on this one. I still have so many unanswered questions.

The internet has proven to be a wonderful tool, with sites like Ancestry, Family Search, Find A Grave etc.  But there is as much wrong information there as can be in someone’s written biography.  People like to brag, they like to claim things that didn’t happen.  Ego can get in the way of truth sometimes. Also not doing proper follow up and verification.  I’ve found people linking to my tree that have absolutely no proof or validity in being
there.  You can’t just type a name, find one that matches and say “HEY! They’re mine!”  Because sometimes they aren’t.  You need to prove it if you’re going to post it.

We all have dreams of linking up with royalty, or important historical figures. nd  And some of us are lucky enough to.   But you have to find proof, which means finding documents that link you infallibly all the way back.  And that’s not as easy as it sounds.  Documentation like we see today is relatively a new concept considering how long humans have been around.  I’ve even run into a
scenario where I just can’t get past my Great Grandfather, because there is no record of his birth in North America that I can find, or alternately, no record of him arriving from Europe in the late 19th, early 20th century.  He had 3 brothers all living in the same area, and I’ve struck out with them as well.

It’s not an overnight process. And you will never truly be done, unless you set limits for yourself on how far back you want to try and go, and how much deviation you want to take.  Are you just interested in direct lines?  Or do you love your family enough that you want to trace your Aunt’s and Uncle’s spouses and their lines?  Are you prepared for what you might find?  Families no
matter how “good” the current generations are, have skeletons in their closets.  And you have to be ready to take the good with the bad.  You also have to be prepared for unexpected grief.  I’ve had finds where babies keep dying in childbirth or shortly there after and they hit me hard.  Things were different way back in the day, and most people didn’t have access to medical assistance.  Or, you start researching your Grandmother’s tree, and even though you know about her brothers who served and died in WW1, you aren’t prepared for the feeling of loss when you see their military records, and news posting about their deaths, or more close to home, pictures of their memorials in France.

All the hard work and grief and shock aside.  It truly is a rewarding experience.  One that has turned into a family wide passion as we trudge through and discover new things.  Whether you’re just beginning your search or  you’ve been at it for ages, keep with it, even through the hurdles and brick walls.

Ciao for now,


Tech Geek and Adventurer, Jake spends his time on research and development to keep us in the latest and greatest of tools and equipment. Always one for traipsing off to any location, his passion for travel, photography and history pushes us to never quit. Also find Jake in his personally crafted fortress of Blogdom: Random Acts of Jake

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