Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How Does One Build A Family Tree?

After a hiatus from building my family tree on the Family Tree Maker software, I have begun to rebuild it. I first began building my family tree back in 1994 on my old Dell computer. Where does one start? I started with my personal information. My name and date of birth was the very first name entered into my computer. Then I entered the names of my two brothers and their dates of birth. I continued with the names of my mother and father. Then, this is when it gets interesting and challenging, I started to make phone calls to relatives. The phone calls were made mostly to aunts and cousins. Interestingly, most of the relatives who wanted or could provide information were the female relatives. Gathering this information took quite a bit more time since my father had ten brothers who all had families. I’m still working on this aspect of my family tree. Now that I had the base to my family tree research it was time to branch out (pun intended) and make a connection to the broader Tipton family tree. Where does one start? In my case I was fortunate because much research was already available on the Tipton family from other Tipton family researchers. My sister-in-law found a TFAA (for Tipton Family Association of America) newsletter in a Johnson City, Tennessee library. She sent me a copy of that newsletter. I joined the Tipton Family Association of America. The TFAA put out a quarterly newsletter edited by Charles D. Tipton of Garland Texas. That is when I first found out about the first Tipton in America, Jonathan Tipton (1659-1757). Jonathan has also been referred to as “The Immigrant” as he immigrated to America (through Baltimore County Maryland) from Jamaica. I gleaned this information from back issues of the TFAA newsletters. Thus I was able to put a “back” on my Tipton genealogical history. I recorded the names and dates of births and deaths of Jonathan and his children and their wives. There was a lot of information. I was able to record the first five generations of Tiptons in America. My only problem was that I could only go back as far as my grandfather, Fieldon Jacob Tipton, Sr. (1884-1939). I had a big gap in between those two ancestors of mine. In my next blog I will explain how I filled in that gap.

No comments: