Finding one’s ancestors is a stimulating challenge that requires strategy, organization, some flair, and especially a lot of work and determination. Even so, the results are well worth the effort, and the legacy one leaves for future generations is priceless. If time, patience, and knowledge fail you, there is no reason you should postpone your project.
GenSpotters is here to help you out.
〉 You would like to climb your family tree?
〉 Your great-uncle worked on your family’s genealogy in 1949
and you want to update it?
〉 You wish to offer someone a genealogical gift?
〉 You have been doing genealogy for a while
and have hit a brick wall?
〉 You want to solve an old family mystery?
You are in the right place.
Over the years, we have acquired extensive experience in research and we can help you achieve your goal. Whether you just want to find a missing piece of the puzzle or solve the entire thing, we can help you.
First of all, what is genealogy?
Genealogy is about lineage between individuals, relationships between people of the same family. Genealogical research consists of finding an individual’s ancestors, or, in a broader manner, the individuals that have a relationship with the person. Additional information such as a person’s birth, death, living environment, occupation, and social status are biographical in nature and requires more research.
Genealogy is considered to be an auxiliary science of history and just as the latter, it is based on documentary evidence. A genealogical fact has value only if it is proven by a reliable source. For instance, for Catholics, proof of lineage is generally attested by a marriage record. There are many other documents that can serve as biographical material and that can be added to genealogical documentation.
There are several types of family trees.
The patrilineal line of ascent is the one of a surname, which traditionally, was transmitted by the father, the father’s father, the father’s father’s father, etc. over a certain number of generations. For this purpose, the female lines are omitted (see example below).
Would you like to know where your surname comes from? For how many generations it has been used in North America? Who was the first immigrant in your family? Establishing the patrilineal line will reveal your surname’s origin and mutations.
The matrilineal line of ascent is the one of a woman and her female ancestors— the one considered unquestionable. It is the lineage of the mother, the mother’s mother, the mother’s mother’s mother, etc. over a certain number of generations. For this purpose, the male lines are omitted (see example below).
If you would like to identify all the females who preceded you and want to know more about these women who, each in turn, gave birth up until yours, the matrilineal line is the way to go.
You get a pedigree when you are searching for all of your ancestors, male and female. By finding both parents of each individual, you are multiplying by two the number of ancestors you may obtain for each generation. With a ten-generation chart, you would end up in theory with 1,023 individuals, with an eleven-generation chart, 2,047 and 4,095 with a twelve-generation chart. That’s quite a number, isn’t it? And you can continue if you wish to build your fan chart (see example below).
Finding all of your ancestors reveals your DNA’s complexity. While working on your fan chart, you often find relationships with people around you.
The purpose here is to start with a couple and list all of their children, grandchildren, etc. over a certain number of generations. Contrary to the ancestry where each individual has only one father and one mother, the descendants consists of a variable number of individuals for each generation. We then include the collateral relatives, i.e., uncles, aunts, cousins of each generation and hence obtain the extensive family’s portrait (see example below).
A descendant report or chart is a wonderful way to highlight how a couple left its mark in history.¹
- Please note that we do not offer services related to search for heirs.
A professional genealogist can be consulted to answer a very specific question pertaining to a place, date, document, mystery, family lore, enigma, or family secret. And you know what? He may even come up with the solution!
Contact the GenSpotters
The history of about 30 US States has been influenced by the French or the French Canadians who were explorers or voyageurs that travelled the American continent and ended up founding numerous outposts that later became American cities.
Others were flocking to the south, especially after the Civil War, and chose to immigrate to the United States. Strong levels of immigration were observed until the Great Depression of the 1930s when more than 900,000 French Canadians left for the United States during the course of a century, more specifically to New England States, creating “little Canadas” in towns like Lowell, Lawrence and New Bedford (MA), Woonsocket (RI), Manchester and Nashua (NH) as well as Biddeford and Lewiston (ME). Nowadays, more than five millions Americans have French Canadian roots.¹
Genealogical research allows Franco-Americans to reconnect with their family history, and Canadians to complete missing branches from their family tree.
- Source : The Canadian Encyclopedia Historica Canada
A mix of genetics and genealogy, genetic genealogy consists of measuring the genetic relationship levels between individuals in order to establish their degree of relationship.
In order to establish this genetic genealogy, one can turn to specialized companies such as AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritageDNA, LivingDNA, 23andMe and many others. The selected company will analyze a DNA¹ sample and will compare it to other DNA samples of the same type in its databases. Since genes are transmitted from one generation to the next, the matching of a DNA fingerprint with another one is unequivocal. Depending on your budget, the analysis of a DNA fingerprint from the male lineage, female lineage, or both, are available. The results are kept in the companies’ respective databases, which are regularly updated. Over time, more and more individuals will have been tested and more DNA matches will show up on the companies’ websites.²
By combining the DNA results with the ones obtained from a traditional genealogical research, you may end up with a whole new understanding of your family tree.
If you are looking for scientific proof, then genetic genealogy is for you. And we will guide you if you wish to initiate the procedures.
- DNA, or Deoxyribonucleic acid contained in the human body’s nucleus of the cells.
- These companies do not necessarily give an opinion on genetic predispositions for illness.
With Genealogy Comes Responsibility
Non-documented genealogy is no more reliable than hearsay. Hence, all of our research work comes with documentary evidence and explanations. Depending on the approved budget, that evidence might take various forms but bear in mind that our objective always aims at delivering reliable genealogical information that may be transmitted to future generations.
In the decades to come, with the secularization of families and laws protecting personal information, it will be more and more difficult to do genealogical research. Each family is responsible to pass on its family’s history and lineage to the next generation.
We are here to help you find, explore, detail and pass on your ancestry to your descendants.
What are you waiting for then? How about starting this beautiful and great journey right away?