A Database to Track 13/64 of My Ancestry

I’m not always a big fan of using genealogical software because I don’t think it is the appropriate tool for every problem. There are times when a database is helpful to manage names and relationships. I’m taking renewed interest in my maternal ancestry and I have a significant number of ancestors from Wiesens, Ostfriesland, Germany. This is because my maternal relatives were immigrants from the same area of northern Germany and tended to settle in immigrant clusters. Ancestors born in Wiesens are:

  • Jans Jurgens Janssen, born 1856–immigrated to United States-my gg-grandfather.
  • Antke Hinrichs Fecht, born 1860–immigrated to United States-my gg-grandmother.
  • Trientje Eilts Post, born 1803–married a man from Holtrop-my ggg-grandmother-her son, John Ufkes (born 1838 was the immigrant).
  • Annepke Janssen, born 1761–married a man from Holtrop-my gggg-grandmother-her grandson, John Ufkes (born 1838 was the immigrant).
  • Antje Jaspers, born 1823–immigrated to United States-my ggg-grandmother.

That represents 13/64 of my ancestry. That’s a relatively large part to all have hailed from the same village. Virtually all of the ancestors of these individuals were also from Wiesens. What this means is that I have several ancestors in this village from whom I descend two, three, and four times. Several years ago I obtained a copy of Die Familien der Kirchengemdinde Wiesens (1642-1908) (Gerd Kroom, 1995, Aurich). The information in that publication summarizes in family groups all the individuals who appear in the records of that church from 1642-1908.

Exacting their ancestral information is a project that begs for some sort of database to track the names, locations, and particularly the relationships. It will also eliminate the need to record the same information multiple times  and make it easier to determine when I’ve already seen what the book has to say on a certain family.

I’m still of the mind to continue working on most of my other families with a word processor, typing up the documents and the analysis. But when I’ve got  a larger project where the individuals have multiple relationships, a database may be a better way to go.

And for those of you who are aware of pedigree collapse–mine definitely has it.



3 thoughts on “A Database to Track 13/64 of My Ancestry

  1. Nancy Purchase says:

    Interesting that you should mention Jans, Janssen, etc. from Northern Germany. Just last night I was working on my Jens/Jensen line from Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany. Elisabeth Jensen b. 5 Jun 1783 in Kogel, Mecklenburg-Schwering, daughter of Jochim Jens, m. August Gottlieb Chirstian Berg 5 May 1809 in Gruessow, M-Swas my 2nd great grandmother. This is following back in my direct maternal line (mtDNA). Do you think Jens/Jensen (would it be Jensdatter for the adies, as it is Jensen for the sons – Patronymic naming system)? Would they be Danish (It’s the most common surname in Denmark, I read) or Swedish?

  2. Nancy Purchase says:

    The 13/64’s is interesting. If I tried to diagram that, I suppose I would be at the center and base of a fan shaped chart. Any better suggestions?
    If I decided to add my husband’s line too, he would start next to me (or under me) and we would get a barbell shaped chart. Hum!

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