I signed up to ancestry.com again on Saturday. I had been a member a few years ago, but I eventually lapsed because it was fairly expensive, about $100 per year, and I only worked on genealogy in fits and spurts so I felt like I was paying for something I wasn't using most of the time.
I have been working with my cousin Rick on Tischler and Sattler (my dad's mom's line) lineage. Rick went to Calvary cemetery on Front Street a couple of days ago and found the grave markers for my gr-grandmother (Anna) and gr-grandfather (Martin) Sattler as well as our grandparents (Tischler). I had found them back in 2000 and still had the locations on maps that I scanned and sent to Rick. He took and sent nice digital photos of the markers. My dad's grandpa Frank Tischler doesn't even have a grave marker so we might look into getting one.
With this flurry of genealogy work I decided that it would be good to have the resources of ancestry.com available to us. I went to the web site to sign up and was amazed that now a year subscription to their service is $299!. I can't afford that, so I just bought a month for $29, and we'll see how far we get.
But here's the thing. In the few years that I have been away from ancestry.com they have greatly enhanced their services. They have a great search function, and they show documents like copies of census records and passenger logs of ships that came over from Europe in the 1800s as part of the result of a name search. They also search all of the family trees that are listed in the ancestry.com web site to see if someone has already done the leg work on researching your family.
That isn't always the case. On my Tischler line I have been stumped for years on Frank, my dad's grandfather. My dad had said that he only remembers seeing his grandfather a few times even though Frank lived in St. Paul for most of his life. The last time my dad saw him was about the time my dad went into the service. I have Frank's death certificate and it shows he died on February 13, 1946. It also says that he died of "cancer of the rectum" - I really hope THAT'S not hereditary! Anyway, we are still trying to find the one piece of information that will break us out past Frank to the rest of our Tischler lineage.
However, on some of my other lines - on my mother's side - in 48 hours I have found relatives back to the 900s - more than 1200 years ago! I find this to be simply amazing. I was lucky enough to find relatives back far enough to where I then tied into very distant relatives who have already researched our common line. I can go back farthest with the Thomas line. Thomas is my mom's maiden name, and her parents were divorced when she was very young and she only got to know her father when he was elderly. So it is ironic that it is this line that I can take back the farthest - 27 generations. It goes like this - me, my mom, her dad (Roy Thomas), James Monroe Thomas, Elija Thomas, Henry Thomas, Daniel Thomas, Simon Thomas, Tristram Thomas, Tristram Thomas, Christopher Thomas, Tristam Thomas, Edmond Thomas and as Yule Brenner would say, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera".
Anyway, the picture here is a Minnesota census record of my gr-gr-grandfather, Martin Sattler, and his wife, Magdelina.