My Genealogy
My Genealogy

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This is my genealogy page.

I have become obsessed with genealogy. I've always been interested in my ancestry; for years I've read books on how to do it, and I finally decided to investigate my ancestry once I got a PC. A cousin of mine had prepared a family tree for the WOLFRAM family. I liked what he did, and realized that nobody (as far as I knew) had done the THOMSEN family. The THOMSENs are my paternal grandmother's family--and is somewhat large, and now scattered across the United States. We originated in Denmark--my greatgrandfather was born in Copenhagen. I thought somebody should gather the information and perserve it; and that 'somebody' might as well be me. I purchased a copy of Family Tree Maker version 5 in July 1999, when I was able to get it extremly inexpensively, and I've been at it ever since. When I bought it, the then-current version was v.6. I now have v.7.5, and I will never upgrade this version.

This is my genealogical webpage at Family Tree Maker. My first genealogical web presence. Links to all of my genealogy is posted here. A few generations of my ancestry. Not all of it; I have much more information, but this is the basics.

There are many who love FTM; there are a huge number that can't stand it. I'll try to be honest: it's easy to use, and it makes great box charts (some of the best I've seen, and they give a lot of control over how those charts look). They have other good points, but the company that manufactures it can be aggravating. I also have a long list of things that they don't do right (in my opinion, at least) in regard to data entry and reports. That company ( also produced an excellent software program, named Ultimate Family Tree, (UFT) which was ranked as the second best genealogy program for a PC. The best? By almost unamious common agreement, The Master Genealogist (TMG) produced by WhollyGenes Inc., a small company in Maryland, USA. What did do with UFT?? They discontinued it in May 1999. They wanted UFT users to become FTM users (in their dreams). Knowing it was discontinued, and that e-bay received a good number of copies of UFT, and they were going cheap--I couldn't resist it. I purchased a copy of UFT, version 2.7. There's a free upgrade to version 2.8 on their website, which I took advantage of. The last version was 3.1, and version 3 was bug-full. The only thing 3.1 did was to correct some of the bugs.

A few of my thoughts on U.F.T. and why T.M.G. is better can be found here.

I wanted to do a family tree of two ancient families, and that is the reason I give for buying it. FTM won't allow dates before A.D. 100--so I couldn't use that program. I'm now doing a family tree for the Herodian-Hasmonaean Dynasties of Ancient Jerusalem. Herod the Great (the one who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents--although there is some question as to if it ever happened) married an Hasmonaean princess, the beautiful Mariamne (he later killed her). The Hasmonaeans were one of the three high priestly families, and ws founded by Judas Maccabee. Flavius Josephus was an Hasmonaean, and his histories relate the family history. He didn't like Herod, and for good reason. When I finish that family I intend to compose the family tree of perhaps the most fascinating, and dysfunctionl, families of ancient times--the Julian Claudian Dynasty of ancient Rome. One of the most fascinating of all time. You know who I mean--the family of Caesar Augustus. Have you ever read I, Claudius by Robert Graves? Or seen the BBC series starring Derek Jacobi of the same name?

In November 2000 I gave up on FTM and moved my entire genealogical database to The Master Genealogist v.4.0c Gold. It's excellent; you can do almost anything with it. The current version is 7.04. That will be the long awaited 36-bit program, and it will do even more of everything. I'm still cleaning up my data from the FTM import; it won't be done until I visit every page.

The joke is I can go back (at present) to my great-great-grandparents on my father's side (although I do have the names of two 3g-gp); on my mother's side I can now go back 15 generations. She's a HALTEMAN from an old distinguished southeast Pennsylvanian family. My great-great-great-great-great-greatgrandparents HALDEMAN came over from Switzerland with their children and his two brothers in or before 1727. They, like many of my ancestors, were Mennonites seeking religious freedom. They had thousands of descendants.

When my grandparents HALTEMAN married the article in the local newspaper declared that he was from a prominant Philadelphia family. We laughed at that--what was so prominant about them?? Besides, he wasn't from Philadelphia (although he had lived there) but from Montgomery and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania. When I started my genealogy I found out--gradually--whom he was related to. I found he was related to some very old and quite prominant families in that area. He descends from the founders of Germantown, which is part of Philadelphia. His family was also a lot easier to trace than the THOMSENs--I'm still working on them.

I'm working more on the WOLFRAMs. The family tree my cousin published? I'm using that as my base. He got his information mainly from what his father (my granduncle) told him, from what he knew, and from what his siblings and I told him regarding our branches of the family. I'm looking at the data concerning my ancestors and grandaunts and uncles. I wanted to add the missing data. I've found, and corrected, certain misunderstandings concerning the data--I don't want to say errors--mostly concerning places--and a few branches have been added. I intend to publish in a few months. But here's some of my ancestry.