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Old 06-30-2009, 04:49 AM   #1
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Default Tracing my family's roots

How would I go about doing this?

Given, as of now I need to do this for free, but pretty soon I might be able to pay.

Here's what I know: On my dad's side I am full blooded Irish. Our surname (Rowley) is a derivative of the Irish surname O'Rowley. This is what my dad always told me. On my mothers side, I am Scot-Irish with some Native American and German. I learned this from my grandfather on my mothers side.

I would like to trace these. In fact, I would be as desperate enough to know to "hop across the pond" to Ireland and/or Scotland to find out this information, but not any time soon as money would be a big issue.

So, what do I do? Google isn't much of a help for searching for names. I need to narrow it down.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

Hey man I'm with you on this one.
My name (Daigneault) is less common, so it may be a bit easier for me.
Have you tried contacting relatives, even distant ones and asking them what they know?
It turned out a third cousin of mine had traced us back to France, but I still kinda want to go a bit deeper with this.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

My mother's side is easy to trace. My grandfather on that side has our "family book" as it were.

My dad's side might be an impossibility. He died 3 years ago. Before this, we had always talked about his family and he knew very little about them. He didn't remember the name of his biological parents, and he barely remembered his adopted parents. He did remember the roots of his biological parents enough to know that the family immigrated from Ireland and started with the name O'Rowley, but was changed to Rowley. I'm going to guess this was because Irish families were oppressed when immigration into the country was high. I also remember him telling me the family decided to settle in what is now known as Gallia County, Ohio.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

Hmmm... that may be difficult then.
Do you have any uncles or anyone else you know related to him?
Do you know where they moved to right when the came to the US?
A lot of times, the county will still have old records and things.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

I have no idea how far to go back.

Aren't immigration records into the country from the 1800's public information? If so, how can I check them?
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

I don't think you will be able to go back too far for free. You need to get hold of birth deaths and marriage records also but unfortunately they usually cost a fee.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

I'm not completely sure.
Tomorrow, you could call up the county office and ask them if they have anything, I'm sure they will try to help you.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

Actually I was thinking my next paycheck I will be taking a little road trip. Gallia County is only a hour long drive from where I am now, and that's actually the scenic route. I have a feeling this will take weeks, if not months, of research, but I feel it is worth it. I feel such a strong connection to Ireland or anything Celtic in nature.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

You can hire a private investigator for around a grand. They usually find everything you will ever need to know.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tracing my family's roots

This might be able to help you out - http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
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