Genealogy of me

My genealogy stuff

All the genealogy databases I have on the WorldConnect website. The first five are my grandparents' families:

And these who are related by marriage:

What the numbers mean, for example 7.28:
First number is Ahnentafel ancestor of me. Second number is the ancestor the URL opens. Ahnentafel calculator
Note that you cannot have an ahnentafel for families connected by marriage, only your ancestors can have an ahnentafel number and that tree is unique to you.


Family history books I digitized:


Icon  Name                           Last modified      Size  Description
[DIR] Parent Directory - [DIR] Goldberg/ 18-Mar-2016 09:42 - [DIR] Peterson/ 11-Jan-2017 21:56 - [DIR] Sigl/ 20-Apr-2016 09:22 - [DIR] Silverstein/ 17-Dec-2016 08:44 - [DIR] Sundsmo/ 27-Jun-2017 12:17 - [IMG] 1930_census_form.png 16-Sep-2012 10:33 178K [IMG] Census_fragment_1900.jpg 16-Sep-2012 10:34 668K [IMG] Census_transcript_template.png 16-Sep-2012 10:34 143K [TXT] Cousin_chart.html 05-Feb-2013 04:42 3.2K Relationship Chart [IMG] Orinne_Goldberg.jpg 16-Sep-2012 10:34 57K [   ] 16-Oct-2012 21:50 4.2K

How it happened

Orinne Goldberg about 1982
driver's license photo

When my sister Orinne Goldberg died in 2005 I inherited her stack of genealogy research. I scanned all her papers into my Mac and spent three years completing and digitizing her project. I've preserved a selection of these pages as an instructional and a memorial to my sister's sleuthing.

Disclaimer images shown were scanned from paper prints, some were of poor quality and/or contain my sister's handwritten notes. As such, they are not representative of the quality of's original documents.

Observations on genealogy

One thing you learn with genealogy is that names do not confer anything. In the historical context, names are irrelevant.

Watching the generations roll by is very informative. You might think it is easier to trace families from males because they carry the name. However, there are adulteries, fornications and rapes that rarely get recorded in church documents. In most cases a known male was substituted as the legitimate father. The exception was strict Catholic record keeping. If you had the bad luck to be born a bastard then your life was shot to shit and all you could do was run away. Males also are a lot more mobile, so even if a name is known they are a lot harder to trace. This is especially true in Scandinavian countries where last names were the same as the farm you lived on. When the family moved, suddenly all their names changed. For Jews, genealogy is especially hopeless. The Nazis pretty much left anything Jewish in a shambles, and those who fled may have taken pains to make the past disappear.

Female oriented genealogy is simpler than you might think, because females are less mobile. They tend to stay in one place for more generations. In addition, genealogy and history is a female activity. Females are more human oriented and gossip a lot about the extended family, marriages and even sexual escapades. In fact, females have such an interest in "illicit" sex that I believe it is an extension of the historian role they played in tribalistic times. Women are more accepting of extramarital sex, while males get neurotic over it. You will never meet an old man who has as much information about the entire family as an old woman.

Genealogists normally use the wife's maiden name in databases. If you ever read a database where they use the husband's name you know you are dealing with a religious nut. Many old church records disregard the maiden name entirely, so researching Catholic genealogies can be frustrating. Your best bet is obituaries, where they recite all families regardless of male inheritance. Immigration and census reports are good too, since they were not religious in nature. Jewish genealogy is very strong in supplying maiden names, because you inherit your Jewishness through your mother.

I could write an entire book about all the ins and outs of genealogy research, but I won't. It's pretty interesting, and really gives you a perspective on human nature.


As a programmer, I can state authoritatively that the GEDcom file format is truly horrendous. GEDCOM 6.0 XML or .plist offers a more standardized, manageable and understandable database format! Lets hope genealogy software authors embrace XML in the future.