I love researching my family tree. I was very close to all four of my grandparents, so for me it's a case of looking up stuff about people I adored. Every once in a while I check Ancestry.com to see if there's anything new.
Yesterday it felt like I hit the motherlode. Specifically, they now have Pennsylvania Death Certificates online from 1906 through the end of 1963. Since most of my mother's family and a few of Dad's relatives lived and died in PA, this was a treasure trove.
I now have maiden names for my great-grandparents on my mother's side. Unfortunately, trying to tell which
"John" and "Anna" Petro were my great-great grandparents is dicey at best, especially since they were already married when they came over from Austria-Hungary (now Slovakia).
A little over a year ago I exchanged email with someone who had my entire maternal grandfather's family tree, in humungous detail, in his tree. I couldn't tell whether he was related to me through my Grandpop's mother or father because I saw both last names in his tree. After more examination last night, I realized why: My Grandpop and this guy's grandmother were double-cousins
! His great-grandfather was my great-grandmother's older brother, and his great-grandmother was my great-grandfather's younger sister. Unfortunately, Ancestry.com doesn't handle double-cousins properly. Instead of showing the family trees double-linking, it shows the married siblings of his parents separately with separate branches.
What will be interesting is to see when he uploads more digitized photos of his family. I am very curious now to see whether his mother's family looks a lot like my mother's family.
Now I get to anxiously wait till they upload more PA death certificates. I am eagerly waiting for 1966, when my great-uncle Sam died, so I can see my Egyptian great-grandmother's name in writing. They didn't just have the data; they had the actual images, so I could verify that I was indeed looking at the right certificates. One of the fields is for the person "reporting" the death -- usually a family member -- and in every case I saw the name of someone I recognized. Needless to say, I'll be spending time this weekend further filling out family trees! W00t!!!
They also have more phone directories uploaded. Looking at one from 1933, I can see that whenever my Mom's maternal grandfather gave info for it, all his kids (and his brother-in-law) were still living under his roof. I know that later in 1933 a couple of them had moved in with Mom and her parents. Mom was especially close to them, and I suspect that had something to do with it. Back then, everyone
who might be living in a household was listed, along with their occupation, whether they were a renter or a homeowner, and in some cases their marital status. In some cases they even listed the name of a widow's late husband!