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Our Ancestors

So, who were our ancestors? Mostly they were ordinary folks like most of us today. Many of the jobs or trades they performed no longer exist - there are no feodaries, alchemists or silk crape makers today.

Others had jobs we still see today: farmers, carpenters, and merchants. There weren't many black sheep. A few had troubles such as unwed motherhood, bigamy, financial disaster or an excessive fondness for alcohol but happily, I found no axe murders or the like. So far.

My roots are in England and Scotland although the farther back I go, the more European countries are involved. Tess’ roots are in the Philippines.

Sometimes I have been lucky. For example, I am descended from someone named Alabaster and that is a unique name. That is, all people with that last name are members of the same family. There are thousands of Alabasters around the world, all related to me.

Tess’ family tree is very challenging because very few records in the Philippines are available on-line. I think her last name may be unique too, although there are two spellings: Nartatez and Nartates. Eventually I hope to tie them all together.

In particular, I still am looking for proof of the relationship between Tess’ great grandfather Candido Nartatez born 1841 in Santa(?) and Antonio Nartatez born 1841 in Narvacan and Pedro Nartatez born 1845 in Santa. Help!

Family tree, family history, tracing your roots, or whatever you call it has to be the favourite hobby of retired folks. There are even television shows and print magazines dedicated to it.


I have been at this hobby for a long time. Most years anyway. One of the things I like about it is that you can take time off from it and then pick right up where you left off. It is just like a detective story: search old records for clues, put the pieces together, and combine it all with history and you have the beginnings of understanding where you came from.

It can be expensive; I spend a few hundred dollars per year in fees and memberships. Companies such as Ancestry, Genes Reunited, and Family Tree Maker all make a healthy profit from folks like me.

There are 13,328 people in my tree and nearly 21,000 individual files and documents, That’s 20+ GB of data. The trees are too big to post here on my website but you can see them for free on Ancestry. Just ask.

The software I use is Family Tree Maker 2019 (FTM) and I have been using it for many years. The previous version was having trouble with the size of my tree so I split it into 4 at my grandparents’ level which solved that problem.

The latest version of FTM came out last fall and they claim it is much, much faster. I combined all 4 of my trees back into 1 and so far, performance is acceptable.

Want to explore my trees? Sure! Send me an email and I’ll give you free access on Ancestry to whichever ones interest you - mine or Tess’. Or both!

Updated for 2020 Recognizing my family members in the military who made the ultimate sacrifice for King or Queen and Country.