What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
click to view original photo

The Earliest of Early Records

From the time I first asked, "Mama, where did I come from?", I have always been aware of the universal need to connect and belong. Through the years, I've found myself asking questions. Who were my ancestors? What was going on in the world when each one was living?

Share

Content Details

Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Sarah Culton
Word Count: 419 (approx.)
Short URL:

Add Comment

From the time I first asked, "Mama, where did I come from?", I have always been aware of the universal need to connect and belong. Through the years, I've found myselfasking questions. Who were my ancestors? What was going on in the world when each one was living? What real-life experiences did each one have? All the while I did not realize it would ever be possible to trace my line back to the beginning of mankind!

With enthusiasm and determination, I set out to find my paternal Alexander family line. My first visit was to the local LDS Family History Center in the small community where I live. It was there in that friendly and helpful environment where I made my first discovery of a book by Dr. F.A. Sondley entitled, The Descent of Scottish Alexanders.

First of all, Dr. Sondley went back to the early history of mankind, and condensed the genealogy of Alfred the Great from Asser's Life of Alfred the Great. The Anglo- Saxon Chronical provided the original records from which Asser worked during Alfred's lifetime. Asser, a Welshman, was Alfred's biographer. He worked with Alfred, other learned Englishmen and foreign scholars, to translate the early Latin. Since the original work had been destroyed, it was necessary for Asser to rely on these additional sources and authorities.

Dr. Sondley also condensed an account given in Roger of Wendover's Chronical, which likewise relied on the Anglo-Saxon Chronical, but survived in its original form for future generations. Dr. Sondley there lists the name of God first, followed by Adam, and then continues part way down the family line!

The introduction to The Anglo-Saxon Chronical contains the following powerful statement:

"Philosophically considered, this ancient record is the second great phenomenon in the history of mankind. For, if we accept the sacred Annals of the Jews, contained in the several books of the Old Testament, there is no other work extant, ancient or modern, which exhibits at one view a regular and chronical panorama of a PEOPLE, described in rapid succession by different writers, through so any ages, in their own vernacular languages."

As I look back over the years I spent researching my Scotch-Irish Alexander family, there is no doubt in my mind that I got off on the right foot! Dr. Sondley provided the framework from which I was able to launch my research on the Scotch-Irish Alexander family. Furthermore, the early background he gives is relevant to all family historians, no matter what their given family name.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2004.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

Recent Feedback:
  • No matches for this listing.
  • Was this article helpful?   Yes No
    Your E-Mail   >> (optional)
    Comments   >>
    Privacy Level N   >>

    << GenWeekly

    << Helpful Articles

     

    Suggested Next Steps (BETA)

  • Would you like to browse through our collection of GenWeekly articles written exclusively for Genealogy Today? Yes, take me there
  • Would you like to keep up-to-date with the latest releases from Genealogy Today, along with news from a variety of other sources by receiving The Genealogy News (a FREE service) by email? Yes, sign me up
  • Would you like to become a Genealogy Today member and be able to manage your research experience, post messages to forums, add comments to resources and much more? Yes, show me how
  • Would you like to tap into our community of over 85,000 members by posting a query and get assistance breaking down your most difficult brickwalls? Yes, show me how
  • Would you like to go shopping in a marketplace of over 700 items, including charts, scrapbooking materials, books and a variety of unique gifts and supplies? Yes, take me there