|About The Sager/Clark Family
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A family tree is just that. A tree. And like a tree, it does not travel in a single straight line, but has many branches both large and small. Sometimes when we think of our family tree, we think of those with the same surname as we have. But what about the women who marry into that name and those of our name that marry into another? A couple has children and then divorce, then they remarry someone else and have children with them. Does that make the half brothers and sisters any less part of the tree? No, it just means that the tree has grown a new branch and extends into another direction. We have to remember that our family history, past, present, and future, is made up of more than ourselves, our parents, and grandparents. We are linked in so many ways by so many people. And that is what makes us, our family, our nation, and our world history great.
This is an ongoing project of Jim and Carol Sager. Like any site, we need help from other family members to improve this Family Tree for us and the generations to follow. With the birth of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we realized that the best legacy we could leave them is the roots of where they came from and the knowledge that they were loved by many.
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When trying to put together a family tree, one of the biggest challenges is the proper spelling of a name, the deletion of part or all of a first or middle name, and the use of nicknames. We have become use to being accurate now days with our instant information due to computers, babies being born in hospitals and birthing centers, autopsying by medical examination specialists, and requirements for the presentation of specific documents. But this has not always been so.
Many inaccuracies in names was due to many facts. When people arrived to America, names would be misspelled because the person recording the name would spell it phonetically instead of asking the individual as to how they spell it. Sometimes this was due to the lack of communication, (not being able to speak the other’s language), the individual coming into the country not being able to read and write, or the lax job that some of the people recording the information did. A good example is with the Lehman branch of my family. The birth records have the correct spelling where as some of the US Census, some of the death and marriage records, and even a couple of grave markers have the spelling as Lehmann with two n's insted of one.
One of the more famous mistakes was when Hiram Ulysses Grant was nominated by his congressman to attend the US Military Academy. On the nomination documents the congressman put Ulysses S Grant and the name stuck. So instead of having President Hiram U. Grant, we have President Ulysses S Grant.
Then there was the problem that many children were born at home and the birth did not get recorded till days, and sometimes weeks later. There is also a calculation problem (mostly with the US Census) as to dates of birth and marriages. They can be off as little as a few days or as much as 5 years.
Then there is the problem with following the family tree with a name change. A good example is with my family. A while after my ancestors immigrated to America from Germany, there was an argument (which has been long forgotten) and part of the family changed their surname from Seeger to Sager. This was more common in the early 1800’s then many people think. The biggest problem is that it was done without any documentation to show the change and as to why.
Finally there is the problem with the handwriting of the people who filled in the documents. Many documents are made out by little more then disinterested clerks with sloppy handwriting. Sometimes it seems that only a professional cryptographer can decipher some of the records. So tracking your family can be a lot of fun and you can learn a lot about the family that you never knew before. However it can also be very frustrating and takes a lot of patients and time.
(See Stories for more information on Surnames)