This weekend has been exciting for a student of genealogy.
First, I ran across an 8th cousin once removed who was able to provide records from my great-great-great-grandmother back to our shared ancestor, Sarah Boarman. Only a day later a 2nd cousin provided documentation that confirmed at least back to her granddaughter and my 5th-great-grandmother, Sarah Mudd.
This connected me to a well-researched family. But Charles Mudd's extensive database does not confirm Sarah 's lineage; she's completely missing from the family I believe her to be from.
But then, thanks to James Maloney's tireless documentation, I found reference to Sarah in her father's will (and James was kind enough to confirm). I am in debt to James for his public sharing of 35 years of research.
With that link confirmed, my ancestry can be documented mostly through well-kept deeds and wills through John Russell, Earl of Bedford, whose wife Alice Wyse has multiple established lineages back to Charlemagne.
While is was inevitable that I'm descended from Charlemagne, joining the ranks of those who can draw solid lines to him after only two years of research is very exciting.
From here, many databases use the popular Brøderbund World Family Tree database to go as far back as 6 A.D. to the birth of Clodius II, King of the Franks. However, tracing Charlemagne's family further back than Pepin of Landen, born in 580, is not well documented or even widely accepted among historians. I hesitate to accept "common wisdom" in my records, because the world of ancestry research abounds with optimism. If I accepted the records of Donna and Tim, for example, I'd trace all the way to Adam.
But I'm quite pleased to have followed one line so far back as to count everyone of European descent a blood relative. This is the third line to extend beyond the 15th century from the same third-great-grandmother. I still need to work on the breadth of my pedigree; while I have detailed records of all 16 great-great-grandparents, almost half of their parents are unaccounted for and in two cases I cannot yet trace out of Missouri.