I am beginning research on my maternal ancestors, Thomas Oscar Downing
and George Washington Kennemer
. Not much is known about these families but it appears that both of these families may have been in America before the Revolutionary War.
You will notice that some people have estimated birthdates with the words "cal" and "est." I use cal(culated) to indicate that there is a record (such as census) that I can use to base a year on. When I use the word est(imated), it is almost a complete guess which may be very imprecise.