Looking at The Rambo Family Tree, Arkansas’ Damned Yankees, Cavaliers and Pioneers, and more at the Milstein Division, New York City.

Genealogists spend hours of research digging through old books and wrinkled papers. There are so many sources out there, from library books and courthouse records to the box of papers stuffed away in your aunt’s attic. Your range of research material can be as varied as the family tree is sprawling. Because of that, it helps to learn about resources fellow researchers have consulted, to hear their insights, and to learn why any particular source may (or may not) be useful to you. This post is the beginning of a series of sources I have consulted at some point during my research.

The Rambo family is unique in my tree in that, as far as I know, I am related to anyone with the surname Rambo. The Rambo family is rooted in Sweden where, at the time, there were no surnames. You were identified simply as the son or daughter of your father, i.e., Peter Gunnarson literally translates to Peter, son of Gunnar. When my ancestor Peter came to the New World, he adopted the name Rambo, and therefore, all descendants with that name can be traced back to Peter. You can read a general overview of the early Rambo generations in Jordan’s Journey… but if you want to explore them even deeper, be sure to take a look at The Rambo Family Tree by Beverly Nelson Rambo. Beverly’s tome is an extremely well-documented work on many far-reaching branches of Rambo descendants.

I first looked at Beverly’s book in the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library. It’s an intimidating text made all the more confusing to read because the Rambos used so many of the same names over… and over… and over. This is no fault of the text itself, of course, and ultimately the work is rewarding and an absolutely essential reference for anyone interested in the Rambo family. Just be prepared to tackle your share of headaches as you sort out the inter-generational who’s who.

Beverly published the book in 1986 and died a few years later in 1990. Ron Beatty has continued Beverly’s valuable work. He published a second edition of the book and is working on a third. Be sure to check his website for more information.

My specific connection to the Rambo family is through my great-grandmother, Ida Mae Rambo. She married Lawrence Chapman Scoggins. Read about Ida and her line of ancestry back to the original Rambo, Peter Gunnarson, in the Jordan’s Journey book. If you have any connection to the Rambo family, The Rambo Family Tree is the gold standard on the family, and you should seek it out as soon as possible. If you are interested in the Rambo family, drop a comment to get in touch, and we’ll compare research notes!

In more general news, coming soon look for the start of another ongoing series here at Jordan’s Journey more specific to northwest Georgia’s Armuchee and Dirt Town valley regions. If you enjoyed this post, pass it along to someone else who might be interested (and leave a comment here too–I’m always happy to hear from you.).


Rambo, Beverly Nelson. The Rambo Family Tree: Descendants of Peter Gunnarson Rambo, 1611-1986. Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Pub. Co, 1986. Print. WorldCat.

Rambo, Beverly Nelson and Ronald S. Beatty. The Rambo Family Tree. Web. Accessed at https://sites.google.com/site/rambofamilytree/, 1 Apr 2012. Web.

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