Have you worked your way back to the 1700s and are stuck, or is that "family tradition"? If it is the latter, the rule of thumb in genealogy is to work from the known back to the unknown. Get what you can from family on current family and back as far as they actually know. Family traditions usually begin with a grain of fact, but down through generations take a different turn here and there. Fill out your family group sheets with everything, just mark those things not proven, as family tradition. Then your research begins. From those who know the names of Curtis and Nell, see if they even know area of residence, and a time period. This would help you in looking for them on census records. From those records you can begin to fill in names of others in the household, and ages and locations of births etc. Have fun.
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