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August 12, 2018

Over the past several weeks on Facebook I have been chronicling my progress in organizing my grandparents' collection of family photographs and papers. For readers' convenience those posts are compiled below.

Day 1: For those of you with boxes or closets of family...

"Matriarchs" established that the women in our family are the storytellers. That doesn't mean the men have taught us any less. Their lessons have been communicated by actions more than words.

Our two grandfathers were opposites in many ways. Grandpa Alson Eugene Pusey (...

May 11, 2018

What makes one family a clan and another family a loosely connected network of households–if they even know each other? Is it simply a function of a mutual effort and willingness to communicate? Is it the comradery of shared experience and close proximity? Or is it a s...

March 21, 2018

It was Wayne Winkler's observation about the fluidity of Melungeon race identity in the United States Federal censuses that prompted me to look at another pattern in my husband's maternal grandfather's genealogy. Some of Winkler's comments suggest there was a progressi...

Fort Foote occupied what felt like a remote place four miles south of Alexandria and eight miles south of Washington, D.C. With no access by road and despite daily contact with the outside world when supplies were delivered by boat from Alexandria, a sense of isolation...

August 28, 2017

We all have them. The stories at which our grandparents only hint and won't satisfy us with answers, usually because they are too painful to think about. 

I grew up with a vague story usually referred to as the time Grandma G.G. (my great-grandmother Edith Menges M...

May 16, 2017

One of the most important reasons for researching family history is to create a deeper emotional connection to family by better understanding the lives and motivations of one's ancestors. Documentary evidence which fleshes out an ancestor's biography may be difficult t...

March 19, 2017

This blog post is for my mother who has been suffering a twinge of inferiority complex since the discovery of my father's illustrious Nantucket Island origins.

We are all familiar with family stories, supposedly connecting us to famous people, which turn out to be false...

September 18, 2016

Since I last posted about my own DNA results, a number of my family members have participated in our family DNA project. The results are fascinating and surprising. On my mother's father's side of the family we continue to be bewildered by the significant ratios of Bri...

June 11, 2016

The deeper I dig into DNA genealogical study the more convinced I become that race is an artificial construct of the human imagination, created by imperial powers to justify social and economic oppression. There is no scientific basis for racism and to continue to beli...

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