My Oma & Our Lady of Fatima

On the evening of January 25, 1938, my Oma witnessed an extremely rare meteorological phenomena; something that stuck with her for the rest of her life and something I will likely never witness myself.  After the sun went down the evening of the 25th, the sky turned an deep red.  This was something much more […]

The Story of William Murphy

You never know when you’ll get what you’re looking for, especially when researching a name like Murphy. I got lucky this time though with a death certificate for William Murphy at the Pennsylvania State Archives. William Murphy, my 3rd great grandfather, lived at 307 McClure Ave in the 1920 census with his daughter Sarah and […]

Catharine Harris Davis of Wales

Obituaries are fantastic sources of information.  Dates and names are great, but hints at what kind of people your ancestors were are priceless.  I love searching through old newspapers, especially the society section and obituaries.  Usually the articles are short and give a couple little clues, but this particular obituary of my 3rd Great-Grandmother Catherine […]

Trend of the Times-Robert Lee Updegraff

In my collection of family records, obituaries, marriage announcements, etc. there are a small group of items that I consider little “gems.” My grandfather, Robert Lee Updegraff served in the United States Army during World War Two.  He was a Platoon Sergeant in a Special Operations Group and spent the majority of his service in […]

Don’t Believe Everything That’s Tree’d

One of my goals for this blog is to share best practices and lessons learned (mistakes made).  My biggest mistake and probably the most reoccurring issue in genealogy, was copying trees and accepting them as fact.  With the initial excitement of finding new details and connections, checking sources was not on my mind. I don’t […]

Margaret Ann Richards

Margaret Ann Richards’ family line has become one of my biggest roadblocks. Family lore says that Margaret and her sister Bessie were born in Yorkshire, England and the girls came to America as children with a mean stepmother. The name given for their biological mother was Ann Williams. Margaret is pretty easy to trace from […]

Henry Miller Hutchison

The most frustrating part about genealogy is not having a lot of context for certain relationships and events. But when you have enough details on paper, you can fill in the blanks with your imagination.  And that is one of the best parts of genealogy. Here’s a good example. Alexander Campbell Hutchinson (my 2nd great […]

7% Eastern European & Low Risk for Arthritis!

Who has had their DNA tested for health or genealogy? I had been wanting to get tested from 23andMe for YEARS but it was always outrageously expensive. Luckily, in past year or so the price has leveled out around $99 across the board. The bigger the sample size, the better the results, so these services […]

Cursive Handwriting Mysteries

I’m terrible with cursive writing.  We only spent a couple weeks on it in elementary school, then moved on. My 8 year old self thought it was a complete waste of time. My least favorite part of genealogy is deciphering handwriting.  For goodness sakes, why weren’t most vital records printed, neatly? Here are my current hang-ups. Slave, […]

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson was born 24 April 1858 in Oakland Township, Pennsylvania to Ann Marie Jamison and William T Hutchison. “Cam” was the middle child of nine and and as a small boy they lived next door to his grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and nine cousins.  I imagine many large family gatherings during his […]