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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Harman Updegraff & Margaret Miller

Two things I can tell you about my ancestors: there are a lot of Margarets and a lot of accidental deaths. Harman Alexander Updegraff was born 28 August 1821* in Somerset County, Pennsylvania to Harmon Updegraff and Rachel Howard.  He was a farmer in his early years and later became a conductor of a freight […]

Genealogy in Politics

Facts and evidence are a fundamental part of genealogy. Without these, genealogy would be nothing more than folklore (and Ancestry member tree hints). Unfortunately, facts and evidence are not always as important in politics. What happens when politics and genealogy collide? A couple months ago there was some attention on Senator Marco Rubio’s family history. The […]

Perspectives on Poverty and Genealogy

I love statistics and all the fun charts and graphs you can make. I also love TED Talks. You can imagine my delight when watching Hans Rosling’s New Insights on Poverty, when he inserts his grandparents into the data set while comparing past and present economic situations around the world. Genealogy adding context to economic […]

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Old Newspapers How else would I know that my 4th great grandfather died at at 90 with all his teeth? The Library of Congress Chronicling America is a great starting point for old newspapers.  Not all newspapers are digitized, but keep checking as more are added everyday.  You can search for an ancestor’s name or […]