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 […]

The Original Catherine

I was named after my Grandma Kate, born Katherine Irene Murphy. She passed away before I was born, but I’ve always felt a special connection with her. Grandma Kate was named after her aunt, Katherine Murphy-Arnaut, who died unexpectedly at 29 years old. I was pretty excited to find that Katherine Murphy-Arnaut’s grandmother was also named Catherine! (spelled with […]

Catherine Aspery – Solved!

I think I may have actually figured out who her parents were and where she came from. Here’s my method: Thomas Aspery I started researching Thomas Aspery a couple weeks ago, from the list I made of possible relatives (see previous post).  He had the same uncommon last name, was born in England, same generation […]

Using Inferential Genealogy for Catherine Aspery

Earlier this year, I attended the Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring Conference and there were two lectures by Thomas W. Jones that were particularly helpful: “Using ‘Correlation’ to Reveal Facts that No Record States” and “Inferential Genealogy: Deducing Ancestors’ Identities Indirectly.” I learned that I was not doing nearly enough to get past my brick walls. Leaving […]

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 […]

District of Columbia Genealogy Research

Do you have ancestors that lived in the District of Columbia?  Here are some suggestions on getting started with local DC records. Newspapers Birth, Marriage, and Death Announcements DC Public Library: Baltimore Sun 1837-1985 The Washington Post 1877-1994 Washington Times 1990-Present You may search in any of the 25 DC Library Branches or online at […]