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Input and Output

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Genealogy is based on information. No information, no genealogy. The ancestors are still there, but without information, they have faded to invisibility. We use whatever information we can find to take the next step and build up our knowledge of our ancestors, of our personal past. Sometimes it is not too difficult to piece together […]


Sunday, October 1st, 2017

It has been ages since I have posted. As we must remember when we think about our ancestors, sometimes life gets in the way—not just for us as researchers, but for the people we research. Sometimes their lives were simply filled with events, some probably good, some probably bad, that left no records behind and […]

The Chicago Cubs and Deep Time, Version 2

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

This is an odd time of year for any fan of the Chicago Cubs. November is the time to consider who should be traded, wonder if there is hope for next year, wonder if they will ever return to the World Series, and generally think off season type thoughts. Yet, somehow this year there is […]

You Never Know What You Will Find

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

More than 160 years ago, a young mother gave birth to a daughter. The birth record gave a rough idea of where the family lived, but no more. More than 160 years ago, a young mother-to-be checked into a maternity clinic.  The journals still exist. I’ve never used one before, but you never know what […]

Read Herrings

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

There is a story, apparently first told about 1800, that kippers could be used to throw hounds off the scent. Kippers are a sort of preserved herring. The preservation process can turn the fish reddish. An idiom was born. In genealogy we often deal with things we think of as facts. Often the fact is […]

The Curse of the Goal

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

A little while ago I was on my first vacation in years. Many puzzle pieces fit together and my family and I went back to Europe. In Rome we went to see the Sistine Chapel. The Chapel is a part of the Vatican Museum, one of the world’s truly great museums. It would be hard […]

When Relatives “Turn up”

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Sometimes when people are getting started in genealogy, they don’t think about the possibility that relatives can turn up in places where they aren’t expected. One very famous American lady was an immigrant from France, born in the 1880s. My family recently paid a visit to her slightly younger sister, who still lives in Paris. The family […]

Just One Word

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

I’m always skeptical of connections to the famous, the powerful, and the high-born, but a current project in Tudor England is starting to smell suspicious. The family name matches the name of a village. In that village lived a noble family of the same name. In the parish church remains of this family include medieval […]

The Psychology of Ancestors

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Mother’s Day has passed and Father’s Day will soon be upon us. Though we don’t tend to think of parents as ancestors, technically they are. How far back does a person need to be to be thought of as an ancestor? Grandparent does not seem far enough back. If Mother’s Day and Father’s Day exist […]

Spring Cleaning

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Spring is here and with it, the time for spring cleaning. No one really knows the origin of the tradition. It might be purely practical. In March and April in Europe and North America, there tends to be a time when it is warm enough to really open up the house and get the dust […]

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