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Pluto Genealogy

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Part of the very recent history of my family is my oldest daughter’s love for planets when she was little. Every night I read to her from my old National Geographic planet book. When that wore out, she insisted on being read to from the pages that were still held together by broken bits of […]

Strix Noctua

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

A few years ago I proposed that the pushmi-pullyu should be the official mascot of genealogy. There is something that happens to me over and over again, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. In its honor, I’ve delayed this post until night has fallen. It has also made me realize that genealogy also needs […]

The Mind’s Eye

Monday, December 1st, 2014

My family and I took a trip over the long Thanksgiving weekend to visit friends. Nothing unusual about that. AsĀ  often happens when we travel somewhere, I realized that we have a family connection to the area. The connection was made by a family that I seem to be following. We’ve visited them in Illinois, […]

Thinking about Thinking

Monday, September 8th, 2014

I just watched an interesting video. It was not at all about family history and yet it was one of those times when the parallels jumped out at me. The speaker was a philosopher that discussed a story known as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the idea of metacognition, that is, thinking about thinking. Whether […]

Once I’m a Distant Ancestor and Blogiversary V

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Last year at this time, I wondered when my “tradition” of starting my blogiversary post with a short real post and then a few thoughts on my favorite posts from the past year would become an official tradition. Well, I think at year five of this blog, I need to admit that it is a […]

It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where You Are Researching?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

When I lived in France and before I had kids, I had a large map of Europe that I mounted on a sheet of corrugated cardboard. I had it hanging on the wall and every time I visited a new place, I stuck a pin into that spot. To add a bit of information, I […]

War Diary

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

We got an email from Germany this week. It said that after 2 1/2 years of work, they had finished the graphic novel that contains part of my children’s great-grandfather’s diary from WWI. The goal is to interest young people in their history, something that we as family historians deal with often. It tells the […]

The Nonfiction Contract

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

We research our ancestors to learn the facts about them, about their lives, their times, the places they lived, their occupations, and travels. The list, as they say, goes on. First we gather documents that are clearly relevant. Then we gather documents that are more subtly related to our ancestors. Though we may never finish […]


Sunday, May 25th, 2014

It is a long weekend in the U.S. The one that traditionally starts the summer. For many it is a weekend for getting into the car and driving, sometimes down expressways, sometimes down smaller, winding roads. As a child one of the things that fascinated me about driving vacations was how once one returned to […]

Memory Palace

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Every once in a while I hear someone make a comment about how they can only name people along a few generations of their ancestry even if they have researched a dozen generations. I find that there is something mesmerizing or perhaps meditative about turning a family tree over in one’s mind, running through the […]

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