Gathering Leaves is more than just a history of my family. Its original working title was “How I Did It!” Besides all of the detail and footnotes, I hope to convey to the casual reader my tips and tricks for how anyone with access to the Internet can find their ancestors and connect with long-lost cousins. This began as a labor of love twenty-five years … Continue reading Gathering Leaves – The Book
So, I wanted to find the answer to how many generations of my ancestors owned slaves in the 19th century and earlier. I did not know how much earlier than the American Revolution that they began the practice of enslaving other humans. Still, I had assumed that only four generations were involved in the trade and ownership of human property. Starting with my great-grandfather, James … Continue reading Morgan’s Swamp
The one aspect of my DNA results that I haven’t discussed yet is the ethnicity estimates provided by Ancestry.com and by MyHeritage. I am baffled by the results that I see at MyHeritage.com, and I will write about them later. In this post, I will discuss the results from Ancestry.com where the only real surprise is that it shows that I am not as French … Continue reading Do You Want Freedom Fries with That?
I first read about Maynard Jackson in 1973 when he became the first Black mayor of a major Southern US city. As mayor of Atlanta, he and a young Senator from Delaware were my political heroes of the day. It was not until 30 years later that I learned that Mayor Jackson (1938-2003) and I were fourth cousins. I made this discovery when I read … Continue reading The Question of Judie’s Father
When I was a kid growing up in Texas in the 1960s, I suffered from an identity crisis. While I didn’t know who I was, I knew who I was not. For one, I was not born in Texas, and that was a problem for some folks. I grew up fascinated by American history while having no idea where my ancestors fit in with the … Continue reading Had I Known Then What I Know Now
Her story goes like this: Theodosia Beck Beasley, age 14, married a 28-year-old man named John McMullan in Orange County, Virginia. The year was 1769. Together they had five children, one of whom was a fourth great-grandfather on my mother’s side named Patrick McMullan. At some point in time, Theodosia left John and married a man by the name of William Dula. How this came … Continue reading Bad Grandma?
I have received my DNA results from Ancestry.com, and while there were no significant surprises, based what I have seen so far, I am thrilled by the results. In several places, it provided validation to some branches that I had considered working theories in need of proof. The new consanguinity (a fancy word for cousinship) connections revealed on one particular branch on my father’s side … Continue reading The Results Are In! – Part 1
This was originally posted September 2010 during German American Heritage Month In 2021, it is observed in the month of October. In the post, I discuss the intolerance and bigotry shown towards German Americans a little over 100 years ago during WWI. I hope that by posting this readers will understand that we need to stop the cycle of violence & racial injustice and come … Continue reading German American Heritage Month 2021 is in October
Not too long after the January 6th insurrection, I became curious about the history of political violence in the United States. One of the first events that came to mind was the Draft Riots of 1863. Although the New York Draft Riot of July 3 – 5 is infamous as the most deadly and expensive civil disturbance in American history, it is not the only … Continue reading Bloody Monday
I detailed the branches stemming from my third great-grandmother, Mary Emily Knox, which I recently discovered, in a previous post. One of those branches was the branch of my 7th great-grandmother, Jane Winder, and her father, the Rev. John Winder. There is new and, unfortunately, conflicting information to add regarding the branch stemming from John Winder and our connection to to two Irish legends. John … Continue reading Irish Legends
While I await my DNA results, I continue to follow the paper trail, finding new and exciting branches in my family tree. For example, I have discovered who my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother was. Her name was Mary Jenkinson, and finding her in 17th Century England reminds me of an episode of Arrested Development – the one where Michael discovered … Continue reading My Mother’s Mother’s Mother…