Robert E. Lee Was a Cousin of Mine

This weekend, a lot of rhetoric flowed exhorting us to respond to a horrifying display of white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia. One thing that resonated with me was the exhortation by some of my black friends to me, as a white woman, that I need to collect my people. The only people who should be […]

My Family Story: The Unknown Legacy of Anna Gottheld (1874-1949)

Perhaps that is her story, her legacy even. She like so many women in history are lost to us in terms of details, but real to us in terms of having actually been here and part of the tapestry of our lives. She existed in all of her unrecorded, complicated and stark reality. Her legacy is real even if the details are shrouded. Perhaps this post will unearth more details or perhaps it will simply honor the life story that we know.

Rest in power, Grandma Annie.

My Family Immigration Story: The Short Life of Sadie Butler (1872-1922)

I first learned about Sadie Butler in the early 2000’s when I sent away for the Catholic Diocesan records of my paternal great-grandfather whom I (erroneously) believed was Irish Catholic. To my surprise, I learned the Irish Kerr’s were Protestant via the marriage information of my second great-grandparents, John K Kerr (1869-1908) and Sarah A […]

#AMPLIFY LGBTQ Families, 40 Parents Share Their Experiences

Once again in honor of the 12th Annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day, I am sharing #AMPLIFY posts from parents, step parents  and grandparents and other caretakers of children.  Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day is meant to bring together people who are LGBTQ as well as our families and allies. It’s a celebration of LGBTQ families […]

My Family Story: The Hatfields and The McCoys

Hatfield Family

There are two parallel learning tracks with researching my family tree. First, I learn about the actual people to whom I am related – their names, occupations, where they lived, how they died, and sometimes even more details. The second track is the broader scope of historical facts that tie directly into their individual experiences. […]

My Easter Memories: Reflections on Faith, Food and Frightful Bunnies

Just some random Easter memories. What comes to your mind this time of year? As children, we had designated baskets. Mine was a big wicker style with a floppy yellow bow. My brother had an Easter cart that my father had used in his childhood. Options to hide were somewhat limited in our ranch style […]

My Family Immigration Story: The Tragic Life of Jennie Tarleton (1868-1944)

Scots Immigrants

I’ve heard tales of Jennie Tarleton my whole life long – the brave 17 year old Scots girl who set sail for the New World all alone from Glasgow. Jennie was my 2nd great-grandmother and her arrival in 1885 makes her my most “recent” immigrant ancestor. Everyone else was here long before she set foot […]

My Family’s Immigration Story

This was not something I thought about as a child in the 1970’s and 1980’s in suburban West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. I knew my living grandparents and their basic backstories and a little bit about their respective parents. I was raised to believe I was mostly an Irish Catholic/little bit of German kid which turned out […]

My Friend Dave Turns Out To Be My (Sixth) Cousin #NaBloPoMo

Cousins

The most exciting update to my genealogy hobby is the discovery that my actual friend, Dave Ninehouser, is in fact my sixth cousin. Dave is an awesome guy. He’s very progressive, likes animals, treats his wife with respect and appreciation, works food drives into lots of his efforts and intentionally relocated from Pittsburgh to Ambridge, […]

I Just Met My First Openly Gay Relative

I’m the only queer person that I know in my family. I have 20 first cousins and more than 60 second cousins plus untold third, fourth and once-removed cousins. Odds are good that someone else is also queer and/or trans, but no one is talking. It isn’t easy being the only openly queer family member, […]