Author Archives: Carolynn

I was born loving history and raised on family lore. At 16, I was given all of my father's genealogical documentation by my uncle. After this, a series of trips to local and overseas genealogical libraries and sites ensued. By the time the internet became a great place to research family, I was pushing our lines back to Jamestown, the Mayflower, the Carolingian, Merovingian and Northumbrian European royal dynasties, and a lot of regular working folks. I love genealogy, and writing histories of individual family lines or people. Learning why people did things, how they collided with one another, and all of the surprises that come with that comprise my addiction of choice. I'd love to help you find the surprises in your family history.

Folklore, Genealogy, and the Holiday Season

So many festive events, so little time. While it is VERY bad form to work on your laptop while sitting on the couch in the middle of a holiday meal or party, it is possible to add to your family tree during the joy and mirth surrounding the Christmas tree or the Hanukkah bush. In […]

What Are Your Favorite Family Recipes?

This may seem an odd place for a food discussion, but bear with me. I am in a wonderful genealogy group on Facebook called DNA Tested African Descendants. The administrator is so good at eliciting responses and building conversations around a variety of topics! It’s a very enjoyable group. The admin asked about family foods, […]

How African Americans Use DNA Testing to Connect with Their Past

If you are European-American (white), your ancestors wrote the rules and kept the records. They were a part of the white power structure that allowed and supported slavery and Jim Crow. Your records are relatively easy to find. If you are descended of the African Diaspora, your family is in splinters, and your history is […]

Exciting Announcement: Podcast!

We are working on a new podcast! It will feature nitty-gritty information about best use of different types of resources in online research, best practices, and best evidence (aka genie hygiene). It will help you to go from paper to people, to gain an understanding of your ancestors’ lives and make them less abstract than […]

Digitally Gathering Family Lore

Over Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, I’d like to encourage everyone to take advantage of family gatherings, or technology, or both, to talk with family elders and record valuable stories about your ancestors. Ways to do this: • Write a list of open-ended questions to start discussions, like “What do you remember best about life […]

What Are You Learning from ROOTS on The History Channel?

What are you learning from ROOTS? What did you already know? What do you think viewers SHOULD know? I’d really like answers to this!! I have learned that song has always been an instrument of rebellion, from singing in a native tongue to communicate, to using the appearance of obedience and even (celebration? I don’t […]

Best Practices: Ancestry Profiles, pt. 2

We now return to the fun that is Being a Good Citizen on Ancestry. We left off on the top of the page marked Member Profile. We’ll pick up from there. One of the greatest contributions you can make to the Ancestry community is to let people know what you’d be willing to do for […]

Best Practices: Ancestry Profiles, pt. 1

There are some things I’ve been seeing for years, and others I’ve been seeing more and more lately, that make me crazy while working on Ancestry. All of them are due to a lack of knowledge or courtesy on the part of amateur researchers, and all of them can be solved with a little applied […]

A GREAT Site and Group for Reparational Genealogy

I just stumbled into something wonderful! It turns out that I have African-American cousins. Not surprising, but very good news. In connecting with them on Facebook by way of, I was invited to join an FB group called DNA Tested African Descendants. I hope to find more cousins there. It is a closed group, […]