Category Archives: History

Podcast, Episode 6: Don’t Be a Jeffrey

Genealogy is populated with lots of groovy people, and just enough Jeffreys doing things the wrong way to thoroughly annoy the rest of us. Don’t be a Jeffrey, be awesome! Follow the best practice and best evidence guidelines for Ancestry in this episode and you’ll go far, Cousin. Happy Black History Month to all. And […]

Podcast, Episode 4: The Glory of the Story

“The Glory of the Story” is about the fun of gathering family stories. Folklore is great for finding facts and hints to start a tree, but it’s equally wonderful for entertainment and for preserving the memory of family elders for all generations, current and future, to enjoy. If your family tells stories, this is for […]

Podcast, Episode 2: From Paper To People

This episode is directed primarily toward European-American Mormons, but no matter what, you will get something out of it. I discuss the Mormon Law of Consecration and how I apply it to family history work and working with others; the differences between African-American and European American genealogy; and the specific case of my research on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Ancestry.com, 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, […]

Learn World History Through Genealogy: India

If you’re American, how much do you actually know about the history of the Indian subcontinent (Indian and Pakistani history)? Do you know what Partition was, or when it happened? It’s an enormous part of 20th-century history. Ripple effects populate the world news every night. I am a visual learner. I read, but I prefer to […]