The Oldest Synagogue in America

Touro Synagogue from Patriots Park (Photo by author)

You might know Newport, Rhode Island, for its plethora of beautiful and historic mansions, many of which overlook the Atlantic coast. Maybe you know that the city hosted the first U.S. Open Tournaments for both..

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The Baby Found on the Doorstep

Illustration of a home in Freetown, Massachusetts, circa 1895

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Chasing Lucille

A barefooted Lucille Coffin, date unknown.

Names are the bedrock of family history research. Finding, sorting, and verifying them takes time. Shared names between generations can cause confusion—such as in the case of professional baseball player Wilmer Flores, whose..

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Remembering Uncle Buddy on D-Day

Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944. By Robert F. Sargent

The world will pause today to remember the events in France which occurred eighty years ago during “Operation Overlord”—better remembered as D-Day. Many fine young men would not come home to their families from those..

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Discovering an Ancestor’s Memoir

After my grandfather died, my dad took on the task of cleaning out my grandfather’s closet and saving items to share with the family. Like many closets collecting junk over the years, it contained a mix of useful and useless items, but one unexpected gem caught my..

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Who Inherited the DeGrace Fortune?

Ann Martin Appleby and Alexander Appleby: rightful heirs?

When I began looking for documents to fill in details about my New Brunswick ancestors, I had never heard of the DeGrace family fortune. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a will made by the adoptive..

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Tracing Unexpected Family Connections

I recently met with the widow of my father’s first cousin Dexter, who died in 2022, to look over some family documents. I had already seen and scanned most of these items, sharing them with relatives through online cloud storage. One item which I hadn’t seen before is..

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Learning About My Ancestor’s Business

Undated photo of Charles Anthony Stevens at home (in the family's collection)

In 1886, my great-grandfather Charles Anthony Stevens (1859–1932) opened a small retail shop in Chicago. At first, Chas. A. Stevens sold silk fabrics and notions to local women who made their..

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Alternative Medicine in the 19th Century

Engraving of a man sitting in a steam box, May 1869. Source: Wellcome Images.

Have you ever wondered what non-surgical medicine was like in the nineteenth century? You may already be aware that the until the first use of ether in 1846, surgery was routinely performed..

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Youth Lineage Organizations

Children of the American Revolution ceremony, Copiah County, Mississippi. Dated before 1945.

You’re probably familiar with several popular lineage and heritage organizations. These organizations encourage connection with family history, foster community, and provide..

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