Witches and traitors and saints, oh, my!

I have, on most occasions, an irreverent attitude toward my family history. I think the critical details of names, dates, and places are the foundation of any genealogical research, but beyond that it seems that those details can become ends in themselves. After years of traditional genealogical research, I try not to be caught up … Continue reading Witches and traitors and saints, oh, my!

He said. She said

At our dinner table recently, talk turned to a discussion of family stories, specifically the story that our great great-great-great-grandfather, George Read, refused to paint his chimneys white in the English style because he was so opposed to British oppression. Son, He of the Flypaper Mind (everything sticks to it!), challenged the origin of the … Continue reading He said. She said

Making the skeletons dance

In his 1930 novel Immaturity, George Bernard Shaw wrote, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” Shaw had a point with that statement. While we can deny them, hide them, or ignore them, we can’t remove the family skeletons from their places in our family trees. … Continue reading Making the skeletons dance

The Red and White Schoolhouses

When I was perhaps three years old and lively, my mother returned to teaching grades K–8 in a one-room schoolhouse just north of our house in Augusta, Maine, known as the White Schoolhouse. Lacking daycare at the time, she took me with her most days, and I learned the Palmer method of cursive handwriting long … Continue reading The Red and White Schoolhouses