My interest in genealogy sprouted at an early age, when my father would tell me stories he heard as a child about my great-great-grandfather, Christopher McNanny. He recounted that Christopher served as a drummer boy during the Civil War, and endured the amputation of..Continue reading
Stored in the archival collection of the Dorchester (MA) Historical Society is a ring, brown in color and lightweight, with the number forty-four carved into it. Until recently, not much was known about the ring’s origins. An old label stored with the ring lists it as..Continue reading
Did you know that, at least as of 2021, there were more than..Continue reading
Simply put, Irish research is difficult. Beyond missing and incomplete records, there are many obstacles that can frustrate even the most seasoned genealogist. In my opinion, an obstacle that is often overlooked is the variation of Irish surnames.
Recently, I was..Continue reading
On my first day working at New England Historic Genealogical Society, I noticed a collection of framed ambrotype photographs of founding members of NEHGS, taken in the 1850s. While the vast majority of the men in the photographs were in their older years, one man was..Continue reading
Sometimes it starts with that picture in the attic. It falls out of its black corners and yellow cellophane as if to say, look at me, I’m here for a reason—challenging you to rediscover its past, to make the voice of its subject heard.
I think it must have happened..Continue reading
I recently read a New Yorker article about the complicated status of Black members of Native American nations, which stirred my memory and prompted me to research a Native American family I once knew.
Over fifty years ago on an autumn Sunday, I met formally with Chief..Continue reading
Every time when I look in the mirror/All these lines on my face getting clearer. ~ Aerosmith, 1973
Like a thief in the night, old age has claimed me. I’m not sure when that ignoble laird decided to vandalize me, but it’s certain I wasn't paying very close attention. I..Continue reading
True love comes in the strangest ways.
It was, for me, not exactly love at first sight. There were those who said I was wasting my time with her; that she didn’t come from good lines and that her family was nothing but a bunch of hot heads or, worse, nouveaux riches...Continue reading