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Not Much Happy Talk?

How many children were born to your great-grandparents? How many born to your grandparents? How many to your parents? And if you’re a parent, how many children were born to you and your spouse? For me, the answers on my paternal side are 8, 6 and 6: eight children born to my great-grandparents (two of […]

The Tale of Bobbie Pringle, Part II

This is part two in my mother’s story (written in her own words) of how she and my dad met. Part one is here. Ruthe Continues:   Next morning I put my plan into action. After bringing her two coffees as well as a pack of cigarettes (I knew she wouldn’t turn down some smokes from […]

The Tale of Bobbie Pringle, Part I

Were my dad still alive today (he died in 1994), he and my mom would be celebrating 68 years of marriage at the end of this month. That’s a picture of her from the 40s. (—->) For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved hearing about how my parents met and the various details […]

Brave New World III: Are You My Father?

When my children were quite small, P.D. Eastman‘s charming book, Are You My Mother? was a regular entry in the nightly story rotation. My Beloved usually handled this night-time routine and he had a great way of dramatizing story books. This one was no exception. The children responded with squeals and laughter. The book resolves, […]

Knit, Purl, Decode

My recent posts discussing the perennial favorite, A Christmas Carol, got me to thinking about the oeuvre of its author. Besides the incomparable Christmas novella of Charles Dickens (my previous posts begin here), other books by Dickens retain their reputation as “classics.” I can’t remember my first reading of A Tale of Two Cities, but I recall the impression […]

DNA: Following the Evidence

When genealogy research migrated from the cumbersome (often deteriorating) media of microfiche, county record ledger books and newspapers into the electronic age, it was welcome forward progress. (In yesterday’s post, I mentioned wrestling with microfiche.) Accurately inputting hard copy records to digital files took time. For me, testing multiple software packages over a ten to […]

Going West

Long before the popularity of genealogy website,, family history was one of my favorite pursuits. Some might call me a devotee, but the honest truth is it’s more of an obsession, a positive (though time-consuming) addiction. Why genealogy, you may ask? How will I write the “great American novel” when I’m distracted with genealogy? […]

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