The Sides We Don’t See (or Commit an Act of Family History This Season)


Consider, for example, my first grade teacher, Miss Keller. (The name is changed to protect her, in case she’s more innocent than we thought at the time.) Miss Keller was mean. She yelled at us. She punished the whole class for the minor offenses of one or two students, which is as quick a way to pique a child’s sense of injustice as any. She also taught us to count in German.

Follow this link: The Sides We Don’t See (or Commit an Act of Family History This Season)

Nineteen Kinds of Death Records and Their Uses

Death certificates are filled with useful genealogical information, including, sometimes, things you may not have wanted to know. There are many other kinds of death records, of course, from obituaries to tombstone inscriptions. Each is useful in its way, and some are rich sources of clues for further research.

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After the Family Reunion

Communication, planning, and preparation always precede the family reunion, but there are a few things that are worth remembering after the reunion. These are things to do soon, not a year from now on the way out the door to the next reunion. These things vary with the person and the family, but they might include doing something about that good idea you had this year for next year.

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Preserving My Grandfather’s Voice


For more than 30 years, a certain cassette tape has moved with me to dormitories, apartments, and homes in two different time zones. It contains the original copy of an interview with a long-deceased ancestor, which makes it precious. For decades I have procrastinated doing anything useful with it, which makes me . . . well, human, I suppose. In case you are human in the same way, I am documenting the recent end of my procrastination in some technical detail.

Follow this link: Preserving My Grandfather’s Voice