Genealogy Category

Family Heirlooms: Dog Tags

Maybe you are lucky enough to have some dog tags from a family member or even yourself. For those that wore them close to their heart imagine the stories they could tell. Dog Tags or Military Identification Tags have a long history which is well chronicled here. A soldier wore identification tags so, in the […]

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The Case of the Mysterious Birth Certificate

Some mysteries send us down circuitous rabbit holes. Here are the basic outlines of this one. My great grandmother’s Diary had this birth certificate among its pages. I haven’t the slightest idea who this is or why this birth certificate would be kept by her. My great grandmother Mary “Lulu” PADEN MOSIER ANDERSON was born […]

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The Well-loved Family Heirloom

Paul Chiddicks recently asked if we have a favorite Family Heirloom. I have too many to have a favorite but this one is certainly a well used one. It belonged to my great grandfather Justus Warren SHELDON who at the time of his acquisition of the cane, lived in Eaton Rapids, Eaton county, Michigan. He […]

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Things Aren’t Always What They Appear to Be: Context Matters and the Case of the Missing Record

Like most of my posts I use examples from my own research and genealogy to illustrate important lessons. Although the details are often important to me and those who may share ancestors or places the deeper lessons are intended to be educational for everyone at all levels of genealogical or historical research. We all make […]

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Cher Ami: A Pigeon and a Poet

An article written by Frank Blazich and first printed on the National Museum of American History’s Blog and later reprinted in the Smithsonian Magazine prompted this post. The story was about using DNA to determine the gender of the famous Pigeon “Cher Ami” who resides at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. As noted Cher Ami […]

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Evidence Can’t Be Trusted Either: The Case of Changing Attributes

I suppose I delight– just a bit– in saying that, as a sometimes contrarian genealogist or family historian, I do enjoy pointing out the flaws in Professionals commendable but often flawed insistence on “facts” and their proper citation. Yesterday I gave myself a task—I decided to see how many of my recent ancestors that I […]

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Knotted Strands: The Misattributed Heirloom

The one thing you learn in doing genealogy is that just like the old children’s game of telephone things get a bit muddled when passed from child to child or generation to generation. As I have written elsewhere there is usually some truth in the stories and legends passed down through families, even if they […]

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Genealogy & Greed Don’t Mix

The genesis of this post goes way back to my early days in genealogy. Back in the days of Everton’s Genealogical Helper, a publication full of personal ads for genealogists looking to contact others with the hopes of making a genealogical connection and sharing information. Back then information exchange took time. We mailed off letters […]

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The Inherited Object Revisited

‚ÄúStories are a kind of thing, too. Stories and objects share something, a patina. I thought I had this clear, two years ago before I started, but I am no longer sure how this works. Perhaps a patina is a process of rubbing back so that the essential is revealed, the way that a striated […]

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Ask More Questions

Its been a very long time since I made a Blog Post and this is perhaps my first public one. I usually make posts a page. However this is too short to be a page and perhaps there is a value in a quick post. I recently received a phone call from a 100 year […]

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