National Bike to Work Day

The League of American Bicyclists was originally founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians. From the past to the present, bike riders have been a part of my family tree. Growing up, pretty much…

Veterans Day

What we now know as Veterans Day is our opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans. Armistice Day, as it was called previously, officially received its name in America in 1926 through a congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar congressional action. If World War I really had…

Headstone Genealogy

I’ve seen many headstones that provide wonderful clues for anyone researching that particular family tree. But none quite as wonderful as the Hollister headstone in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. The names, dates and relationships on the front and on the back made it easy to find the right Hollisters in the 1900 census on Ancestry.com. I…

Are We Related? Part One

Dear Prospective Cousin, I think you and I may be leaves on the same family tree! According to the relationship chart below, your mother (or grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister, sister-in-law, spouse’s cousin) Alice Hester Clarke Jenkinson was my first-cousin thrice removed. That may sound distant but consider this; Alice’s father Elmer and my 2nd great-grandfather…

12 Step Program for Genealogists

Child #2 tells me I am a genealogy addict. I counter with my attendance of meetings, ostensibly looking for a cure. Child patiently explains the concept of 12 step programs; they are supposed to help one kick a habit, not provide another fix. After some thought, I developed my own 12 Step Program. Rather than looking for…

Who Do You Think YOU Are?

For decades, I thought I was 50% Swedish and 50% German. Never mind that my maternal grandfather was somehow English. I’m not sure how we overlooked that bit of information, but I continued to believe I was half one ethnicity and half another long after I should have known better. I started my genealogical exploration…