Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Posts in category History

What You Didn’t Know About Slav...

What You Didn’t Know About Slavery

OK, I confess that blog title is a little sensationalized. Truth be told, much of this information becomes well-known to researchers within a few years of their African-American genealogical journey. Family research turns many of us into walking, talking, beacons of history. It certainly turned my life around; probably 90% of what I read now […]

Slave Housing

Slave Housing

I just finished reading a wonderful article on slave housing in Montgomery County, Maryland, where one of my branches is from. A small part of the article is posted here. I’ve been pondering alot lately how we need to reconsider how our enslaved ancestors lived; the physical dimensions of that space and what it said […]

Changing Lives

Changing Lives

I read a terrific article on the last page of Family Tree Maker magazine, June issue. It made me think about some of my ancestors and how different my life experiences are in many ways, some good some bad. I often try to visualize what life was like in the 1920s, 1890s, 1850s, and so […]

Historic Trust Inventories: Search th...

Historic Trust Inventories: Search the Land, Find the People

I’ve been given some gifts lately by the genealogy spirits. I think they are designed to gently ease me back into the fray after my maternity break of several months. This is another really good one. I have made many connections over the years with relatives, as we discover we are both researching the same […]

Slave Letters

Slave Letters

I’ve been fascinated recently by the great things being digitized and put online by libraries, archives, museums and other repositories. Although as genealogists we are primarily concerned with the details of specific lives, I think it’s absolutely worthwhile to expand your vision and look at some of the larger themes that applied to and affected […]

The 1850/1860 Slave Census Debate

The 1850/1860 Slave Census Debate

Hopefully, you are all familiar with the Afrigeneas website for African Ancestored research. I want to bring your attention to a terrific article that resides there, albeit somewhat hidden. From their homepage, if you click on the link that says Records, and then click Library Records, you will find a collection of articles and other […]

History of Social Security

History of Social Security

I’m a big fan of expanding our knowledge about the various kinds of records we utilize, and I found a terrific PDF file on the history of the Social Security Program. I discovered lots of interesting tidbits I didn’t know. The History page of the Social Security website has lots of other details as well, […]

Forum Network Lectures

Forum Network Lectures

I have no idea how I’m going to keep my job. The internet keeps offering these incredible websites that beg for hours of exploration. The American Historical Association blog highlighted the Forum Network website the other day and it is mind-blowing. It’s a collaboration between PBS and NPR to offer free audio and video lectures […]

Ancestors: What Were Their Lives Like...

Ancestors: What Were Their Lives Like?

I find myself thinking about this question a lot when it comes to my family history. It has never for me been about “gathering names” or seeing how far back I can go. I have always grappled with trying to recreate my ancestor’s lives, trying to understand the forces of history they lived through and […]

Slavery and Justice at Brown Universi...

Slavery and Justice at Brown University

Brown University released a report back in 2006 entitled “Slavery and Justice.” I just read it and found it well worth the time–I encourage you to read it. A steering committee was formed at Brown whose purpose was twofold: Our primary task was to examine the University’s historical entanglement with slavery and the slave trade […]

The Blog Book is Here!

Reclaiming Kin Blog Book

Purchase the Book, $25 (+$3 shipping

First Time Visitor?

Welcome! Please go to the link above titled "Start Here." If you like the content, subscribe for free by adding your email address below so you can be notified of new posts.

About Me

I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

Post History

What I Talk About

Locations and Surnames

Hardin, Chester and Lawrence Counties, TN
Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

Favorite Family History Quotes

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
-William Faulkner

"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard

"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
-Hugh Kingsmill

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
-Elbert Hubbard

"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."
-Unknown

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"
-Unknown

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
-George Burns

"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
-Winston Churchill

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
-Kendall Hailey

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Geneabloggers