Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Posts in category My Family Research

Phillip Holt is Not Dead After All

Phillip Holt is Not Dead After All

It is amazing what can be discovered when you closely analyze and scrutinize your previous research. Sometimes it’s the fact that new records have become available that weren’t available before, and sometimes it’s that your skills are better than they were before. I am quite happy to be my own biggest guinea pig and continue […]

Harris Family Breakthrough! Big City,...

Harris Family Breakthrough! Big City, Here I Come…

Sometimes I just don’t take my own advice. Or, rather it just takes me longer these days to actually do it. My ggrandmother Georgia Harris’ line has always been problematic for me. Awhile ago, I made some headway in tracing her roots not in Jacksonville (Duval County) Florida, as oral history said, but in Madison […]

Kin Reclaimed! James Holt and Why I L...

Kin Reclaimed! James Holt and Why I Love Genealogy

I recently had one of those amazing moments in genealogy that reaffirmed my belief that I was meant to this work, called to do this work, by forces beyond my comprehension. I posted awhile ago about breaking through a brick wall using black newspapers. I had been stuck trying to trace my ancestor James Holt. I am […]

Working Women: Social Security

Working Women: Social Security

Have you been sure to check for social security applications for all the women in your family? I have been surprised at the number of women I have been able to find who had SSNs. And look at the wonderful little tidbits of information provided. In the one below for “Cora Holt” , the “OK” […]

New Finds and Acts of Kindness: Ada S...

New Finds and Acts of Kindness: Ada Seaman and Mattie Holt

I’ve got a few new discoveries to report. First, Familysearch.org has finally blessed us Tennessee researchers with a Tennessee death index (“Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955“). I thought I’d lose my mind when I ran across it, and of course I stayed up until 2 in the morning with much success. I had watched for […]

Wellington Waters, Rest In Peace

Wellington Waters, Rest In Peace

My favorite cousin in the entire world passed away this past Monday, April 26, 2010 from pancreatic cancer. He was 58 years old. Skip, as he was called, was an amazing person and all week I’ve reflected on just how lucky I was to have known him in my life.  He overcame a string of […]

Where Art Thou, John Smith?

Where Art Thou, John Smith?

My great-grandfather, John Smith, remains one of my most stubborn brick walls and one of my most elusive relatives. These are the factors that complicate this search: -Of course, his name, which is judged to be the most common name in the world -He eventually migrated to Jacksonville, FL (from Georgia) a huge city with […]

Sentimental Sunday

Sentimental Sunday

I posted last week about my grandfather, William John Smith, who owned several pharmacies in Jacksonville, FL in the 1940s and 50s. I posted a picture of one of his stores: Well, he also ran a distributorship for Adolph’s Beauty Products, and sold their products wholesale at his stores and out of his home. Guess […]

William John Smith: Documenting A Lif...

William John Smith: Documenting A Life

This post is about the grandfather I never got a chance to meet because he died when I was two years old. William (or Bill as he was called) was born on October 6, 1914 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was born into a working class family and lived in a poor neighborhood on the eastside […]

My Terrific Tennessee Research Trip

My Terrific Tennessee Research Trip

I finally got back to Tennessee after 5 long years! And what a trip it was. I just have to share some of the major highlights with you. I flew into Memphis, TN and met in person not one but two cousins I had talked to on the phone a few years ago. Both Dianne […]

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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

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