Princess, Gypsy or Hobo? A Look at Halloween Costume History

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this guest blog post—just in time for Halloween celebrations tonight—Gena searches old newspapers to look at the history of Halloween costumes. What was Halloween like when you were a child? What Halloween costumes did you wear when you... (Read More)

1913 Halloween Prank Caused a Blast in Sheffield, Alabama

Every year around Halloween we hear of pranks ranging from harmless mischief to serious destruction. The Halloween of 1913 in Sheffield, Alabama, was a little of both. According to press reports, the destruction resulting from a Halloween prank gone awry was as much a surprise to the kids as it was to the town’s... (Read More)

DNA Testing & Genealogy: Is It Working for You?

Clearly DNA testing is revolutionizing 21st Century family history research. DNA Testing Helps Orphan Find His Family There are heartwarming stories about successful DNA tests—like that of 80-year-old Patrick J. Holland, who was raised in an orphanage and through DNA testing finally found his family. Here is the full report on this touching family... (Read More)

Harrybelle (Durant) Stark: The Last Casualty of WWI

Harrybelle (Durant) Stark (1891-1937) gave the last full measure of devotion to our country. She was the last casualty of World War I. Born March 1891 in Pensacola, Florida, she was the daughter of Osmond P. (1856-1913) and Annette (Knowles) (1880- ) Durant. Harrybelle attended Saint Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in Birmingham, Alabama,... (Read More)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jackie Robinson & Rosa Parks Obituaries

During this October week in American history three pioneering activists died who had a big impact on American society: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American women’s rights activist, died at 86 on 26 October 1902 Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson, American baseball player and civil rights activist, died at 53 on 24 October 1972 Rosa Louise McCauley... (Read More)

Find & Preserve Your Family’s Stories

I grew up hearing the old family stories. There was no television in New Hampshire in those days, but my grandfather remembered the family stories and passed them down. As kids there was one particular story we always wanted to hear every night: the story of when Indians attacked the family cabin in 1724.... (Read More)

Genealogy Collaboration to Trace Czech American Ancestry Pt. 1

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this guest blog post, Scott shows how some old newspaper articles led to a breakthrough in his genealogy work—and to a fruitful collaboration with the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland. Genealogy and collaboration go together just about... (Read More)