Marriage by Proxy & More Stories of Attendance from Afar

Every now and then you run across an interesting marriage announcement in old newspapers about someone who couldn’t travel to a wedding—so they attended by proxy. I once read about Mark Twain and his wife attending the funeral of his mother in law—by listening to it over the telephone 450 miles away! It seems... (Read More)

There Are Some Obituaries Everyone Needs to Read

I. D. Lilly, a retired trucker and promoter of the largest family reunion ever held, died in March of this year. He was an active participant in the famous West Virginia family’s gatherings, and served on the Lilly Family Reunion Board of Directors. In 2009 some 2,585 Lilly relatives gathered in Flat Top, West... (Read More)

Making an All-Inclusive Family Tree through Newspaper Research

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this guest blog post, Scott writes about expanding his family tree research to be inclusive of all family relations, and uses old newspapers to accomplish this goal. When I embarked on my initial family tree work I... (Read More)

Frakturs & Family Bibles Can Provide Proof of Marriage

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary writes about using family Bible records and an interesting folk art called “frakturs” to document early family history. I was recently asked to be part of a “Brick Wall” genealogical panel, whereby researchers submit... (Read More)

A Civil War Captain in My Family Tree?! Share Your Surprises

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this guest blog post, Scott writes about his genealogy surprise: he was researching a branch of his family tree and discovered a Confederate captain from the Civil War! One of the most enjoyable aspects of working on... (Read More)