Another Brick Wall Bites the Dust

Another Brick Wall Bites the Dust

I've been searching for clues into my great-great-grandfather's past since I began researching my genealogy seven years ago. According to my grandfather, John Peterson was born in Sweden, and he married an American woman, Celestia Merrill, around the turn-of-the-century. Gramps and his parents lived with John and Celestia when they were first starting out as [...]

DNA Discrepancies

DNA Discrepancies

To create a customer's ethnicity estimate, DNA companies--including AncestryDNA, 23&Me and MyHeritage DNA, to name a few--compare the customer's DNA to a reference panel, or DNA from individuals of "known origin." If a section of the customer's DNA is most similar to the DNA tied to a reference panel of individuals from Sweden, for example, [...]

The Mystery Brother

The Mystery Brother

In July of 1907, Maryanna Louisa Witkowski, the daughter of Nicholas and Marcella (Mintkiewicz) Witkowski, left Poland for the small town of Dunkirk, New York to marry a man she had never met. She and Casimir Marczynski, a widower with six young children, were wed on August 26, 1907 at St. Hedwig's Catholic Church. At [...]

Random Acts of Photo Restoration

Random Acts of Photo Restoration

Frances (Nelson) Merrill has always been one of my most elusive "brick wall" ancestors, but little by little, I've found clues to her larger story. Frances, my 3rd great-grandmother, was born on November 3, 1856 in Potter County, Pennsylvania to Leroy and Melvina Sarah (Baker) Nelson. Her mother, Melvina, died when she was only seven [...]