How I Solved It: From DNA to Nellie Drag

How I Solved It: From DNA to Nellie Drag

Sometimes, when researching my genealogy, the little things are infinitely the most important. And that's the case for this recent find: 197 centimorgans of shared DNA across six segments led me unexpectedly, finally, to my great-great-grandmother's family tree. I want to share how I solved this Drag family mystery--my recipe for success--in the hopes that [...]

My Almost Great-Grandfather

My Almost Great-Grandfather

At the age of 17, my great-grandfather deserted the U.S. Army, packed his belongings into a rucksack and made his way by foot to Lockport, New York. He changed his name to John Gates during a stop in Ohio, married my great-grandmother in Buffalo and raised five children of his own. He didn't tell anyone--not [...]

Using Google Tour Builder to Tell An Ancestor’s Story

Using Google Tour Builder to Tell An Ancestor’s Story

I've shared the Marczynski family's story here before: Casimir Marczynski's wife, Mary Fabich, died of typhoid fever in 1907, leaving him a widower with six children. His mother arranged for Mary Witkowski--a young woman from Julianowo, Poland--to travel to Dunkirk that summer, and the couple were wed on August 26, 1907 in St. Hedwig's Church. [...]

Another Brick Wall Bites the Dust

Another Brick Wall Bites the Dust

John & Celestia (Merrill) Peterson with grandsons Robert Peterson (left) & Thomas Kuznicki (right) 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 [...]