Laona Cemetery

Laona Cemetery

This week's 52 Ancestors prompt is "At the Cemetery," and I've been at a loss for ideas. I considered writing about the most interesting tombstone in my family tree--my great-great-grandparents have a life-sized statue of the Virgin Mary and hidden photos of themselves--but I've shared that story here before. All of my local cemeteries have [...]

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 [...]

Amy’s Boys

Amy’s Boys

Amy (Merrill) Horey published hundreds of articles on herself, her husband and her nine children--Kathryn Clara (b. 1908), Leota Jean (b. 1909), Vera Ethel (b. 1911), George Merrill (b. 1914), Kenneth Arthur (b. 1915), Elmer Nelson (b. 1917), Clarence Herbert (b. 1919), Barbara Ann (b. 1925) and Millicent Marie (b. 1927)--in the community's newspapers, and [...]

I Love Lucy’s Jamestown Connections

I Love Lucy’s Jamestown Connections

When my grandparents were first married in 1968, they rented a forest green, two-story home on Highland Avenue in Jamestown, New York. Gramps had just returned from Vietnam, and he was bartending at his friend Sam's bar--called Pilly's Harbor--downtown. One evening, while he was having a few beers with friends, Lucille Ball--the Lucille Ball of [...]

Of Unusual & Heavenly Names

Of Unusual & Heavenly Names

Celestia is of Latin origin, meaning "heavenly," and evokes all things ethereal and otherworldly. It's a diminutive form of Celeste and, more notably, "celestial," the latter of which means "positioned in or relating to the sky or outer space," "belonging or relating to heaven" and "supremely good." My great-great-grandmother was a Celestia; she was born [...]