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 [...]

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 [...]

Finding Lodie & Don

Finding Lodie & Don

I am always inspired by the lost-and-found-photo stories in the genealogy community, when a simple upload to Family Search or Facebook connects a photo found in an antique store or yard sale to the subject's present-day descendants. I love thinking about how many times the photo may have changed hands over the years before coming [...]

Sorting My Ancestors into Hogwarts Houses

Sorting My Ancestors into Hogwarts Houses

You can tell a lot about a person by the house they’re sorted into at Hogwarts, or so I've been told. Back in December, I sorted my family members--Gramps, Grandma, Mom and Aunt Holly--into Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, respectively, and I've decided to sort the previous generation of Kuznicki's and Zielinski's this month. There's [...]