Merrill’s Barn Dance

Merrill’s Barn Dance

When I asked my grandfather how his parents met, he told me it was at a barn dance--but he couldn't remember where or when or how or why. I've always kept that barn dance in the back of my mind; I know my parents met at my dad's twenty-first birthday party, my dad's parents were [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]