My Musical DNA

Based on my research, my roots aren’t very musical: I have a great-great-grandmother who sang opera and one distant cousin who played almost every instrument in existence, but that’s the extent of my family’s talent. AncestryDNA has teamed up with Spotify to create “Heritage Playlists: The Unique Sound of Your Ancestry” for their customers, and while … More My Musical DNA

On Trains & Tolstoy

This past week, I’ve been re-reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina–one of my favorite novels. Anna’s and Vronsky’s ill-fated affair is framed by the coming-and-going of trains: they’re a symbol of their love, of ties to the “West” and, ultimately, of the tragedy at the novel’s conclusion. Trains were, in many ways, at the center of … More On Trains & Tolstoy

Tommy “Bug” Kuznicki: Nothing Short of Sensational

Before my great-grandfather enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II; before he took up professional boxing to pass the time; before he married the Swedish girl from the barn dance outside of town; and before he raised a son of his own, he was a high school student who devoted all of … More Tommy “Bug” Kuznicki: Nothing Short of Sensational


Thomas Michael Kuznicki, Sr., the son of Michael and Victoria (Drag) Kuznicki of Dunkirk, and Beatrice Maude Peterson, the daughter of John and Celestia (Merrill) Peterson of Fredonia, were married on June 14, 1941 in St. Hyacinth’s Church in Dunkirk, New York. The pair had met at a barn dance in nearby Fredonia, and, as … More Teacups

Unlucky 13th

When I started researching my genealogy in 2011, I only had a few family stories to guide me: stories about a family bar in Dunkirk, New York and my great-grandfather selling bathtub gin during the Prohibition era. Like any family story, there’s a few details that have changed over the years–but the story, at it’s … More Unlucky 13th

Boxing in Pearl Harbor

Thomas Michael Kuznicki, Sr., my maternal great-grandfather, enlisted in the United States Navy on May 19, 1942 in Buffalo, New York. At the time of his enlistment, he was working as a truck driver at Allegheny Ludlum Steel in Dunkirk, was recently married to my great-grandmother, Beatrice Maude Peterson, and was expecting his first child, … More Boxing in Pearl Harbor