Monthly Archives: March 2014

Let’s Play Ancestral Name Detective!

First names, like eye color, tend to run in families. In my (ex) brother-in-law’s family, every first son is James, every second son is John. It has been like that for generations. He broke the tradition by a hair, naming … Continue reading

Posted in 16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, Strange Facts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Least Popular Baby Names for 2014

My seventh great grandmother was Fear Brewster, daughter of Elder William Brewster of Mayflower fame.  Fear’s siblings were named Love, Wrestling, Patience, and Jonathan. Jonathan was apparently named before the Brewsters got their hands on the Geneva Bible, which became … Continue reading

Posted in 17th Century, Strange Facts | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’m Finally Embracing My Scots-Irish Ancestry

I’ve never embraced my Scotch-Irish ancestry. In the first place, my mother always emphasized that the word is “Scots,” not “Scotch.” I’m pretty sure it’s because she disliked Scotch’s association with whiskey. And she never hyphenated “Scots” with the “Irish” … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, Art | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

I’m Thinking About the Children

Searching for your ancestors teaches you a lot. When you start to see past the organizational structures of genealogy, past the dates and towns and who begat whoms, you find small truths that touch your heart, or hidden stories that … Continue reading

Posted in 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, Old Photos | 6 Comments

Superstition Day: Pretty Is As Pretty Does

My mother is 93 and still of good mind. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but plenty of her ancestors were from up in the “hollers.” I like to visit her just before she goes to sleep … Continue reading

Posted in Shenandoah, Strange Facts | Tagged | 4 Comments

America: Conceived on a Beer Bender?

It’s time for a break from our John Fitch series. File this under strange facts…. The Mayflower wasn’t heading for Plymouth Rock back in 1620. It was heading for Jamestown, Virginia. It might never have landed at Plymouth at all … Continue reading

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My Mother’s Special Drawer

My mother had her own drawer as a child. With a family of 12 in a four-bedroom farmhouse that’s all she could get, one drawer. But she didn’t feel deprived, she felt special. The way she put it was, “My … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments