Author Archives: admin

I Have Been Talking with the Trees

Francis Otto Eggleston, my great-grandfather, lived from about 1915 to 1941 on Glen Road in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, a small suburb of New York with leafy green streets that wind down to the lake of the town’s name. I … Continue reading

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Onath? Mathe? Enath? What Is That Word?

I’ve been reading my great-grandfather’s autobiography. It is written by hand with a fountain pen, with flat, steel-grey ink in narrow rows, making each page dense with words. His handwriting is legible, his letters open and wide, but now and … Continue reading

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Francis Otto Eggleston, “A Poetic and Romantic Boy”

F.O.E. CHAPTER 1: I never met my great-grandfather, Francis Otto Eggleston, a distinguished-looking gentleman with enormous, liquid eyes who, even at 89, stood as straight as the ladder-back chair of his that I inherited. His nose was prominent, but matched … Continue reading

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What Do We “Really” Discover in Our Ancestors?

Why do we do it? Why do we spend our time digging into the past, an exercise that is sure not to change the world in any meaningful way? Why do we spend hours on end combing through dusty stacks … Continue reading

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The Puzzling “White Indians” Who Loved Their Abductors.

Yesterday I wrote about the five Boyd children who were brutally captured by Iroquois warriors in 1756. If that sounds terrifying, it probably was. At least it started out that way. The Boyd children were taken by force, their mother … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, Strange Facts | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

“Mules are Always Boasting that their Ancestors are Horses.”

“Mules are always boasting that their ancestors are horses.” I read that somewhere and busted out laughing. It’s true, isn’t it? And mules aren’t the only ones who do it. I do it. You do it. We all do it. … Continue reading

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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