This just in: It unlikely that “my” John Clark built this beautiful grain mill along Yellow Breeches Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. It sure would have been nice to say someone in my family was responsible — it was the first grist mill in Cumberland County, Pa. I thought for about a year […]
Separating fact from folklore
Growing up I never knew whether to believe the stories grown-ups told about my near and distant relatives. The stories seemed too fantastic to be true. This website is dedicated to separating fact from fiction. But the truth, I've found, can be equally hard to believe.
More than 400 soldiers died during the two-hour battle of Iuka, making it one of the fiercest of the Civil War. (Six people died per minute.) Yet today it’s difficult for visitors to this small Northern Mississippi town to find any trace of the battle. Yes, there’s a big, touristy mural on a crumbling downtown […]
My mother left behind a faded picture of her grandparents’ headstone with a note on the back, “North Merchistan Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.” I could barely make out the names on the headstone, Hugh Simmers and Marion Murray. But it was impossible to read their dates of birth and death, which of course would be vital […]
Rhoda Anne Williams and Walter Hinds Doty hadn’t been married too long when a mysterious visitor showed up in their driveway.
Starting with me, this website goes back in every direction, exploring every curve along the way, then doubling back in different directions. I wish my parents were around to see what I've discovered.
“If you go to New Orleans to investigate the roots of Judah P. Benjamin, you may wind up disappointed.”
“Hatevil Nutter was by no means alone in his hatred of Quakers.”