I’ve been at this family history business long enough, six years (the equivalent of 56 years in Internet terms), to be considered something of an expert. So I thought I’d jot down some of the worst advice I received during my quest, for the benefit of neophytes who want to embark on a family history […]
Some families are lucky to have a single relative who invented something famous, like the Egg McMuffin, the fins on Cadillacs, or, more important, the electric fork, which my father used in conjunction with an electric knife to carve a holiday turkey. I consider myself very fortunate to have had three highly enterprising ancestors who […]
The Goren Group recently purchased William Boyce Thompson’s Alder Manor mansion on the Hudson River with the intent to restore it to its former glory. That will be a difficult mountain to climb.
One visitor really stood out last week among the many attendees at the 90th anniversary of the Boyce Thompson Institute: William Boyce Thompson, who came back from the dead to participate in the ceremony. He was, needless to say, hugely impressed with what the Institute had accomplished in the 84 years since last visiting the […]
Marc and Karen Goldblatt, the current owners of Rancho Joaquina, the estate built by my great grandfather in 1924-5, recently treated thompsongenealogy.com to an exclusive insider tour of the historic home, highlighting their extensive preservation efforts. OK, it was really like they were just nice enough to show me around. Maintaining the 6,709-square-foot home, much […]
Why is Rancho Joaquina, my great grandfather’s 6,709-square-foot Adobe Revival home built in 1924-5, worthy of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places? Because it was built by my great grandfather J.E. Thompson, of course. No seriously, what’s the criteria? Why was the gorgeous Phoenix home listed in 1984? An ideal source recently […]
Dr. Bill Webber remembers one particularly snowy day when his close childhood friend, the late Bill Thompson, burst into The Web’s second-story bedroom. There were a couple feet of snow on the ground. “I’m going to give it a try,” announced Thompson, who went on to become the legendary Wallace Sneed, host of The Wallace […]
Several trips to the Boyce Thompson Southwestern arboretum provided no evidence that the cactus named after my great uncle, Echinocereus boyce thompsonii, actually blooms. I even bought one in the visitors center and brought it home to Maryland, where it failed to bloom over several years but did succeed in ruining a couple nice shirts. […]