Dear Dave: I Found Your Father – 52 Ancestors #184

My Dearest Brother Dave, It’s been 6 years last week that you left, departed this side, leaving your broken earthly vessel behind. Six very long years. I thought the sun would never shine again, but somehow you arranged a gloriously … Continue reading

The Unexpected Bounty of DNA Testing – Friends and Family of Heart

When I first started with genetic genealogy in the year 2000, I was interested in proving (or disproving) specific stories about my Estes ancestors as well as learning more about as many family lines as I could. I hoped that … Continue reading

Independence Day – Life and Death – Organ Donors, Angels and Wings

Today is Independence Day – the 4th of July – where we in the US celebrate the birth of our nation.  However, my cousin is celebrating a very different sort of victory today – a very personal Independence Day – his life. This week, … Continue reading

Unwelcome Discoveries and Light at the End of the Tunnel, 52 Ancestors #156

Mother used to say that things happen in groups of 3. These past couple weeks have proven her old adage to be true. What an emotional roller-coaster! Sooner or later, every genealogist meets an ancestor they really don’t like. One whose … Continue reading

April Fool Meltdown Thanks to William Sterling Estes – 52 Ancestors #154

You tell me, is this a good day or a bad day, genealogically speaking? You discover that your father was married under an alias. Ugh, not probably good. You discover the alias that your father was married under. That’s good, sort … Continue reading

Proving Your Tree

With all the recent discussion about Ancestry’s new “New Ancestor Discovery” feature rollout, and some wrong individuals being assigned as my ancestors, some people have been asking the question, “How do you know your tree is right?”  In other words, … Continue reading

William George Estes (1873-1971), You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive, 52 Ancestors #53

Bloody Harlan, it’s called, and aye, for a reason it is.  Yes, indeed, Harlan County, Kentucky is and was a place where justice is decided and meted out outside of the law as often as within the law.  Families often … Continue reading