Death

Memories of the Woodruff farm, “sugar bread,” and picking daisies…

Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (5 August 1850 – 27 May 1927) with grandsons Dick Brown and Charles Brodhead, circa 1924, at the old Woodruff Farm on Conant Street in Hillside, NJ. The house still stands, but the barn and fields are no more.

The old wooden bucket used in my great grandmother’s kitchen to hold sugar

Last year I came upon the above photo of my great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff. She is pictured outside the barn of the old Woodruff farmhouse in Hillside, NJ. The house still stands, but the barn and surrounding fields were eventually lost to development. This is the only old photo I’ve seen of the premises there, and the fact that it includes my father and his cousin Dick Brown makes it even more special.

When my late Dad retired in the late 1980s, he set out to write down his recollections of the years in his life leading up to his marriage to my Mom; his logic for stopping there was that we all knew what came next. At the time that bothered me, but all these years later, I can see his point. Why potentially ruffle the feathers of your kids and other family members by writing something they may read some day and take the wrong way?

Wm Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary

Of course, I am exceedingly grateful for the details he left us about his growing up years. Here are some recollections of 1927 that pertain to the old Woodruff family farm house and the wooden sugar bucket (photo, right):

…Grandma Woodruff died. A real blow to everyone. I remember seeing her in her casket in the living room of the old farmhouse on Conant Street in Hillside, NJ. I remember going into the field and picking some daisies and bringing them in the house and placing them in her stone cold hands. I remember the old barn. One day the young hired hand dared me to eat horse feed. I did and got sick as a dog. I remember an old horse-drawn wagon in the yard. Dick Brown (my cousin) and I used to play on it and pretend we were driving. Grandma used to make me ‘sugar bread’. Homemade bread, home-churned butter with lots of sugar on it. She also fed me lots of sweet tea. Nothing not from scratch!…

My Dad’s Grandma Woodruff had six daughters with her husband William Earl Woodruff. I have no contact with descendants of the sisters of my grandmother but, of course, would be pleased to hear from any of them at any time.

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Categories: Angus, Death, Heirlooms, Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Obit for Mary Jane Woodruff (1833-1916)

Grave of Mary Jane Woodruff (and her younger brother William Henry) in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Grave of Mary Jane Woodruff (and her younger brother William Henry) in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Just a brief post today: the nearly 100-year-old obituary notice for Mary Jane Woodruff, daughter of Henry King Woodruff and Abby Winans Angus Woodruff, which was saved along with a bunch of other clippings by my grandmother.

Mary Jane (single, never married) died on November 30, 1916, at age 84, at the home of her cousin Mary Martha Angus Knowles (1846-1922) and Mary Martha’s husband Austin Fellows Knowles (d. 1924). (Their beautiful house located at 924 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ, was featured in a previous post.)

Below is a tree showing how they were related. My great-grandmother Wealthy Angus Woodruff, one of Mary Martha’s sisters, was a cousin as well. She lived a little less than 3 miles away on the Woodruff family farmhouse located on Conant Street and was probably a frequent guest in the Knowles’ home.

Mary Jane was buried in the First Presbyterian Churchyard. She shares a gravestone with her younger brother William Henry Woodruff (1836-1913).

I have another Woodruff obit to share, but will do so in a separate post. Have a great day, all.

1-Jacob Baker Angus b. possibly 13 Oct 1786, c. 26 Nov 1786, First 
  Presbyterian Church, Albany, NY, d. 27 Mar 1828, Hester Street, New York 
  City, New York USA, bur. Methodist Society Cemetery, New York, NY
 +Mary Winans b. 1784, Elizabethtown, NJ, d. 27 Nov 1824, New York City, Kings 
  County, NY, bur. Stone #1249, First Presbyterian Church yard, Elizabeth, 
  Union Co., NJ
|--2-James Winans Angus b. 10 May 1810, New York City, New York USA, d. 23 
|    Dec 1862, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of 
|    Elizabeth, NJ
|   +Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, d. 7 Mar 
|    1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. First 
|    Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|  |--3-Mary Martha Winans Angus b. 20 Aug 1846, Mexico City, Mexico, d. 16 Jan 
|  |    1922, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
|  |   +Austin Fellows Knowles b. Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., PA (Jim Thorpe, PA), 
|  |    d. 20 Aug 1924
|--2-Abigail Winans Angus b. 16 Jul 1812, Albany, New York, USA, d. 16 Mar 
|    1905, 1177 S. Chestnut St., Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. First 
|    Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|   +Henry King Woodruff b. 1806, New York, USA, d. 1852, Elizabeth, New 
|    Jersey, USA
|  |--3-Mary Jane Woodruff b. 1833, New York, NY, d. 30 Nov 1916, Home of Mrs. 
|  |    AF Knowles, 924 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. First Pres. 
|  |    Church of Elizabeth, Union, NJ

Angus_MaryJaneWoodruff_obit
Knowles_house_924ElizAve


Categories: Angus, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Knowles, Obituaries, Presbyterian, Woodruff | Tags: , | 4 Comments

1902: A milestone year for Abigail Winans Angus Woodruff, sister of James Winans Angus

Angus_AbbyAngusWoodruff

Abigail Winans Angus Woodruff’s 90th birthday. Newspaper probably Elizabeth Daily Journal

On the morning of 16 July 1902, Abigail Winans (Angus) Woodruff (1812-1905) awoke in her home at 1177 South Chestnut Street in Elizabeth, NJ, to begin celebrating her 90th birthday. Abigail made it into the newspaper that day on the occasion of her newly acquired nonagenarian status, and thanks to my grandmother who saved the clipping, I can share it with you today. Many came to meet and greet Abigail, who was “in the possession of health and strength, and received her guests in a most affable manner.” (On a side note, not surprisingly the house on Chestnut Street no longer exists, which is a shame; I’d love to see what it was like.)

Abigail’s older brother James, my 2nd-great-grandfather, died in 1862 at just 52 years of age, and because of that I always think of him as being someone from the fairly distant past. But the fact that his sister, and brother Job (1821-1909) for that matter, made it into the 20th century just goes to show that there were indeed some very good genes in the family, and were it not for an unfortunate twist of fate (an unpleasant bacterial skin illness), James may have made it into the 20th century as well.

Abigail was married to Henry King Woodruff (1806-1853), who’d died nearly a half century before this 1902 celebration. They’d had three children together: Mary Jane (1832-1916), Jacob (1840-1847), and William (1842-1913). So two of the three children were present for their mother’s milestone festivities.

Unfortunately, another clipping from 1905 reports the sad news of Abigail’s demise on the 16th of March of that year, but it’s obvious from reading the clipping that hers was a life very well lived, and that she enjoyed the support of the community and a great many family members. The clipping offers us a little snapshot in time of the funeral, and because it names names, we know with certainty where some of our ancestors were on that day in history. I learned, for example, that my great-grandfather William Earl Woodruff was a pallbearer (he was married to Abigail’s niece Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff, James & Wealthy Angus’s daughter) at the funeral. Other pallbearers included nephews Charles Dujah Angus, Job Winans Angus (Jr.), and George Welsh Angus—all sons of my 2nd-great-grandparents James and Wealthy Angus; and two sons of Mary Martha Winans Angus Knowles (another daughter of James & Wealthy). Abigail was buried in the historic First Presbyterian Churchyard.

Angus_AbbyAngusWoodruff_obit

Abigail Winans Angus Woodruff’s 1905 funeral. Newspaper probably Elizabeth Daily Journal

Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution 'R.E.H.'.

Grave of Abigail Winans Angus Woodruff in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Categories: Angus, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, Obituaries, Woodruff | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Obits for James Easton Brodhead (1851-1943) & son Nathaniel (1891-1956)

Brodhead_JE_obit

James Easton Brodhead

James Easton Brodhead

Today I’m posting a couple of obits saved by my grandmother—one for James Easton Brodhead, who lived until the ripe old age of 92, and one for his son Nathaniel Boyd Brodhead (1891-1956) who sadly was not so fortunate in the longevity department. He died at age 64 of a heart attack while aboard a Naples-bound train in Lakeland, Florida.

Other sons died fairly early as well. John Romeyn Brodhead (1880-1936) died of a heart attack in May 1936 while playing tennis in Flemington, NJ. He was just 55. And brother Walter died in the same year as his father. He was 65. I don’t know the circumstances of his death.

Please see past post(s) for more about this family.

Brodhead house

James Easton Brodhead family residence on Main Street in Flemington, Hunterdon Co., NJ

Brodhead_NB_obit

Categories: Brodhead, Connecticut, Death, Flemington, New Jersey, Obituaries, Stamford | 2 Comments

Andrew Douglas Brodhead obituary

A. D. Brodhead

A. D. Brodhead (1853-1917)

Brodhead_AD

Obituary, probably from the Elizabeth Daily Journal, May 7, 1917

My great-grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead (known to many as ‘Doug’) passed away 99 years ago today, on May 6, 1917, a day that would have been his father Andrew Jackson Brodhead‘s 94th birthday had he lived long enough.

When I first started working on our family history 5-6 years ago, I knew hardly anything about Andrew Douglas. Over time, images of him surfaced, as did brief mentions of him in letters and a few articles, but I’d always wondered about the circumstances of his death. Well, the answer came during the “great garage clean-out of 2016” when I discovered this obituary; it describes the very sad circumstances of his passing.

Brief as it is, the obit speaks volumes as to what kind of man he was and offers insight into his life’s travels—from Mauch Chunk, PA, to Perth Amboy, and then to Elizabeth, with his latest place of employment being in NYC.  Father of Frank, Lewis, and Andrew. Husband of Margaret Lewis Martin. I’m sure this event was a huge shock for all the family, including all of Andrew’s siblings and their families. Thankfully, they were a close-knit bunch and looked after each other, something that makes a big difference in how we get through such things.

Categories: Brodhead, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Obituaries, Presbyterian | 9 Comments

More on Lewis D. Brodhead (1884-1933)

Brodhead_LD_obitAmong the newspaper clippings saved by my grandmother was this brief article, likely from the Elizabeth Daily Journal, that reports the death of her brother-in-law Lewis Dingman Brodhead on December 8, 1933. It provides a bit more information than the one from the New York Times I’d mentioned previously in this post. And the new details tell us that my Great Uncle Lewis died fairly immediately of a heart attack at the corner of 4th and Trumball Streets, Elizabeth, NJ, in the plant belonging to the American Swiss File and Tool Company. He was pronounced dead by the arriving ambulance workers from Alexian Brothers Hospital. His body was taken to the morgue at 628 Newark Avenue, a building that now looks abandoned and in need of repair.

This property at 400-416 Trumball Street looks like it could definitely have been there in the 1930s, so perhaps this building was once the plant in which Uncle Lewis worked.

It’s sad to think of him leaving his house at 520 Jefferson Avenue that morning, never to return again. He was just 50. The house he lived in, built in 1902, is a multi-family home today and it may have been multi-family back then as well. He lived with his widowed mother Margaret Martin Brodhead, and I can only imagine the shock she and everyone felt at this sudden, unexpected loss.

Interesting, but not surprising, the article makes no mention of Lewis’s wife Mildred Hancock whose last known whereabouts were Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where she and Lewis resided in the 1920s. I assume they divorced, and then all mentions of Mildred were swept under the carpet. Some day I hope to find out what happened to her.

Brodhead_Lewis_Pottsville2

Categories: Brodhead, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Obituaries, Pottsville Schuylkill Co | Tags: | 2 Comments

Frank M. Brodhead, Jr. (1913-1914)

Brodhead_FMJr

Frank Martin Brodhead, Jr. – age 11 months

To my knowledge, this is the only photo we have of my Uncle Frank (1913-1914, son of Frank & Fannie Brodhead) who at 11 months of age died suddenly in the family’s Elizabeth, NJ, home. The photo, a recent discovery of mine, was mixed in with old newspaper clippings, and I was very grateful to come across it.

I’ve never been able to find the exact birth and death dates for Frank, and the little obit that was saved by my grandmother is undated. I think it probably appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal whose issues, I believe, are only available in certain libraries, on microfilm. The loss of Frank was sudden and the grief, perhaps, too deep to make note of dates. In any event, I will keep looking for them—the cemetery must have a record—but, more important, I want to get this little image posted so that Uncle Frank is not forgotten.

Frank was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in neighboring Hillside (Find a Grave). A second obituary appears below his. It is for James M. Hefley, son of Morris and Mabel Hefley. I think it’s likely that my grandparents knew this family and saved the two as one clipping.

Tiny obituary, probably in the Elizabeth Daily Journal

The tiny obituary, clipped by my grandmother, probably appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal

*****************************************

‘One morn I left him in his bed’
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)

One morn I left him in his bed;
A moment after some one said,
‘Your child is dying – he is dead.’

We made him ready for his rest,
Flowers in his hair, and on his breast
His little hands together prest.

We sailed by night across the sea;
So, floating from the world were we,
Apart from sympathy, we Three.

The wild sea moaned, the black clouds spread
Moving shadows on its bed,
But one of us lay midship dead.

I saw his coffin sliding down
The yellow sand in yonder town,
Where I put on my sorrow’s crown.

And we returned; in this drear place
Never to see him face to face,
I thrust aside the living race.

Mothers, who mourn with me today,
Oh, understand me, when I say,
I cannot weep, I cannot pray;

I gaze upon a hidden store,
His books, his toys, the clothes he wore,
And cry, ‘Once more, to me, once more!’

Then take, from me, this simple verse,
That you may know what I rehearse—
A grief – your and my Universe!

Categories: Brodhead, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, New Jersey, Obituaries | Tags: | 2 Comments

Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus (b. 1918) – killed in Italy on 28 July 1944

Angus_WWII_obit_EDJ

Among my grandmother’s belongings: A news clipping that most likely appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal, end of July/August 1944

Among my grandmother’s collection of news clippings was this small mention of the death of Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus from bullet wounds received in the line of duty somewhere in Italy on 28 July 1944. Samuel enlisted in the Army in February 1942, and served with Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade. He was buried in Florence American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. For links to his grave information, click: Find a Grave and American Battle Monuments Commission.

Samuel was the grandson of Job Winans Angus whose “letters from Texas” and obituary notice appear elsewhere in this blog. Samuel had one sibling named Betty. The two were the children of Grace Kendall and Rev. Harry Baremore Angus, an ordained Presbyterian minister who died of influenza on 30 April 1919 at the young age of 35. Grace, who incidentally lived to be 100, and daughter Betty must have been terribly devastated by Samuel’s loss. And I’m sure it sent shock-waves through the extended family, especially given the fact that some of Samuel’s cousins were also still in service, in harm’s way.

Thank you, Samuel Kendall Angus, for your service and for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are remembered and deeply appreciated.

Update 3/11/17:

I found a mention of Kendall in a letter written by Lavinia Angus Marthaler (his grandfather’s sister) to my grandmother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead. The letter was dated 29 Dec 1943: …I received a “V” from Kendall this Monday, from Italy, written Dec. 1.

Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen

Wikimedia Commons – no copyright restrictions – released by US government – “Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen”

== Summary == The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy. From the [http://www.abmc.gov American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) web site] per their [http://www.abmc.gov/copyright.php copyright info]. [[Category:American Ba

The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy.  US government image – no copyright restrictions – public domain

Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Florence American Cemetery – Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

 {{flickr| |title=DCP_3156 |description=American soldier cimitery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |photographer_location= |photographer_url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Wikimedia Commons – American soldier cemetery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Angus, Death, Florence American Cemetery Italy, Obituaries, Presbyterian, WWII | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Job W. Angus obit reveals Mayflower connection

Angus_Job_W_obit 002

Elizabeth Daily Journal clipping from my family’s archives

Some of you may recall my Job Angus “Letters from Texas” posts. There were four of them altogether. Well, my grandmother saved Job’s Elizabeth Daily Journal obituary, offering me a bit of biography—and a photo to boot. The obit was published on 3 April 1936. This Job Angus was my grandmother’s uncle. He was the cousin of Nettie Angus Moulden from my last post, and was named after Nettie’s dad, Job Angus—the one with the connection to Lincoln’s White House and Washington, DC, building projects.

I suppose the biggest surprise in the obit was the reference to the Mayflower. I’d NEVER heard that before. Needless to say I was excited but skeptical. However, it seems like the connection may well be valid as I found some handwritten notes left behind by other relatives who were also interested in establishing the exact links. So, I just need (in my spare time, ha ha) to find them. [If anyone out there has made this connection already, by all means please let me—and this blog’s readers—know.]

The connection is purported to be with Mary Allerton, one of the 106 Mayflower passengers. She was four at the time and traveling with her parents Isaac and Mary Allerton. Little Mary grew up to marry Thomas Cushman whose father Robert Cushman was one of the organizers of the Mayflower expedition.

I need to connect Mary and Thomas Cushman with the known Cushman in my family tree: Wealthy Cushman of Hartford, Connecticut, who married Isaac Jaques. Apparently Wealthy’s father’s name was Eleazer Cushman and her mother’s name was Mary. After Eleazer died (circa 1795), Mary remarried and had two more children.

I’m afraid that is all I know at this point, but thought I would pass it along.

Links:
Job Winans Angus on Find a Grave
Jeanette “Nettie” Tillou Angus on Find a Grave
Son – Samuel Kendall Angus

Categories: Angus, Cushman, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Mayflower 1620, Obituaries | Tags: , | 10 Comments

Lavinia Pratt Angus Marthaler outlived all 10 of her Angus siblings

Angus_Lavinia_obitSince writing my original post on my Dad’s Great Aunt Lavinia (‘Vean’) Pratt Angus (b. 9 February 1859, to James Angus and Wealthy Jaques), I’ve come across some old letters of hers as well as this brief obituary. In my original post, I’d assumed Lavinia passed away in the 1940s, but in fact she made it to 1953/54, reaching the age of 94.  She and her cousin Nettie Angus Moulden, who was four years older than Vean and nearly reached the age of 106, appear to be the longest lived Angus children of their generation.

From reading Vean’s letters, I can tell that she was sharp as a tack at least almost to the end. It turns out that her old housemate Elizabeth Booth, mentioned in the original post, was actually a cousin of hers, but I still have not figured out how they were related.

Vean ended up leaving Montclair, NJ, in late 1949/early 1950 to move down to spend her final years with her niece Mildred Woodruff Brown (my grandmother’s sister) in Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Mildred (b. 1884) had been married to Dr. G. Carlton Brown, 25 years her senior, and was by then a widow.

In one of Vean’s letters to my grandmother (her niece Fannie Woodruff Brodhead), she revealed that she used to refer to her older sister Wealthy (Fannie’s mom) as ‘Jennie’—and that explains the question I had had about Wealthy’s ‘trendy autographed fan’ in this post. At the time, one astute reader had commented that Jennie used to be a nickname in the 1800s, and she was exactly right to suggest that that could have been the case with the inscription left on Wealthy’s fan.

Now, unfortunately, the obituary notice does not indicate the newspaper in which it appeared or the date. But, since she was 94, it would have to have been published between 9 February 1953 and 8 Feb 1954. If I ever find the exact date, I’ll update this post. Then the ‘mystery’ of when exactly Vean passed away will be solved completely. But, of course it’s not the start and end dates that matter, but everything in between, and it certainly seems like Vean lived life to the fullest and made the most of all the years she was given.

Categories: Angus, Clayton Gloucester Co, Montclair Essex Co, New Jersey, Obituaries | 2 Comments

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