January is the season for it. I made some cosmetic changes to StoriesFromThePast last year. I changed my background, and experimented with new designs, but as readership increased and I began making new connections, the potential of this project became clear. I was connected with readers in unexpected ways, and by the end of the… Continue reading Light Housekeeping Before Major Renovation
Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the first official observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day as a national holiday in the United States, and on this day I felt it important to tell the stories of "othering" in our own personal family trees. Before I get started, let me make a disclaimer. In no… Continue reading Family Xenophobia
Aloha, Olean Kwiatkowskis! This marks the last of the Kwiatkowski Cousin Connections for a while. Time to focus on other branches of the family tree, especially Rothsprack; I'm completely stumped on that one. But first, let me introduce you to my Hawaiian cousins. I've got plenty of them, thanks to a cousin named Leo (or Leon,… Continue reading Cousin Connection #6: Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year!)
In honor of Mexico's Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which officially begins at midnight, November's Cousin Connection comes one day early. Coinciding with the the Catholic All Saints Day, and incorporating garish costumes resembling skeletons, Dia de los Muertos is not Mexican Halloween, but a much more elaborate version of Memorial Day in… Continue reading Cousin Connection #5: Family Lost and Found
I had already published my first Cousin Connection when I met Diedre MacLean, I just didn't know it yet. Diedre contacted me using Stories From the Past's Tell Your Story form after she discovered several name matches from the same cemetery where Kathy, wife of my cousin Chuck, had discovered a connection to me. It was Diedre's WordPress… Continue reading Cousin Connection #4: Evidence from the Grave
The Duck, The Whole Duck, and Nothing but the Duck Quack. But seriously, my New York cousins from my dad's generation are very Polish. I mean, many of them speak the language, and even if they don't, they know a few words here and there and even understand much of the Polish dialogue. Even my father, who… Continue reading Cousin Connection #3: John Woodgie
Stories From the Past is proud to present The Cousin Connection Project. I grew up without cousins. Well, I did have cousins. I knew I had cousins. I had even met three of them. But I didn't know them well, and I didn't even live in the same state as any of them. I was… Continue reading Are You My Cousin?
This isn't a William Faulkner novel, it's reality. It's also not like it sounds. When your family has deep roots in the same area where you were born and raised, it's bound to happen, and it doesn't take much digging to find family members marrying family members. They probably don't even know they were doing… Continue reading Cousin Connection #2 My Cousin Married My Cousin
Four months ago, I began making plans to revive this blog. I began reorganizing my schedule, but just one week later, my plans were thwarted by the news that we were moving back across the country for my husband's job. He had about two weeks' notice, which meant he had to fly out and get started… Continue reading Places to Go and People to See
Once I decided to share the recipe, I realized I would need to figure out exactly how Bernie and I are related. Given the small-sized communities in the region where my father was born, It becomes pretty obvious that anyone with a common surname is going to be related. Bernie was very obliging . . .