The Sometimes Insane Life of Hannah Hopkins

Hannah Hopkins fully acknowledged she had bouts of insanity. The implications to her parents Robert and Susannah Hopkins were all too real. Nonetheless, exactly how her insanity manifested itself is hard to discern. What is more apparent is how her parents supported their daughter through her trials. Taking a step back, in Victorian times mental patients were typically labelled with mania, dementia, melancholy or moral … Continue reading The Sometimes Insane Life of Hannah Hopkins

The Fiery Spotsylvania Court House Battle and John Hopkins

On May 12, 1864 at 4:30 a.m. the Union Second Corps attacked Muleshoe salient at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia under the command of Major General Winfield S. Hancock leading to some of the most violent fighting in the Civil War. As part of the Second Corps, the Michigan 26th Regiment joined the charge and was one of the first regiments to plant its colors on … Continue reading The Fiery Spotsylvania Court House Battle and John Hopkins

William Hopkins and the Pennsylvania Oil Boom

In 1859 Edwin Drake struck oil at 69 feet below ground along the banks of Oil Creek in Venango County, Pennsylvania. Drake’s well was one of the first commercial oil wells in the United States. Within a few years the Pennsylvania oil boom was in full swing. Thousands came to the Oil Creek area to strike it rich or just find good work. William Hopkins, … Continue reading William Hopkins and the Pennsylvania Oil Boom

Our DNA Cousins, the Jackson Whites

The DNA trail doesn’t always fit neatly into paper proofs of lineage or family stories. In fact, at times DNA tells a very different story. My DNA cousins, the Jackson Whites, also called the Ramapo Mountain Indians, are part of our family DNA from approximately 5-6 generations ago on the Jones-Sweet and Smith-Edwards lines. This is likely at least a generation or two prior to … Continue reading Our DNA Cousins, the Jackson Whites

Grand Traverse Women Ancestors, Introduction

The peculiarity of telling a woman ancestor’s life story is real.  It is kind of like a puzzle with many pieces permanently missing.  Right up until women started working in large numbers what they did and thought day-in and day-out was typically not captured.  So the puzzle contains few personal pieces in which to construct a life story.   Yes, likely birth, marriage, children, death, maybe … Continue reading Grand Traverse Women Ancestors, Introduction

Emilie, Lilian and Myrtle Gallery

There is something bold, almost sassy about Emilie, Lilian and Myrtle photos.  Educated, ambitious, beautiful, well-off, and talented they were poster women for the times they lived in.   A step-change in a single generation, women were crossing the Rubicon. During the first quarter of the 20th century heady opportunities bubbled in the cities.  Good jobs outside the home. Not the old seamstress, nanny or washwoman options … Continue reading Emilie, Lilian and Myrtle Gallery