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

Barzillai Ansley Scott, Self-made Businessman

What circumstances result in a self-made individual?  In effect, a life journey that is markedly different than one’s parents and even one’s siblings, like inertia did not apply.  Is it the mashing together of the right innate capabilities wonderfully matched to a generation’s challenges and opportunities?  Or is it piss and vinegar driven by tough life lessons that make many fall but others strengthen? The … Continue reading Barzillai Ansley Scott, Self-made Businessman

Grand Traverse Women Ancestors, Introduction

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

Discover Your Roots!

Discover Your Roots book includes great digital research tips and the Wright family genealogy.  A wonderful place to begin your Wright Family genealogy journey.    Bruce Wright, Esq. dug into researching his family tree across multiple years learning about and documenting more than 18 Revolutionary War Patriots.  His journey to undercover this treasure-trove of ancestor Patriots makes for great reading, especially if you are interested in … Continue reading Discover Your Roots!

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