I Love Lucy’s Jamestown Connections

I Love Lucy’s Jamestown Connections

When my grandparents were first married in 1968, they rented a forest green, two-story home on Highland Avenue in Jamestown, New York. Gramps had just returned from Vietnam, and he was bartending at his friend Sam's bar--called Pilly's Harbor--downtown. One evening, while he was having a few beers with friends, Lucille Ball--the Lucille Ball of [...]

Of Unusual & Heavenly Names

Of Unusual & Heavenly Names

Celestia is of Latin origin, meaning "heavenly," and evokes all things ethereal and otherworldly. It's a diminutive form of Celeste and, more notably, "celestial," the latter of which means "positioned in or relating to the sky or outer space," "belonging or relating to heaven" and "supremely good." My great-great-grandmother was a Celestia; she was born [...]

Finding Lodie & Don

Finding Lodie & Don

I am always inspired by the lost-and-found-photo stories in the genealogy community, when a simple upload to Family Search or Facebook connects a photo found in an antique store or yard sale to the subject's present-day descendants. I love thinking about how many times the photo may have changed hands over the years before coming [...]

Sorting My Ancestors into Hogwarts Houses

Sorting My Ancestors into Hogwarts Houses

You can tell a lot about a person by the house they’re sorted into at Hogwarts, or so I've been told. Back in December, I sorted my family members--Gramps, Grandma, Mom and Aunt Holly--into Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, respectively, and I've decided to sort the previous generation of Kuznicki's and Zielinski's this month. There's [...]

Another Teacher in the Family

Another Teacher in the Family

Ethel Margaret Koons, c. 1912 Finding another teacher in the family always makes my day; it's been my dream to become a teacher myself for years now, and I often feel more connected to the stories of my schoolteacher ancestors than to those long-ago ancestors whose daily lives are more difficult to imagine. Elmer Nelson [...]