Laona Cemetery

Laona Cemetery

This week's 52 Ancestors prompt is "At the Cemetery," and I've been at a loss for ideas. I considered writing about the most interesting tombstone in my family tree--my great-great-grandparents have a life-sized statue of the Virgin Mary and hidden photos of themselves--but I've shared that story here before. All of my local cemeteries have [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Random Acts of Photo Restoration

Random Acts of Photo Restoration

"The Original Photograph" Frances (Nelson) Merrill has always been one of my most elusive "brick wall" ancestors, but little by little, I've found clues to her larger story. Frances, my 3rd great-grandmother, was born on November 3, 1856 in Potter County, Pennsylvania to Leroy and Melvina Sarah (Baker) Nelson. Her mother, Melvina, died when she [...]