How I Solved It: From DNA to Nellie Drag

How I Solved It: From DNA to Nellie Drag

Sometimes, when researching my genealogy, the little things are infinitely the most important. And that's the case for this recent find: 197 centimorgans of shared DNA across six segments led me unexpectedly, finally, to my great-great-grandmother's family tree. I want to share how I solved this Drag family mystery--my recipe for success--in the hopes that [...]

A Picnic for Two Hundred

A Picnic for Two Hundred

I'm not sure what compelled me to research my 5th great-grandfather, Silas Ephraim Nelson, last weekend, but here we are--and I'm very glad I did. It's strange, now that I think about it: I'm always ricocheting back-and-forth between the Hawkins family's schoolhouse, the Kuznicki family's bar and the Merrill family's military service, and the Nelson [...]

My Almost Great-Grandfather

My Almost Great-Grandfather

At the age of 17, my great-grandfather deserted the U.S. Army, packed his belongings into a rucksack and made his way by foot to Lockport, New York. He changed his name to John Gates during a stop in Ohio, married my great-grandmother in Buffalo and raised five children of his own. He didn't tell anyone--not [...]