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 [...]

Another Brick Wall Bites the Dust

Another Brick Wall Bites the Dust

John & Celestia (Merrill) Peterson with grandsons Robert Peterson (left) & Thomas Kuznicki (right) I've been searching for clues into my great-great-grandfather's past since I began researching my genealogy seven years ago. According to my grandfather, John Peterson was born in Sweden, and he married an American woman, Celestia Merrill, around the turn-of-the-century. Gramps and [...]

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 [...]

Freckles & Cilantro: Reviewing AncestryDNA Traits

Freckles & Cilantro: Reviewing AncestryDNA Traits

Ever wondered where your freckles came from? Or why you hate cilantro? The likelihood that an individual exhibits a certain phenotype is based, in part, on the presence or absence of markers in their genotype that are associated with specific traits. A few weeks ago, AncestryDNA unveiled a new feature--AncestryDNA Traits--that provides customers with insights [...]

Luttrellstown Castle

Luttrellstown Castle

A year ago, my aunt and I traveled to Ireland to learn more about our Irish roots (and to attend a friend's wedding). We ate fish and chips at Reel Dingle Fish Co., took a detour along the scenic Conor Pass, saw the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow at Trinity College and went on a literary [...]