I have always been fascinated by the stories of my family—recent and far past. I was raised on stories of parents and grandparents who lived everywhere from Alaska to Texas, the Highlands of Scotland to the mountains of Lebanon. The more I learned, the more interesting these wanderers became.
Seeing their faces delights me, and piecing together the details of their lives enthralls me. My research has unearthed photographs and portraits I’d never seen–they have faces! Recently I have been looking beyond the people to images of the places. Google Earth is my new best friend. I’ve found houses, churches, schools and workplaces.
The places where my relatives lived and spent their time give a context and settings to picture their lives. I’m a historian and architectural historian by training, so I love research and finding the details that flesh out vivid and vibrant stories. This family history business should never be dry and musty–it’s about getting glimpses of living, breathing people; learning who they loved, what affected the ways they lived their lives, what they saw each day when they got out of bed.
My family moved when I was growing up. A lot. I lived in 14 homes in 10 towns in 5 states by the time I finished college. We moved a lot.
Looking back, that moving business has been going on in a big way for 200 years and more. For at least four or five generations only a few of my direct ancestors on either side ended their lives within 500 miles of where they started. They traveled from Britain to Lebanon as missionaries. They migrated west from North Carolina to Missouri, from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Kansas. Hopped from Baltimore to Alaska to Germany. Generations of nomads.
This blog is my way of sharing the stories I grew up with and the stories I find. My hope is to build it around images of people and places. I am writing for my family, for anyone who might enjoy joining us along the way, and for myself. I hope this may lead to new connections and information, something interesting or helpful to readers. I would love to hear from you!