About Me

The Biography and Biology of Our Family Histories

How I Found Genealogy:

My husband has friends over to our home every Tuesday night. So the kids and I disappear upstairs and leave them to their “man date.” One night, the kids asked if we could watch tv together. It was Summer and no school, so sure, I said. The only condition – no kids shows. So I turned on PBS. For two weeks we watched a documentary about Queen Elizabeth II of England’s parents and their steadfastness during World War II. The third week, my daughter excitedly asked if we were going to watch the Queen again. No luck on that count, but Finding Your Roots was on.

Professor Henry Louis Gates was profiling the documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns. I had watched his work on the National Parks and loved it. At the end of Mr. Burns’ segment, Dr. Gates asked him who, in all of history, would he be most excited about being related to. Mr. Burns answered, Abraham Lincoln. Well, it turns out that Mr. Burns is very distantly related to President Lincoln.

My kids went berserk! You have to find out if we’re related to anybody cool.

I have family historians on both side of my family – my aunt Bertha Morrissey and my grandfather-in-law Robert Sanner. But I knew very little of our stories. I had a vague memory that my dad’s family had someone who was at Valley Forge with George Washington (it was my mom’s family.) And that there was a rumor that my husband’s family was  related to Bing Crosby (untrue.) My kids asked that I find out with certainty.

So I created an account on Ancestry.com and was completely confident that I could answer all of my family mysteries within the 2 week free trial time frame.

Then I found the story that would change my life. You can read about Benjamin Fisher on his profile page.

Then I found the family secret. I was addicted.

Experience:

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