• Migration Patterns

    Moving Away Pt 2: Finding Your Interwar Ancestors

    Paris between the world wars.  Exciting.  Creative.  Cheap.  And for many Americans, a much more free place than back home.  Free of social constraints, free of sexual restrictions, and free of the oppressive racism found in the U.S.  In this second part of our look at African American migration to Paris during the 1920s, let’s look at how to find those Jazz Age relatives! While we’re focusing on the African American experience in this series, these research concepts apply to everyone with relatives living in Paris in the period.  The difficulties in hunting down French records seem to know no color boundaries.  The biggest difference is that the white experience…

  • Migration Patterns

    Moving Away: Migration to France Between the World Wars

    Genealogy is generally the search for ancestors who moved to where we are now. But some family members emigrated away to other countries instead.  One example of this “reverse” migration was the flow of Black Americans to France between WWI and WWII.  In this first part of a two-part series, we’ll explore the history of this extraordinary event. The chaos and change of war don’t end when the war does.  They continue to cause disruption for years afterward.  In U.S. history, after the Civil War and Reconstruction ended, Jim Crow laws and violence against African Americans began. This resulted in the Great Migration–the largest internal migration event in our history. …

  • Newsreel,  US Civil War

    Introducing GC Newsreel!

    Welcome to the first Newsreel article!  This is a new feature for sharing quick genealogy news and updates. I know this isn’t (yet?) a short news film but it does include a video so close enough. 😄  Civil War Widow Dies…in 2021 After starting my family research I realized something that blew my mind: My grandmother was partially raised by/near her grandparents (not the mind-blowing part).  And her grandfather had served in the Civil War.  Though her grandparents passed away before I was born, I did know my grandmother before she passed away.  This meant that I knew someone who knew someone that was in the Civil War! A war…

  • Research

    New Year, New Research Form

    We haven’t known each other very long, but I have to confess something.  I struggle with organization.  Wrangling all those family members feels like a full time job! As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m pivoting to life as a full-time genealogist.  Part of doing this was getting my own ship in shape. If I was going to do genealogy in earnest, I wanted to be an example. And not have the genealogy equivalent Monica’s Messy Closet. This should be easy, right? I can hear you laughing now… You Weren’t Supposed To See This – Messy GIF from Messy GIFs Organizing Blues Our historic counterparts had a difficult challenge.  Reams…

  • Holidays,  News

    Happy New Year!

    Just a quick note to say we made it!! May this year be a much better year for everyone! Stay safe and stay tuned for some organization tips to get the year started right! They will hopefully be more helpful than the weight-loss tips we forget by January 15th. 😀 In the interim, check out New Yorkers going wild on New Year’s in this footage from 1938! Have you or your family ever been to Times Square for New Year’s Eve? Let me know below! Image Credit: 2021 Images created with Canva

  • Colonial

    The Mayflower at 400

    This year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage. While this milestone wasn’t the biggest news of the year (😐), it is still important to history. And to the large number of us with colonial ancestors! Since we are all busy this holiday season, I want to focus on some of the new resources released with the anniversary. And for good measure, some additional places to look to find your Mayflower ancestry. Mayflower At 400 400 years ago, the Mayflower landed at Plymouth (Plimouth), setting into motion centuries of myth and legend. While the story we were taught as children is straightforward and sanitized, it left out a…

  • Holidays

    The Sound of Colonial Christmas

    That magical time of year is upon us, when we are frantically trying to get everything done for the holidays. Added bonus: all things 2020 are making the season even more difficult! So let’s take a much needed break and chill out with some traditional Christmas music. While our modern Christmas often looks quite different from our ancestors’ holiday season, we do have one thing in common: Christmas Carols. Music, like food, is a way we can reach across the ages and experience what people in the past experienced. Through our shared musical history, we can connect in a very visceral way. For today, we’re focusing on carols found in…