The First Thanksgiving Took Place in Virginia, not Massachusetts


Remembering some of my earliest history lessons--Our teachers got it all wrong!  All those days at school coloring, cutting out and pasting turkeys, pilgrim shoes, hats, and hearing about the first Thanksgiving shared by pilgrims and "Indians"? Here's the real scoop on the first Thanksgiving celebration . AUTHOR: MATT BLITZ  PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 18, 2015 IN THE WASHINGTONIAN MAGAZINE … Continue reading The First Thanksgiving Took Place in Virginia, not Massachusetts

They Migrated From Maryland to Virginia – Just 300 Years Apart


Our eldest son moved his family from Maryland to Lynchburg in Virginia's Southern Piedmont Valley about 12 years ago to allow his sons to attend Christian colleges there.  He knew little of the area's history but found a home and a job just outside Bedford County and the City of Lynchburg.  As it turns out, … Continue reading They Migrated From Maryland to Virginia – Just 300 Years Apart

Does Art Imitate Life or Life More Often Imitate Art?


In recent years, several excellent historical drama series have emerged that depict the life and times of ancient peoples and cultures.  We sit back comfortably in our chairs, on our couches, or even lay back on our bed pillows and watch in high definition color on our flat screens as peoples' thirsts drive them forward … Continue reading Does Art Imitate Life or Life More Often Imitate Art?

Life and Times of Edward Boling and Mary Wharton


Background Recently, I updated a surname report to cover all 12, 495 persons in my ancestral tree, which has grown from 10,772 since I produced my first post on surnames in 2014. Based upon my analysis of surnames, it turns out that my father's family was much larger than my mother's.  And, the gender ratio among … Continue reading Life and Times of Edward Boling and Mary Wharton

Observing Women’s History Month and Honoring One of America’s First Women Immigrants


    Background Just 30 years ago in 1987, the United States Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity.  This action came eights years after Molly Murphy MacGregor, a member of The National Women's History Project, was invited to participate in The Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, which was chaired by … Continue reading Observing Women’s History Month and Honoring One of America’s First Women Immigrants

Expect the Unexpected — John Rolfe Was Here, Too!


Where Are We? We are about 1,500 miles away from home in the Caribbean on the West Indies Island known as Hispaniola--the second largest island in the Caribbean within the Greater Antilles.  It occupies an area of 29,418 square miles. Haiti occupies the western third of the Hispaniola island and the remaining eastern two-thirds make … Continue reading Expect the Unexpected — John Rolfe Was Here, Too!

Back From the Future – Part 2


 A Quote from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, June 2014: Christopher Columbus never reached the shores of the North American Continent, but European explorers learned three things from him: there was someplace to go, there was a way to get there, and most importantly, there was a way to get back. Thus began the European exploration of … Continue reading Back From the Future – Part 2

From The Future Back . . .


Destination: England's 16th Century Rolfe Family Absent any DeLorean or maverick scientist like Emmett Lathrop "Doc" Brown, we're headed from the future back to a time before there was this great country known as the United States of America.  But, "Holy Scott!," we're crossing the Atlantic Ocean, departing from 21st Century Jamestown, Virginia, aboard a … Continue reading From The Future Back . . .

John Rolfe – Just One of My Family’s Immigrants . . .


The Early Modern Period Over the next twenty-eight days, we will be revisiting my 11th paternal great grandfather’s story once again.  It is a story that dates back to 1585--the 585th year of the 2nd millennium, the 85th year of the 16th century, and the 6th year of the 1580s decade.  Although much has been … Continue reading John Rolfe – Just One of My Family’s Immigrants . . .

America’s First Entrepreneur


A Documentary about Pocahontas and the man who changed her life--Jamestown Virginia's settler, Captain John Rolfe.

“Tapp-ing” Into Lives in 19th Century Spotsylvania County


Local author, Pat Sullivan, penned and published the post that follows on Saturday, September 2014.  It is a far more intimate story of Phenie Tapp's (my second great aunt) family than my post "Bi-racial Relationships of the 60’s–the 1860’s!", penned May 14, 2014. My post tells about my second great-grandmother Catharine Elizabeth "Widow Tapp" Dempsey (descendent … Continue reading “Tapp-ing” Into Lives in 19th Century Spotsylvania County

3 Generations Exploring and Reflecting in the Big Apple


On Thursday, November 10, my daughter Jen, her son Aaron, and I departed Maryland. We hopped aboard Amtrak's Northeast Regional Train and set our sights for The Big Apple. My youngest grandchild, Aaron, soon to be 14, had never been there or even traveled on a train.  It's Fall, the trees were in their full Fall … Continue reading 3 Generations Exploring and Reflecting in the Big Apple

Native Americans, White People, and Scottish-Irish Emigrate to North Carolina


Native Americans A recent blog post focused on my maternal great-grandmother Mary Susan MORRIS's family--our native american heritage through the Morris branch--and the freshly fallen bricks of a wall I had been up against for years. White People Not abandoning this wall, but continuing on, I returned to my maternal great grandfather--Grandmother Susan's husband, John Carpenter Ford's (1864-1961) family. Similarly, I found … Continue reading Native Americans, White People, and Scottish-Irish Emigrate to North Carolina

FORESTVILLE–1700′s to 1900′s


Tucked away in the basement of the Greenbelt Public Library in the old town of Greenbelt on 11 Crescent Avenue, is a single room packed to the brim with historical information within the collections of the Frederick S. DeMarr Library of County History. It was here, among the many shelves of old documents, books, maps, newspapers, and … Continue reading FORESTVILLE–1700′s to 1900′s

What’s All This Fuss About a Groundhog Named Phil and Punx’a’what?


From my May 26, 2013, blog post, Busted "Brick Wall" Reveals More "Chambers" "…So again yesterday morning, I decided to start over once more with basic research techniques for the elusive Chambers within our family's ancestors. Among my review of earlier research and findings of Frank Maynard Chambers, through my contacts with the Las Vegas Bunker … Continue reading What’s All This Fuss About a Groundhog Named Phil and Punx’a’what?

20 Signs You Went to Catholic School


Honoring, laughing with and apologizing... I am honoring, laughing with, and apologizing to our three children who may relate all too well to my reblog of the 20 Signs You Grew Up in Catholic School, below.  I read this post on the heels of my daughter and I attended a Catholic funeral a couple of … Continue reading 20 Signs You Went to Catholic School

Revisiting a 20-Year-Old Oral History from Frank and Norma Boling


Oral History Interview American Studies Class – 1993 the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus By Student, Jennifer L. Dickinson About the Interviewees Frank Burton and Norma Florence (Ford) Boling [my maternal grandparents] are in their mid-60's.  Frank is a retired Federal Government Employee—a pressman by trade.  [Born in the mid-1920’s, and married in their teens], … Continue reading Revisiting a 20-Year-Old Oral History from Frank and Norma Boling

My Other Uncle John–Blair, that is…


John Blair, Sr., 4-term Acting Governor of Virginia: He sat on Virginia's Governor's Council for over 25 years and was a favorite nephew of James Blair (1655-1743), an Anglican Minister and Founding President of William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. Among John Blair's many personal and professional accomplishments that follow, he also was father … Continue reading My Other Uncle John–Blair, that is…

Hello Again, World – My 145th Post


My First Post - Eight Months Ago Eight months ago on November 15, 2012, I published “Hello World“--my 341-word first blog post ever, under the category of Witches and Witchcraft.  I wondered then if some of my family from among the 40 generations I have traced back could have been among those accused of witchcraft … Continue reading Hello Again, World – My 145th Post