An Explanation

This is a site about a family’s history.

My family left little behind except a few photographs and some stories that have been mashed together, pulled apart, turned inside-out, and flipped around. There are no diaries or letters, no keepsakes or hand-me-downs, at least that I know of.

In my narratives, or essays, or whatever you want to call them, I use a combination of what I have – little bits of stories and memoirs from my grandparents, vital records, census records, county histories, and maps – to piece together an idea.

Now a disclaimer or two:
My ancestors were not perfect. They committed suicide, had children out of wedlock, cheated on their husband with their sister’s husband, etc. If it is there in black and white, then I write about it. Also, sometimes the stories I hear from my grandparents or others are… colorful. If you are related to someone and have heard or experienced something totally different, I’d like to know.

The other thing is that in my family there are certain traditions that have been held as fact for a long time. Some are, in my professional opinion, not true. One is the story of one of my great great grandmothers was full-blooded Native American. Supposedly had an Indian name and smoked a peace pipe and everything. Turns out, from what I can tell, she was actually 1/4 African – her father was French Canadian and her mother was “African,” her grandmother was German and her grandmother was an African-American named William Harriss who moved to Ontario from Pennsylvania. No evidence at all that anyone in my family is Native American. That might make some people

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