A Letter to my Granddaughter

A Letter to my Granddaughter

Dear Granddaughter, Here it is the night of July 4th, 2019, and outside my windows there are fireworks and explosions of my neighbors celebrating Independence Day. Unlike most years, I’m alone this 4th of July. Usually we have a gathering and all the family are here. There is food and fireworks and fun — the stuff of family. But the stuff of family also creates lonely days like this, too. I’m here alone because your Gram has gone out to Atlanta to be there for your birth. It has been 18 long months since she has seen your parents andClick to continue…

Baptist Cousins of Piscataway

Baptist Cousins of Piscataway

Today, the 9th of June, I received an email from FamilySearch.org reminding me that my 7th great grandfather, Jeremiah Drake I, would be celebrating his 312th birthday. It is not often that I cannot immediately make the connection between myself and a name on our tree. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember which line the Drakes came through. Confusing to me even more was a memory of someone telling me that we’re related to Sir Francis Drake, the famous explorer of the oceans who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. So I had to go look, if anythingClick to continue…

The War Experience of Grandpa Carl

The War Experience of Grandpa Carl

I always try to spend a little time with my grandfather, Carl Begich, each Memorial Day. He is, to my knowledge, the only of our family to have given his life in the service of our country. Memorial Day is to honor those who paid the ultimate price. Remembering Grandpa Carl by searching anew anything I can find about him or sharing something I have not shared before on Memorial Day is my way of taking part. It would, in a perfect world, be best to visit his grave and to honor him in person. But he is buried inClick to continue…

Never Done

Never Done

There are two seasons of the year where I see folks focusing on their family history: right around Memorial Day, when we remember those who have passed – and during the month of October, which is National Family History Month. As a Family History Consultant, it is around these times that I frequently hear two common statements: “I don’t know how to do my family history and don’t know where to start” and “My family history is done”. I have not used these pages much to instruct or advise as I thought I would. There is already so much outClick to continue…

Yes, Del Shannon is a Westover

Yes, Del Shannon is a Westover

If you are of a certain age or just a fan of popular American music then you likely have heard the name Del Shannon. This was Shannon’s first big hit in 1961: Everyone knows the song. It was, after all, a #1 Billboard hit. But did you know the Del Shannon is actually a Westover? Over the course of the years since we launched this site I have been asked at least a dozen times how we might be related to Del Shannon, who was actually born as Charles Weedon Westover in 1934. I have largely dismissed the question becauseClick to continue…