Making people real…

It is more about names and dates. It is about putting the meat on the bones. To make our ancestors real. It is about researching their daily lives and proving or disproving family lore. Unfortunately, we are not all descendants of Pochahontas, some of us are just regular folks.

Newspapers are a fabulous way to make our ancestors real. My family settled in upstate New York after the American Revolution, mostly in Clinton County. For me I have found a wealth of information in the Plattsburgh Sentinel. New York has a fabulous resource of New York Historical Newspapers. BEWARE, it is a fun rabbit hole to go down. I spend countless hours there.

I know very little about my husband’s family and my mother-in-law passed in 2013. I remember many moons ago her telling me that her grandmother lived in a hotel. Well I am not sure if they really lived in a hotel but her mother went on vacation with them to Canada. I also found some of the only evidence of her grandparents together though I can not confirm it except in these two news clippings. Patricia Moran and Robert Bass are my husband’s grandparents.  We are slowly building  pictures of his Bass line and it is interesting and makes me feel like a detective as every piece I prove was done with no help. I do talk to my mother-in-law about what I find and I know if she was here she would get a kick out of it all.

Obituaries are fabulous sources for information also, you can sometimes find next of kin and children and grandchildren.

If you have research that leads you to Brooklyn, make sure to check out the Brooklyn Eagle. It is where I found the 2 articles about Patricia Moran and Robert Bass.

I am in the process of drawing up some research goals and a plan for 2018, I am going to want to practice some of what I learned in the Boston University Genealogy Certificate Program so stay tuned for an exciting announcement.


Meet Earl and Frances (Stewart) Witherwax, my maternal grandparents and the reason I started this family history journey.

Chiara DellaVecchia Osborne, Frances and Earl Witherwax on her wedding day. April 5, 1997.

My Grandma was my initiation into our family history, though Grandpa took us everywhere. I think he did it to humor Grandma at first, though he was fabulous at throwing out comments like “I knew we were German.”; when you finally realized the origins of the name Witherwax and it wasn’t English like everyone thought.

These two meant the world to our family and were the heart of the family. They are missed every day. It is because of them I am about to embark on a new journey. The journey into professional genealogy.

I am obsessed with finding out about family history, whether it is my family or into discovering the roots of my husband’s supposedly new to American ancestors. We have debunked that theory though we are still diving down that rabbit hole.

Once upon a time I fancied myself Nancy Drew, now I prefer bringing ancestors to life and finding out their stories, they all have a story. We all come from somewhere and our families wants their story told and to not be forgotten

I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.