Monday, March 31, 2014

52 Ancestors - #13 - Family Loss - Jessica Samuel Gray

Alan and Jessica Samuel
Probably 1935 or 1936

Today was a sad day. My Aunt Jessica was laid to rest after nearly 79 years on this earth. But this post is not really about her - it's about maintaining family connections. Jessica was my father's sister. After many years of being estranged, she and my father rekindled their relationship a year or so before he passed away in 2008.

At his mother's service today, my cousin Lowell reminded us of the importance of family. It seems the smaller our family becomes, the more we work to stay connected. Our respective parents would be happy to see that their re-connection has extended to my generation and hopefully beyond.

Monday, March 24, 2014

52 Ancestors- Week #12 - A Genealogist's “Theory of Relativity” – Am I related to Albert Einstein?

This week’s post doesn't focus on a specific relative but instead considers the concept of what actually constitutes a "relative". Who do we include in our family tree?

Albert Einstein
I get periodic emails from updating me about the progress other people have made on “our” family tree. Usually I pay them little attention as most updates concern some obscure collateral relative. Today’s email caught my eye. According to my fifth cousin, Mark Alan Goldsmith, is related to Albert Einstein. Hey! Wait a minute! If my relative is related to Einstein, then it stands to reason I am too.

I logged on to my account, then clicked on the name “Albert Einstein” in the email message. 

Within minutes I received an email from

Saturday, March 15, 2014

52 Ancestors - #11 Redux - A Genealogical Goose Chase

Sheldon Leonard
Famous writer, actor and producer
Dad- you did it again!! Yet another one of your stories has sent me on a wild goose chase. This time, it might have been embarrassing. Last week I posted #11 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I didn't have a lot of time, so I chose someone I knew almost nothing about: the famous actor/writer/producer Sheldon Leonard.

My father, Alan Edouard Samuel
Born July 24, 1932
This picture was taken in 1954 during Dad's Navy service.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

52 Ancestors - #10 - Miniatures, My Mom and Me - Doris Lichtenthal Falcone

This is post is a departure from my usual family history posts. March 5, 2014 would have been my mother’s 82nd birthday. Mom’s legacy lives on in many ways in our family; her cooking, her humor (well….WE think it’s funny), her incessant picture-taking (very much appreciated by this genealogist daughter!) But there was one special thing Mom passed on to me that was not really shared with my siblings (except for maybe my youngest sister…) - her love of dollhouse miniatures.

Today’s post focuses on one of my mother’s favorite hobbies. Warning – it’s a long one!!