February 27, 1988 |
The paintings on the two huge canvases were titled "Blackwell's Kinfolk from 1789. " Both showed the Blackwell family tree - one based on an oral tradition, the other based on written records. Both were thick with foliage, and on each branch and each leaf was the name of a Blackwell offspring. Many of the 175 or so people who attended the beginning of the three-day Black Family Reunion Conference last night were drawn to the paintings. Likewise, they were drawn to "Lady" Thelma Short Doswell whose historical research was the basis of both family trees.
November 5, 1987 |
A man who identified himself as the "Lindbergh baby" stopped by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania recently to research his roots. And the day's mail brought an appeal from a Graterford Prison inmate seeking proof that the man he was convicted of killing never existed. The society couldn't provide much help to the two, but most customers shopping for ancestors at the East Coast's premier roots archives can be satisfied. On a recent day, the joint Pennsylvania Historical Society/Genealogical Society library at 13th and Locust streets was humming with more than 25 visitors only minutes after opening.
July 31, 1992 |
William Williams Keen James is standing near the grave of his most illustrious ancestor, Dr. William Williams Keen Jr., in Woodland Cemetery. Suddenly he notices a headstone in the family plot for William Williams Keen III (1847-1928). "Who the hell is that?" exclaims an astonished James. "My God, I have some research to do. " Keen James - as he likes to be called - is a member of, perhaps, the oldest family in the Delaware Valley. The Keens arrived in the Delaware Valley in 1642, when Swedish settlers Joran and Guran Kyn came to Chester in primitive "New Sweden" Kyn was pronounced "Keen.
November 27, 1988 |
Because a couple of large oak trees take up most of the airspace in our garden, I have to make a pilgrimage to the Morris Arboretum from time to time to see my very favorite large tree, the katsura. Cercidiphyllum japonicum is native to East Asia. Paul Meyer, Morris Arboretum curator, thinks the largest Morris tree, which is now about 70 feet tall with a spread of 100 feet, was probably planted in Chestnut Hill around the end of the 1880s. John and Lydia Morris, the brother and sister who started the arboretum on their private estate in 1887, would assist plant collectors in financing trips and receive seeds in return.
February 14, 1988 |
Tucked safely inside the covers and between the pages of photo albums and scrapbooks, Florence Houston stores her memories. Houston has collected stacks of photographs - some faded, some sharp, many in color, others in black-and-white. In the living room of her Camden rowhouse, she sifts through them, chattering contentedly about each, vividly describing people long dead so that for the moment they seem close by - their departure forgotten. They were all kin, members of the Primas family, her mother's people.
January 19, 1999 |
Anna V. "Aunt Anna" Lyons, a fiercely proud Irishwoman who kept a running count of every bud, twig and branch on the family tree, died Saturday. She was 88. A longtime resident of Southwest Philadelphia, she most recently lived in Bustleton. A retired secretary at the old Quartermaster Depot in South Philadelphia, Lyons, who never married, through the years recorded by number the birth of every grand and great-grand niece and nephew. Before she became ill a few years ago, the figure was almost 110 . . . and counting.
May 1, 1994 |
When Jo Eslinger started tracing her family tree, she found that her great- grandfather's tombstone listed him as "COL. George Mordica" of Kansas. Thrilled by the idea that her ancestor might have been a colonel in the Civil War, she kept digging. What she learned was that the "COL. " meant Company L. And her noble colonel of a great-grandfather turned out to be a drunken chicken thief who was discharged from the war because he broke his leg when he fell off his horse before seeing combat.
March 2, 2008 |
Ever wonder where your family came from, or whether you could be a descendant of royalty or a famous person? The Internet makes it easier than ever to find out. It's so easy, says Jan Alpert, president of the National Genealogy Society, that researching family trees has become not only a favorite hobby but a national trend. "The earliest genealogy society in the United States was in New England in 1845," Alpert said. "The difference is that it was all about blue blood and money.
July 28, 1996 |
Helen Wujcik's father, Joseph Horneff, always warned her not to look into his family's history, for surely, he'd say in jest, she would come across a horse thief. Good thing Wujcik didn't listen, because she and her sister, Midge Davis of Cherry Hill, discovered a great-great-great-great-great-great-great surprise. Their genealogical journey stretched back 10 generations and 368 years to the central German village of Gundernhausen, where they discovered another branch of the Horneff family and an ancestor common to both branches, the village church treasurer Andreas Horneff, born in 1628.
October 30, 1994 |
It used to be that tracing your family tree meant finding out where your ancestors hailed from, what year they set foot in America, and which place they first called home. Now that search for identity and roots is being done for a different reason: to see if you can control your own medical future by learning what ailed your relatives in the past. Whether you get heart disease or diabetes or cancer, whether you live a long life or die an untimely death, is dependent at least in part on the genes you inherit.