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my ethnicity

So this is often one of the first questions people ask me when they meet me: “where are you from?”

“Massachusetts,” I reply.

But often what they really mean is where are you from-from. Where are your roots? What’s your ethnicity? What the eff are you?

I don’t mind the question at all — […]

some secret messages

My father has been going through some boxes from his parents, who died about 15 years ago. He found these post cards/telegrams, scanned ’em, and sent them along:

Here’s a challenge for you.

I found a series of letters from Grandpa to Grandma — some from before they were married some after. The ones in […]


I had never especially been interested in genealogy until a few years ago, when I did a story about blacks tracing their ancestry using the Freedman’s Bank records. Two years ago I briefly joined Ancestry.com, and within moments I was looking at 1920 and 1930 census data for my grandparents. It was amazing.

I learned […]