About Jeanie Croasmun

Jeanie Croasmun has been working at Ancestry.com while futilely attempting to prove the horse thief story in her family history for over seven years. During that time, she learned enough about her family to determine that the story is likely a great work of fiction. But the search continues ...

Past Articles

Tell Us Your Story

Posted on May 5, 2010 in Stories, Who Do You Think You Are?

Ever since watching Sarah Jessica Parker find a link to the California Gold Rush, I’ve been hoping to find one in my family tree, too. I have family in California (some of whom show up repeatedly in marriage and divorce records) but my research says they all migrated in the 20th century. Still, each episode of… Read more

Seven Great Lessons from Who Do You Think You Are?

Posted on May 4, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

Beyond just being entertaining, there were valuable family history lessons to be learned in the first season of Who Do You Think You Are? Here are seven of my favorites: Lesson #1.           Always verify the information. Sarah Jessica Parker’s search for family proved that not all obituaries are perfectly accurate. Her ancestor’s obituary gave a… Read more

3 Great Reasons to Dig City Roots

Posted on April 27, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

I admit it – I spent part of my life being bitter that my family was big-city only. As a kid, I had no farm to spend the summer on visiting Grandma and Grandpa, no chickens to feed, no front porch to sit on, no cows to milk. It didn’t get any better once I… Read more

Working Through Other People’s Family Trees

Posted on April 6, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

I’ve never had quite the success that Brooke Shields did when she traced a family line back multiple centuries on Who Do You Think You Are? I’ve considered myself lucky just to get to the 19th century with most of my family. But one of the biggest finds I ever stumbled upon was very similar to what helped Brooke… Read more

Small Details Make a Big Difference

Posted on March 30, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

Did you catch the reference to “Joe the postman” in Matthew Broderick’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? While the moniker was mentioned in passing on the show, to researchers working with Matthew’s family history, “Joe the postman” was the key that opened up all sorts of doors.  Matthew’s grandfather’s name wasn’t entirely… Read more

Getting Your Own Expert Opinion

Posted on March 23, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

Like Lisa Kudrow, I also have family lines that lead to Eastern Europe – both of my grandmothers hail from there. I was also relatively certain that there was no way I’d find out anything about those lines once they left U.S. records. There were plenty of times I wasn’t even sure they were in… Read more

Am I Related to Everyone with My Last Name?

Posted on March 16, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

It probably makes statistical sense that Emmitt Smith would run into a distant cousin when he visited Burnt Corn, Alabama. If your family put down roots in a small town and remained there for any length of time, at least a handful of descendants could still be around the town today. In Burnt Corn, which… Read more

Lining Up Your History

Posted on March 9, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

I hated history in high school, a fact that seems absurd to me today since now I’m surrounded by it. But back then, history was just a bunch of names and dates and events that had no impact on me whatsoever. Or so I thought. Age does funny things to you. Gravity aside, it’s also… Read more

Did You Calculate the Dates?
Who Do You Think You Are? Episode 1

Posted on March 6, 2010 in Who Do You Think You Are?

My first thought when I saw that obituary handed to Sarah Jessica Parker was that there was no way John S. Hodge could be John Eber Hodge’s dad. John Eber was born in late September 1850; by my calculations, that’s just a bit too late for him to be the son of a miner who… Read more

Truth Is Better Than Dull Old Family Fiction

Posted on March 3, 2010 in Ancestry.com Site, Who Do You Think You Are?

I’ve been told all my life that I come from a family of horse thieves. How else can you explain turning out a last name like Croasmun when a perfectly simple-to-spell version, Crossman, exists? But family stories aren’t always as they seem. Take actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s family story, which says she’s from a family… Read more