When talking about family history, my mom would sometimes tell me the story of an Indian massacre. A distant ancestor of ours had been murdered by a neighboring Indian tribe. She couldn’t remember many details, and I’d always assumed her story was a myth. But while tracing a branch of my family tree back to Read More
Kelly Kautz is writing "The Skeleton Club," a memoir about family secrets. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Connect with her on Twitter @KellyKautz.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania has a long and storied past. It served as the United States capitol for a single day during the American Revolutionary War. Thaddeus Stevens and former United States president James Buchanan both called it home. I call Lancaster home, too. But for years, I considered myself a transplant. My mom hailed from the Read More
Investigative reporter Karen Branan has spent her entire career solving mysteries. She never expected to find the mystery of a lifetime in her own family tree. But while recording her ninety-year-old grandmother’s oral history, Branan learned about a lynching that her great-grandfather sanctioned in 1912. Further research showed that one of the victims, a black Read More
An Intimate Look at Life During the Great Depression For many Americans, Dorthea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” photo is the defining image of the Great Depression. But it’s just one of over 170,000 commissioned by the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information during the 1930s and early 1940s. Meant to boost public support Read More
My friend and I were chatting about genealogy when I mentioned that my one of my ancestors might have belonged to a Satanic cult. “Wow,” she gushed. “Everyone hopes to find an interesting story in their family tree, but you really hit the jackpot!” Well, yes and no. The rumor came from a family interview Read More