I’m using my COVID lockdown time to organize some of the genealogical projects I’ve had on the back burner. One of those is joining the Society of Boonesborough, a lineage society for descendants of early settlers at Daniel Boone’s Fort Boonesborough. My ancestor James Kenney was an early settler at Boonesborough. As James Kenny he … Read more

Coping with Eostre

Many neo-pagans resist scholarship because it destroys the fantasy. “Every possible religion that ever was and is is the result of a cultural soup with borrowed elements from everywhere and there is no such thing as a pure, unique, and original religious background. It was like that in the past and it is like this … Read more

Jacob Howry

I’m a member of Sons of the American Revolution through my ancestor Capt. Andrew Grant. I’ve been thinking lately I might want to do supplemental applications for other qualifying ancestors. There are a lot of them. My first thought was to do a supplemental application for James Kenney, because my mother and sister belong to … Read more

Indigenous Religion

I like this post about indigenous religion by ReligionForBreakfast. There are some important points here. My neo-pagan chums often have a weak understanding of indigenous religions, even though that’s what they are trying to recreate from the fragments of their own past. Place, relationship to land Power, sacredness located in the landscape Protocol, ceremonial obligations … Read more


The 1850 census of Deseret (really taken in 1851) shows two boys in the household of Stephen Luce. There’s a mystery here. The Mormons got to Utah in 1847. The Luces arrived in 1848. Everyone was still settling in when Brigham Young decided to conduct a census that would be the official 1850 census of … Read more

Jukes and Kallikaks

Not many people remember it now, but biologists used to like the idea of eugenics, improving humans by controlling who is allowed to reproduce. In that whole muddle the Jukes and Kallikaks were iconic. In 9th grade biology our textbooks had a chapter on genetics. Mendel and all that. I was already a fledgling genealogist. … Read more

American Exceptionalism

White supremacists make a basic mistake about history. They imagine we live in the same world our ancestors did. They’re just wrong. Our ancestors in America had to learn how to live on the Frontier. The Indians knew how to live here, but the settlers didn’t. In the process of adapting the settlers created a … Read more

Defining Family

In modern culture wars one side thinks there is something sacred and eternal about our “traditional” family structure, while the other side wants to experiment. Medievalists just laugh. I think it’s safe to say most people don’t realize how family structures have evolved through history, even in our European diaspora. We don’t live in the … Read more

We Love Stories

Have you ever thought about the ways all stories are the same? They’re all about a “descent” followed by a “return”. Think about Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey.  Genealogists love stories. They’re the very essence of why we collect our kin, so I think it’s worth pushing our skill and understanding. We should want … Read more