DNA surname project update

Since 2008 when we submitted a FamilyTree y-DNA test kit, my husband Bill has been part of the FTDNA Hickey surname project.


Heartwarming Christmas story

I admit it. I get teary when I read this kind of story.

Skeletons in the closet

Finding a skeleton in the closet is a concern for many family historians – if not for the researcher, certainly for some member of the extended family who fears the discovery of a scandal.


“Luck of the Irish” shipwreck off Australia

IrishCentral recently published an engrossing article about an 1835 shipwreck off the coast of Australia. The convict-transport ship was carrying 250 prisoners from Dublin and Cork.


Remembering Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2403 Americans, wounded about 1100 and destroyed ships, planes and harbor infrastructure. December 7 became “a date that will live in infamy,” like September 11. This week’s news has carried stories about those who died at Pearl Harbor, as well as the few […]

FTDNA Family Finder results

The report from my Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) autosomal test arrived in an email announcing “New Family Finder Results.” The message went on to explain:


The pirate queen of Ireland

Have you ever wished you knew more about Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland?


A Scarry Halloween

Yes, I know the proper spelling for “scary,” the synonym of frightening. It’s just an eerie coincidence that today I encountered the name “Scarry” in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census.



A week ago we posted a request for help in deciphering a surname on a death certificate.


Can you decipher this name?

One of our readers has been dealing with a mystery, and you may be able to help.