Thursday, April 21, 2011


Welcome to my new family history blog.  First a word about the title.   Although there are many unmarried women in my family tree, the "maiden aunt" in particular refers to my grandma's aunt, Laura Marsh, known in the family as "Aunt Lolly."

Yes, I know that the term "maiden aunt" is antiquated and perhaps offensive to our modern ears, but I used the term partly to refute all that it once represented.  In my next post I intend to pay tribute to Aunt Lolly, and by extension, many other single women of the late nineteenth century who were lumped under that label.
Aunt Lolly lived a full, interesting life, regardless of her matrimonial status and her living arrangements (first with her parents and then with her sister, and finally with her nephew).  In reading the few snippets of letters and postcards that she sent to family members I catch a glimpse of her personality and wish I could have known her.  Since that is not possible, I can at least tell her story and invite others to get to know this amazing woman.

As for "Dutch uncles," well, that is a little more straight forward, Aunt Lolly's mother, Laura Klapp, was of New York Dutch descent, hence, there are many Dutch uncles on the family tree.

I realize it is a little unusual to begin a family history blog with collateral ancestors, but why be usual?  And, besides, some of the most fascinating stories I have uncovered in my twenty years of genealogical research have been in the collateral lines.  Too often we concentrate so much on those "eight greats" and continuing the lines backwards that we miss out on the side trips.

So, here's to genealogical journys, side trips, straight forward (or backward) paths and everything in between.  I have been enjoying the ride for many years and look forward to sharing the stories of my family, "maiden aunts, " "Dutch uncles, " and all the rest.