The Beginning

My passion for genealogy began at a very early age, well before the internet revolution. As a young child, I would often sit at the table and watch my father write and mail letters to the vital records departments of various cities such as New York, Hartford, CT, and Bristol, RI. He was meticulous, organized, and took the time to answer every question I asked. If he didn’t know the answer he would tell me so, and then ask me how we should go about finding the answer to the question I asked.

By my teens, I was accompanying my father on genealogical field trips. Many were to out of state big city libraries, and to the state of Vermont’s vital records center. We even drove down to Tarrytown, NY, and went to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in search of tombstones for relatives. The trip to Tarrytown, NY is one I’ll never forget.

I moved away and lived in Ohio for the majority of my 20s, but my passion for genealogy never wavered. My father began producing a monthly family newsletter booklet and mailed it out to any and every relative who wanted one. He continued producing the newsletters for several years, up until his mother suffered a stroke.

Since returning to Vermont at the end of my 20s, my father and I continued on our ancestral research. Thanks to the internet and Ancestry.com, searching for and viewing census, birth, death, and marriage records became a whole lot easier. The family tree grew and expanded quite a bit during that time.

Fast forward another 10 years with the addition of DNA testing offered through various companies, and half of the family tree we had documented on paper over the last 20 years has been completely wiped out due to what’s called a non-paternity event, or NPE. In other words, someone (or in our case more than one someone) in the tree has found out they have a different biological parent that they never knew about.

Over the next 52 weeks, lots of twists, turns, brick walls, mysteries and scandals will be discussed and revealed. I’ll share my own findings, experiences, and research tips & tricks, and I hope you’ll join me.

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