Ancestors unKnown: Interview with Dana Saxon

Christine: I am having a conversation with Dana P. Saxon, Founder and Executive Director of an exciting resources for teachers, youth, and community organizations called Ancestors unKnown. Dana, on the website, readers can learn about the profound impact genealogy research had on you and why you developed Ancestors unKnown. Briefly, what would you say was the […]

How to Use this Blog

The other day, I was attempting to give a quick tour of this blog to a friend who expressed some interest in tracing her own family history. In the process, I realized that so much has been posted here, it isn’t very clear how to use this blog. Where do you start? Do you start […]

Biogeographical DNA

I have now had an opportunity to compare biogeographical DNA results from two different companies – AncestryDNA and 23andMe. (As explained in an earlier post, biogeographical DNA ancestry is based on the idea that after humans began to migrate out of Africa, population groups who lived in different regions of the world over time developed distinct […]

Different Kinds of DNA Analysis

In 2006, I had my DNA analyzed through Ancestry by DNA; results are described in an earlier posting. I am in the process of obtaining results of an analysis done through 23andMe. Plowing through results is helping me understand different kinds of DNA analysis. I’ll post another blog entry or two as I learn more. […]

Ethnic Studies and Critical Family History

How do Ethnic Studies and Critical Family History connect? Does Critical Family History have something to offer to the teaching of Ethnic Studies? I began pondering this question about fifteen years ago while teaching an undergraduate course entitled “Culture and Cultural Diversity.” My students were very ethnically and racially diverse; typically, there was no ethnic majority group […]

Teaching Critical Family History

I began developing the concept of critical family history after I had retired from the university and had time to “play” with questions about my own family history. Aside from publishing a couple of articles and giving several conference presentations about the concept, until recently I had not had an opportunity to teach critical family history. […]

German-American Internment in the U.S. Heartland

I became interested in German-American internment during the two World Wars when I found out that roughly 11,000 German Americans were, in fact, interned – a history few of us know. While none of my German-American ancestors were interned, one of my great-grandfathers, a German Methodist minister born in Germany, could well have been interned […]

Family History Books for Kids

How might teachers or parents guide young family historians? Just like considerable information exists in books and on the Internet for adults, so too are there many websites and books for kids. Here, I review three family history books for kids in the U.S. I selected them more or less out of a hat. When […]

Researching Cherokee Ancestry

“I’m part Cherokee.” I have heard people say this all my life, and I used to say it myself until a DNA test showed otherwise. The question of who is part Cherokee (or another tribe) comes up publicly at times, such as when Elizabeth Warren recently claimed Cherokee ancestry. The question also surfaces for many […]

Critical Family History and Sundown Towns

Christine: I am having a conversation with James W. Loewen, author of many well-known books including Lies my Teacher Told Me and Teaching What Really Happened. We are talking about critical family history and sundown towns. Jim, I didn’t know I had grown up in a sundown town until I read your book Sundown Towns. I […]