Monthly Archives: April 2015

In Search of Livelihoods

colonialworkers_1024x1024You know the names and dates, but do you know how your early New England ancestors worked to survive? Tracing these individual stories is challenging with limited records, but not impossible.

As a child, I used my allowance to purchase a family tree fan chart at the former Goodspeed’s antiquarian bookstore here in Boston. This provided my first canvas to visually organize and chart the facts I was collecting. My first objective was simply to fill in as many of the blanks about my ancestors as I could. After all, the fan chart required only names and dates. But then I wanted to know more about them. And for those stories, I turned to my maternal grandmother.  Continue reading In Search of Livelihoods

King Richard III’s Matrilineal Kin

Barbara (Spooner) Wilberforce, wife of William, and matrilineal descendant of Richard III’s sister.
Barbara (Spooner) Wilberforce, wife of William and matrilineal descendant of Richard III’s sister.

News of King Richard III’s reburial last week was interesting, especially the stories regarding descendants of the King’s sister, who each placed a white rose (the House of York’s emblem) on his coffin. These four living relatives (Canadian siblings Michael, Jeff, and Leslie Ibsen, and Australian-born Wendy Duldig) have been called Richard’s “closest descendants” in various news articles. Let’s examine this claim. Continue reading King Richard III’s Matrilineal Kin