Fathers of the Past

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Three astonishing explanations of the same mystery

Three astonishing explanations of the same mystery

What became apparent as the weeks and months rolled by was how the search for my father’s birth mother may not result in tangible conclusions. Racing through old documents, photos, even interviews with family members whose memories were faded and flawed led me to conclude the likelihood of never having a full account of what happened, why it happened, and when it happened. All I knew for the better part of my investigation was my 34-year-old grandfather, Bud, in 1956...

FAQs about the search for my father's birth mother

FAQs about the search for my father’s birth mother

This blog, Causing Dad’mage, is generally about modern day fatherhood, the challenges we face, what we can do to meet those challenges, and to relate to one another about our shared journey as parents. However, much of this blog is also about fathers of the past. And I’ve focused much of this work about fathers of the past on a specific topic — the search for my own father’s birth mother and the investigation into what happened in 1956-57 that separated...

A summer surprise in a Cincinnati cemetery

A summer surprise in a Cincinnati cemetery

No lights shined inside the glass-and-marble mausoleum, the contrast of shadow and light at times barely discernible due to the dark rain clouds outside. It was a Tuesday morning, and I was alone. The royal blue carpet softened my footsteps as I used the memories of two long ago funerals to make my way. No map was warranted. I knew where I needed to go. At the far end of the hallway, in a chamber where rain patted floor-to-ceiling windows,...

Two exciting reasons why you should attend HippoCamp 2019
We still need libraries for family history breakthrough
Why I'd love to meet Amy | Family History

Why I’d love to meet Amy

During 22-year-old Mary Catherine’s hour of crisis, one person could have shepherded her through the heartrending experience of losing a child before that child ever takes a breath. If Mary Catherine survived. It’s likely that Mary Catherine’s mother-in-law, Amy Pidgeon, rushed her to The Christ Hospital emergency room in Cincinnati during the last week of October 1945. Mary Catherine, eight months pregnant, probably suffered from severe headaches, high blood pressure, and alarming abdominal pain, symptoms of preeclampsia. She lived with...

Why we love names and nicknames in genealogy

Why we love names and nicknames in genealogy

The sound of a massive book landing on a polished table boomed like a wrecking ball against an old house. I sat and opened its maroon-colored hard cover, the spine cracking arthritically. I’ll bet decades had passed since someone last paged through that book. The book was one of dozens of city directories for Cincinnati, housed in the basement of the famous Union Terminal, where one found the Queen City’s archives. The directory with its hundreds of pages of names...

What no one tells you about investigating family history