Salt of the Earth

Recently I have noticed a rise in discussions on whether or not a woman should keep her maiden name when she gets married. When I was in college in the early 1980's I had a particularly broad-minded professor who had taken on his wife’s name by hyphenating both together. With gay couples now able to... Continue Reading →

What’s In A Name (Part 1)

What does one do when they’ve been given a family name, a weighty name—a name bestowed through multiple generations—that doesn’t feel quite comfortable to bear? Such is the case for my husband. He was named George Diller Herr, III. This was never a name he thought much of or has been particularly attached to. He... Continue Reading →

Someone Else’s Ancestor

In my very first blog post, Peace from the Pieces, I mentioned the project I have been working on—ghostwriting a book about someone else’s ancestor—and how that work fueled my curiosity about my own family legacy. Last month, the book William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen was officially published. At the... Continue Reading →

Revolutionary Roots and the Fourth of July

  Caveat (added 1-3-2014): Dear Reader- please note that I have received new information concerning some of what I have reported in this particular blog- specifically as it pertains to Henry Zartman's homestead and the Zartman cemetery. I hope to clarify this information and go back to Dornsife to visit another cemetery where I am... Continue Reading →

Do What Makes You Happy…Recollections of a Daughter on Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day. It’s been more than six years since my father, Dick Otte, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 69, on Sunday, April 30, 2006. I can’t say I dislike Father’s Day, but it’s still not easy. What complicates things further is that yesterday would have been my father’s birthday. As a young... Continue Reading →

It’s Good To Be Queen

If you haven’t heard by now…Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee…sixty years on the British throne. It’s been interesting to see how many Americans have joined in the celebration. I will readily admit that I myself sat in front of the “telly” this past Sunday to watch the BBC broadcast of the Thames Jubilee... Continue Reading →

Es ist gemütlich

I was dreaming in German last night… for the second night in a row. The problem with that is, well, I really don’t understand German. I actually studied the language in school…two years in junior high, two years in high school and a painful semester freshman year of college. I suppose it says more about... Continue Reading →

You Have My Grandmother’s Eyes

Last August, I talked my mother and my husband into attending our first Zartman Family Reunion, an annual event that takes place on the second Sunday each August. We were vaguely aware of these reunions, but despite living less than two hours away from the location, we never quite made the effort to find out... Continue Reading →

Unanswered Questions and Channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder

Last week I went down a rabbit hole and never ended up posting anything. I’m not sure what drove me down this particular hole, but for some reason I started looking into the Wood family...and got sucked in for a number of days. I have several Wood and Woods lines that branch off my ancestral tree at... Continue Reading →

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