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A distant cousin of my husband was labor leader, historian, and scholar Edgar Oscar Challenger (1905-2000), through a shared ancestry of two Madeiran sisters who immigrated to St Kitts. I recently stumbled on a fascinating collection of letters that Challenger wrote in the 1930s to someone he always addressed respectfully…

One of my maternal 3rd great grandfathers was Christian Geyer, who was born in 1795 in Germany and immigrated to Ohio with his large family in 1842. My 2nd great grandfather was his son Edward. Edward had two brothers named Ernest and Gustavus, who both had an important notation next…

My husband’s great-great-grandfather was Richard Johnson Marshall (about 1845-1922), who was born in Antigua. He was educated there to be a teacher, and settled in St Kitts where he worked as a school master for several decades. He may very well have been the son of enslaved parents, and his…

I have written about the startling discovery that my husband descended (through an out-of-wedlock birth) from the Reverend Roger Kedington (1750-1818), a Cambridge educated clergyman who came from a line of lawyers, clergy, and land owners. Although Roger held a series of clerical appointments in the Anglican church, including a…

Looking at period newspaper notices concerning the Victorian photographer Carl Constantine Lyon, I’ve learned a bit more about his photography business and life. CC Lyon created images of the landscape of the West Indian island of St Kitts, but apparently relied largely on income from taking portraits of Kittitians, as…

I was finally able to get to Belfast, post-pandemic, to visit the Linen Hall Library for some research on my husband’s ancestor, the mysterious Mr. Robert Gracey. I knew from marriage records that his daughter, Lilian Ann Gracey (my husband’s 2nd great grandmother) had married Hugh Macauley in Belfast in…

I have traced my husband’s Cannonier ancestors back to the British island of Montserrat. His 2nd great grandfather, John Henry Cannonier, was born about 1832 and died young in St Kitts in 1868. I have yet to establish a definite link between the Cannoniers of Montserrat and John Henry Cannonier,…

I am fortunate to live in the neighborhood of Smithtown, NY, on Long Island. It is the home of Caleb Smith State Park. The park features 543 acres of nature preserves with hiking trails, bird watching, a pond stocked with fish, and the main house and museum. It was home…

I’ve written before about trying to determine if old family stories, passed down over a century or more, are completely true, only partly true, or just made-up wishful thinking. The question of a possible ancestral relationship on my mother’s family tree to the US president James Monroe (1758-1831) has been…

My husband’s great-grandfather Burchell Edward Marshall (1873-1951) was the son of a school teacher who became a prosperous businessman and landowner in his native St Kitts. During the first half of the 20th century, he owned a number of sugar cane estates on the island, which was not typical for…