St. Patrick’s Day

Of course, I'm Irish

On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, everyone is Irish, if just for a day. I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps the only holiday where regular folks lie about their national ancestry.  Genealogy is about digging deeper to expose the folklore and myths of our origin stories and find the truth.  So come with me as we dig deeper into the myths and truths of St. Patrick’s Day.   According to the US Census, there are about 34 million Americans listing their heritage as primarily or partially Irish. That number, by the way, is seven times larger than the approximately 5 million actual Irish folks living in Ireland.   Here in America, New York has the largest Irish population; 12.9 percent of its residents claim Irish ancestry, which com ...


Black History Month Honoree

My Roots Foundation seeks to discover and honor the accomplishments of those who have come before us.  In celebration of black history month, we would like to invite you to consider the accomplishments of Glenwood Burden Sr., who in 1961 became the first African American to attend Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina. You can see the full video production on Glenwood Burden at Years ago we helped a client, Gail Burden with her family history discovery.  At this time, and in honor of Black History Month, we would like to point you to one of Ms. Burden’s siblings with a very inspiring story in honor of Black History Month. Integration was spreading across the nation and the local NAACP had chosen a handful of stu ...


Should I use a DNA test kit?

DNA Test Kit   So, you are thinking about using a DNA test kit to further your genealogical research.  Before you swab your cheek, and drop it in the mailbox; there are a few things you might want to consider. One important question to think about is  “Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule protect genetic information?”  According to the Federal Government the short answer is “yes”.  The ‘not so short’ answer is more of a ‘sort of.’   Most people think that genetic data is private. They assume this sensitive information simply sits in a secure database, protected from hackers and misuse. According to a recent article; The Privacy Delusions Of Genetic Testing “Customers are wrong to think their information is safely locked away. It’s not; it’s getting sold far and wid ...


How to Search a Cemetery, Respectfully

How To Search A Cemetery, Respectfully When it comes to locating a relative or ancestor in a cemetery there are a few things I’ll call “cemetery manners” or “cemetery etiquette” that I believe everyone should know.  Here are a few tips on how to search a cemetery, along with some do’s and don’ts.   To begin, you will not need to start at the actual cemetery. Before you visit the land where your ancestor is buried, start your search online. Below are resources on How To Search A Cemetery.   Online resources The bulk of my ancestors graves are located in the State of Florida.  Fortunately for me Jim Powell has done a great job in creating an online Search the Virtual Cemetery application.  Jim and his extended family, have done much fieldwo ...


Finding My Biological Family – an Interview with Cathy Clarke

Cathy Clark Family Photo

Surrounded by biological family.  Second row: Cathy (in the orange cap).  Front Row: Uncle Buddy (86) and Uncle Jean (80).   My friend Cathy is a retired judge in Florida. At first meeting, you notice that her personality has a kick. Call it spunky, self-assured, outgoing, or whatever you choose. There is a quality about Cathy that exudes, self-confidence and a comfortability in her own skin that few people have.  Cathy is also adopted.  We grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, attended the same elementary school, high school, and university.  Our paths diverged after college, but we recently reconnected via Facebook. That is when she told me the amazing adventure of meeting her biological family for the first time.  When she told me her story, I knew this is one for the My Roots Founda ...