Breaking Brick Walls with the Use of DNA

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I have a great-great grandfather who was born illegitimately in 1855. We know his birth surname was Mims from early census records, but by adulthood he had adopted the surname of his maternal grandparents that raised him. Repeated searches in … Continued

First Ladies: Harriet Lane

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Harriet Lane was the niece of bachelor President James Buchanan. She would serve as his First Lady during his presidency. Harriet Rebecca Lane was born on May 9, 1830 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Elliott Tole … Continued

Presidential Hostess: Abigail Atherton Kent Means

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Abigail “Abby” Atherton Kent Means filled in for her niece, Jane Appleton Pierce, in the duties of hostess under President Franklin Pierce. Franklin and Jane Pierce mourned the loss of their son, Benjamin, in a train accident only two months … Continued

First Ladies: Jane Means Appleton Pierce

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Jane is described as a “delicate” child and adult. Her brother-in-law was an instructor at Bowdoin College to a young man named Franklin Pierce. How Jane and Franklin met is not known for sure, all though this connection seems the … Continued

Presidents: Franklin Pierce

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  Franklin Pierce is one of the most forgotten presidents. He also suffered a considerable loss in his family which lead to depression and alcoholism. Franklin Pierce was born on November 23, 1804 in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He was the … Continued

When Ancestors Are Missing From Census Records

Last week, I shared how researching relatives on the census records with my great-great-grandfather led me to breaking through a brick wall and discovering who his parents were. However, he was not listed on the 1870 census with his parents. … Continued

Presidential Wives: Caroline Carmichael Fillmore

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Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore was the second wife of President Millard Fillmore. The couple married after he left the White House and she never actually served in the role of First Lady. Caroline Carmichael was born on October 21, 1813 … Continued

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