The Hare With Amber Eyes

The Hare with Amber Eyes

One of the pleasures of reading family history is the way it skips across boundaries. Instead of one thing, you get two: family and history. Read this way, the story of your clan can be thrilling. All at once, you find your ancestors hobnobbing with French Impressionists, corresponding with poets, or dodging the Gestapo. It’s…

Mariann S. Regan's "Into the Briar Patch"

The Legacy of the Briar Patch

Into the Briar Patch: A Family Memoir by Mariann S. Regan My rating: 5 of 5 stars Long before family historians begin formal research, they pass through an informal stage of inquiry. This casual phase, in which an outwardly passive child or adolescent absorbs lore handed down through the generations, is nearly universal. Most of…

Christopher Benfey's "Red Brick Black Mountain White Clay"

Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay

As I move more deeply into the effort of writing a family history, I find myself reading more widely in the genre. You can’t work without taking stock of the precedents in your line. To write a family history, I have to come to grips with the genre itself, to learn lessons from those who…