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  • My Extreme Ancestry with Karen Batchelor

    in History

    Karen Batchelor will share the many unexpected twists and turns on her 40-year family history journey and how what she has learned from the past has changed her life.
    Karen started doing genealogy because of a New Year’s resolution in 1976 - before the Internet and computers. By 1977, she became the first known Black woman to be admitted for membership in Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Since then, Karen has discovered ancestors who were slaves and slaveowners, patriots and Puritans and even a colonial witch or two. Her family history in America goes back to the year 1630. 
    With a background in the practice of law and over 40 years of experience as a genealogist, Karen founded Story Mountain LLC, where she helps others with family research. She specializes in colonial New England and the Revolutionary War era; preparation of lineage applications; and analysis of historic legal documents. In addition to her client work, Karen serves as a National Vice Chair of Lineage Research for DAR and is a certified instructor of guided autobiography.  
    Karen continues to research her own family history, making discoveries that have recently led to membership in five other hereditary societies. When not "hot on the trail" of the long-dead but not forgotten, Karen enjoys spending time with family and friends, knitting and has been known to dress up in 18th century clothing on occasion. She lives in a historic 1898 building in Midtown Detroit.

  • Greatest Genealogical Moments with Scott Fisher

    in History

    Scott Fisher - Extreme Genes is a natural for Fisher, a Connecticut native, who has been in radio since his youth, and has spent three decades of spare time as a passionate “roots sleuth.”  A long-time morning show host, Fisher is the author of “New York City Methodist Marriages, 1785-1893,” Picton Press, 1994.  He has also been published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Journal (April 2004), and Catholic Ancestor, Journal of the Catholic Family History Society of England (June 1996).  His ten books on the families of both his and his wife’s ancestors, written over 25 years, fill the better part of a shelf in Fisher’s family room library.  In the spring of 2015, the remains of a murder victim, who had been missing since 1983, were found near his home.  When local authorities were unable to find next-of-kin, Fisher offered his services, locating family after three dedicated weeks of researching, Facebooking, emailing, and telephoning.  The story received national attention, and was written up in People, FoxNews, CBS.com, the 48 Hours Facebook page, and countless newspapers.  Where does the name Extreme Genes come from?  Fisher explains:  “To begin with, Mom was from the Oregon and Dad was from New Jersey.  She was a liberal Democrat and he was a conservative Republican.  They were both from different religions.  As Mom once explained it… ‘Honey, bottom line is… you’ve got extreme genes!’  It’s a perfect name for the radio show!”  Fisher and wife Julie have four children, and five grandchildren.

  • Beyond Kin Project with Frazine Taylor

    in History

    Frazine Taylor has helped people of all ethnic backgrounds to research their family history for over 25 years. However she has witnessed firsthand the frustration and disappointment of African-Americans when the research gets to the year of 1870, and for some, 1866, where they hit the predictable “brick wall.” You can’t go around it, get under it, or go through it, because there is no hope or help!
    Donna Cox Baker and Frazine K. Taylor conceived the Beyond Kin Project in 2016 as a way to encourage and facilitate the documentation of enslaved populations, particularly by recruiting the resources and efforts of the descendants of slaveholders.

  • New York Supreme Court Records at the NYS Archives with Jim Folts

    in History

    Jim Folts, head of researcher services at the NY State Archives in Albany, joins Jane today to talk about the NY State Supreme Court of Judicature and its records. Find out the history of the court, what types of records the state archives holds, and the recent transfer of records from NY City to Albany -- a massive project.

  • Freemasons and Masonic Records with Alvie Davidson

    in History

    Alvie Davidson joins Jane today to talk about freemasonry and the records kept. Find out what freemasonry is and its history in the U.S. Alvie will discuss what types of records were created by masonic lodges and where they can be found.

About History

As Carl Sagan said, "You have to know the past to understand the present." History has shaped our nation's character, and our collective strength is measured in how we came together during our most challenging moments: the Civil War, World War I, Prohibition, World War II, the Dust Bowl, McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Challenger disaster, Operation Desert Storm, 9/11 and countless struggles before and since. But history also contains triumphs, from ending slavery to the moon landing to the fall of the Berlin Wall to Mars rover Curiosity. Join in discussion on these and more with historians, collectors, authors, professors and conspiracy theorists alike. Our hosts also show much support for our troops and military families. In fact, technology has played a big part in bringing soldiers closer to home, as they text, email and Skype from the front, and our “talk to the troops” episodes are always inspiring.

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