About the Descendant

Hello my fellow genealogists and welcome to Descendant Diaries! I’m Kelsey.

So who am I? I’m just like you. I sit in front of the computer, trying to make sense of illegible handwriting on 19th century passenger lists. I walk among gravestones, searching for newly familiar familial names. I reach out to relative strangers thousands of miles away, in the off chance that they have a missing piece of my history. I’m like you. I revel in the hunting, the discoveries, the newspaper stories, the family secrets, and the walks through time.

My affection for history runs deep. I love reading history, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and I volunteer with the Minnesota Historical Society. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I applied my appreciation for history to my own family.

I started going in depth with my genealogy work the way many people do these days; I ordered an Ancestry.com membership and DNA kit. That was in November 2015. Since then, I have spent my time diving into records, attending genealogy classes, and talking with the people who came before me.

I do not see history as only a collection of dates, battles, policies, and records. I also see history as a collection of stories. What did those dates, battles, policies, and records mean for the people who experienced them? How did they feel? What did they think? How were their lives changed?

So I strive to make Descendent Diaries just that, my diary of relating to those who came before me. Those people who made choices, who reacted to internal and external factors, and who eventually found themselves in southern Minnesota, making life possible for me.

I do this because not only do I love stories but I also believe in learning from history. One quote that has stuck with me is, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” I believe that this idea is so true. In my life, not only has history been a great storyteller but also a wonderful teacher.

This blog is not intended to be a how-to. At least not yet. I know enough about this process to know that I really don’t know nearly enough at all. Instead, this blog will bring together two of my greatest passions – history and writing. I am writing this blog to share what I’ve learned, to provide my insights into the process and the stories, and then maybe help some people along the way.

So thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy Descendant Diaries as much as I do!