23 and Me-Genealogy and Memoirs by Cher’ley

This post by Cher’ley Grogg

An 80-year-old couple was having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor, to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctors, they explained to the doctor about the problems they were having with their memory. After checking the couple out, the doctor tells them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and make notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left. Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair, and his wife asks, “Where are you going?” He replies, “To the kitchen.” She asks, “Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” He replies, “Sure.” She then asks him, “Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” He says, “No, I can remember that.” She then says, “Well, I also would like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down cause I know you’ll forget that.” He says, “I can remember that you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.” She replies, “Well, I also would like whip cream on top. I know you will forget that so you better write it down.” With irritation in his voice, he says, “I don’t need to write that down, I can remember that.” He then fumes into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, he returns from the kitchen and hands her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment and says, “You forgot my toast.”

As we age, we contemplate more and more about our ancestors, and maybe even writing a Memoir. I love doing family history that maybe will make its way to a memoir someday.

How far back can you trace your family tree? I started doing genealogy about 20 years ago I worked hard at it for about six years and accumulated loads of information about my ancestors. Not long ago, I kept seeing these advertisements on TV about 23 and Me. My ears always perk up when I hear the words family tree or genealogy. So they were showing people who had connected to long lost relatives, and also people who would find out exactly where their ancestors came from and what percentage of each nationality you are. Ancestry really interested me. All I had to do was pay $108.00 and send in a DNA sample. So I did.

I am:

99.1 % European Mostly British & Irish, some Scandinavian (Viking)—A little French & German,

             And bit of Iberian (Spain, Portugal)

     9 % American Indian



 Viking female using the drop spindle

Growing up I was told I was mostly English and Indian, I guess I’m a little more English than Indian. I know I am a sub-tribe of the Shawnee. With names in my family like Dicken and Baker (English), Baker is also an Ohio Indian Surname (many English sounding names are also American Indian), Swan is Indian, Kibble is Scottish, Thress is German, Jakobson is Norwegian, Founds is Cornish from the “lost” medieval villages and hamlets and they spoke the Celtic language. I found a few tidbits here and there that were interesting. I love doing the research, but I don’t have much time to devote to it.

.two weathered stones standing at an angle on a grassy hill, with a third doughnut-shaped stone between themMên-an-Tol is an ancient lith site in Cornwall



She looks like my Great-grandma, except my Grandma didn’t like to wear glasses.

Miniature portrait of Charles Dickens (aged 18) by Mrs Janet BarrowCharles Dickens at 18.

This page has links to Memoir Books to read: Types of Memoirs and Examples

Here are some types of Memoirs: 

  • Family legacy
  • Intersection with history or politics
  • Nostalgia
  • War
  • Public or Celebrity Life
  • Charity or Service
  • Personal Struggle or Witness
  • Social or Cultural Struggle or Witness
  • Advice Based on Experience
  • Coming of Age
  • Rags to Riches
  • Spiritual Journey
  • Travel
  • A Second Coming of Age
  • Romance

I don’t believe we have any Memoirs Writers, but if you were going to write a Memoir, which one would it be? I think mine would be Nostalgia.


If anyone is going to do 23 and me, please let me know. If you use my name and number, I get credit. Thanks. And yes, I thought it was worth the money.

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 
Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

38 thoughts on “23 and Me-Genealogy and Memoirs by Cher’ley

  1. I’ve just never been that interested in genealogy. My ex-stepmother-in-law (not sure that’s a thing) spends all of her time doing that. She gave me a big spiral-bound book with my ancestry back many generations. I must admit I barely looked at it. That might make me weird or something, but I just can’t get interested in it for some reason. But if I were going to write a memoir it would either be family legacy or spiritual journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think as you get older, you get more interested, unfortunately by the time we get interested, most of the people who could give us info have passed on. At least you have the information if you ever want it. I did all that research for 6 years, and I’ve never looked at it since then (over the past 16 years), but now I’m getting interested again. Joe, do you keep a journal?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am definitely inteested in genealogy and have done some reserch like you, Cher’ley. I’ve not recently done any more sleuthing but it’s becoming easier every day to get access to places for reserch that weren’t availble even a few years ago. The family saga that I’ve started and plotted out to around 3 books uses some situations that have been uncovered during my family research but the novels are purely fiction and not actually based on my own family past. Ancestry research regurgitates some amazing information! I’ve not done the DNA seach yet, but If I did I’d want to do one which didn’t band together Irish, Scottish and English roots as ‘British’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did the 23 and Me a year ago and have been connected to some cousins not too far removed. My dad and uncle are interested in genealogy more than I am. I was hoping they’d join, but they haven’t. Unfortunately I don’t follow the account much. Regarding a memoir, some people have told me that I should write one based on my background. But I think it would be boring and if I dug really deep, it would probably embarrass people so it’ll probably be best to leave it alone for now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do geneology for not only my family, but the women doctors I research. It is endlessly fascinating and so much can be learned and some inferred. I have done some nostalgic memoir writing, but will probably do more in other areas if time permits. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t been bitten by the genealogy bug yet. My mom did some research on her “aristocratic” French-Canadian family a number of years ago, and my older brother tried to find out about our dad’s background. Don’t know what happened to their info (both gone now). There was bad blood between the families and my folks seldom talked about them. I was a very late child and would love to know more about my folks’ early life. Need to keep bugging my much-older sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Kate, it is good to find out any info you can from anyone you can. I was going to take my phone and record my aunt as I asked her some questions, but before I got around to it she died. Hope you can find out something from your sister. Cher’ley

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I felt connected to this post because lately I’ve been talking to my mom about her experiences married to a Chinese man as a Canadian woman. In the 60s, this was practically unheard of and didn’t exactly go over well with either family. I’d love to write her memoir and we’ve often talked about doing it together as a project. She’d talk and I’d write. As she gets older, this is becoming more and more important to me. I don’t know if I’d want to write it from her perspective as a younger sheltered woman and her journey meeting and marrying my father or from my perspective growing up with two culture-clashing parents (who ended up divorcing years later) in a mostly white suburban neighborhood in Orange County. But it’s definitely something I’m itching to write. Great opening by the way! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah, even if you can’t writer it at this time, get all the info you can, so that later you will have it. I wish I’d gotten more before my Mom, Dad, Grandparents, and Uncle and Aunts had passed. Even just a bit more, here and there would have been nice. Thanks for reading. Cher’ley

      Liked by 2 people

  8. My friend Sharon has lots of Indian blood too. She was born in Oklahoma back in the mid-50s. I’ve a cousin who is a genealogist. Back about 10 years ago he traced my maternal grandpa’s roots back to brothers from the Palatine arriving in Philadelphia in 1748. He discovered that an ancestor served a six-month enlistment in a militia unit in the Revolutionary War. I know quite a bit about both sides of my family. Some of the stories I’ve been told about ancestors I’ve used as short stories, including the one you’re familiar with — Ethel and Raymond’s love story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike, you do know a lot about your family history, I love the story of Ethel and Raymond, and your other stories as well. You also have a lot of live history in your life. You’re family was very connected. Palatine-is this one of the hills in Rome? You probably had family in the Civil War as well. Cher’ley


      1. Palatinate is a little province between France and Germany. In German history, the lands of the count palatine, a title held by a leading secular prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The Palatinate became the bulwark of the Protestant cause in Germany.During the War of the Grand Alliance (1689–97), the troops of the French monarch Louis XIV ravaged the Rhenish Palatinate, causing many Germans to emigrate. Many of the early German settlers of America (the Pennsylvania Germans, commonly called the Pennsylvania Dutch) were refugees from the Palatinate. I’ve also read that many Anabaptists from Switzerland — including Mennonites and Amish — fled to Palatinate to escape religious persecution. With the French being Catholic, you can see how many of the Protestant Palatines would want to migrate to America and seek new lives. I figure that is why my Grandpa Frog’s ancestors chose to book passage and sail to Philadelphia.


      2. Yep, do have some family Civil War history. On my dad’s side, my Grandmother Nan and her two sisters liked to tell the story of a female ancestor who was murdered by a slave during the war. I figure maybe their grandmother Sarah from the Kentucky Craig family told them the slave story. One of Sarah’s forebears led Virginians from Spotsylvania Court House to Kentucky in 1781 in what is now known as the Traveling Church. Apparently there was a schism in Baptist Church and one Lewis Craig helped lead some of the congregation to Kentucky a few years after Daniel Boone. On my mom’s side, her maternal great-grandfather had been a Union cavalryman from Pennsylvania. In the fall of 1863 during what became known as the Mine Run Campaign, Great-Grandpa Jonathon Edwards got cut off and was captured General Lee’s troops. He was imprisoned at Andersonville Prison. It ruined his health. Mom said she could remember seeing him walking in a walking chair with his long white beard. Grandma said mom must have adopted someone else’s story as her memory… as he was long dead when mom was born in 1929.


  9. Intriguing post, Cher’ley — I didn’t realize memoir was divided into so many categories. I’ve considered writing about my parents’ 10+ years spent in the mountains without running water or electricity, something along the lines of “Modern Pioneers” (they lived that way from 1981 to 1996) — I have mom’s journals and really should do something with the idea … in my spare time! LOL I had a neighbor help me with my ancestry and I did enjoy it, but had to put it all away until the winter when my writing life slows down. I certainly learned a lot about my ancestors on my dad’s side by doing it; next go ’round will be mom’s side of the family. Thanks for an enlightening post!


    1. Gayle, you should make that a priority now, especially with your mom’s journals. I wish I had done more when my Mom and Dad were alive. Even when my aunts and uncles were alive. I missed the boat on all those wonderful stories. Cher’ley


  10. I have been without internet or phone service for 10 days (except for a brief time during one four wheeling trip) as we have been camping in the Rocky Mountains. So have a lot of blogs to catch up on! This was very interesting (snagged with the opening) and have enjoyed all the comments. My sister did geneology until a couple years ago and researched several sides of the family at once. I now have about a dozen bags of information I am storing and hope to go through some day before I die! She has it in suitcases as well as bags. Another part of our family researched one side back to the 1620’s arrival in America and connections to some famous people. I am interested but lack the time.


    1. Neva, I put mine in page protectors and put them in notebooks. I have about 6 very large notebooks stuffed with information I will probably never get a chance to go through. I also have a lot on several CD’s somewhere. Who are the famous people you are connected too? I have really enjoyed the comments too. Cher’ley


  11. Mike, thanks so much for the explanation. I love that you know all that history. You will never run out of ideas, and you certainly should do a couple of memoirs. My youngest grandson had an imaginary friend. It was his “Old Dead Grandpa”. He would say things like, “Me and My Old Dead Grandpa went fishing today.” I think he’d heard stories of my dad and that became his friend. Perhaps she did see her Grandpa. Cher’ley


  12. Hi Cher’ley. I love genealogy and used to be into it big time. Lately, I’ve been getting interested in it again – just wish I had more time to devote to it. I’m not into memoirs, but I have put info about my ancestors into my fiction writing.


  13. I’m a little interested in finding out about my ancestors. I know I’m part English, Irish, Scottish and French. I’ve thought about writing a memoir. Not sure what kind I would write though. Advice based on experience maybe. Or perhaps nostalgia.


  14. My sister in law did a lot of genealogy research for both her family and mine. I still have all that information, but I can’t remember a lot of it. I’ll have to dig it out of the file cabinet. 🙂


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