Author Archives: kjw616

About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.

Thankful for the First Amendment

I did two DNA tests—the first several years ago via Ancestry.com and the second more recently through 23andMe. It was the second test that proved more exciting since it resulted in a connection to a cousin in Russia with the … Continue reading

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Three Days. Time is Up

My Russian grandfather advised my American-born father against joining any political organizations. “You don’t know what is going to happen in the future in this world. You could belong to an organization and later end up getting arrested.” Would these … Continue reading

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Happy Happy!

Every year, the stupid talk about the alleged “Merry Christmas” ban begins anew. When I heard that our president was promising to bring Merry Christmas back again, I was honestly taken aback. I never knew those words were gone. Where … Continue reading

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A Win-Win for All!

I have thought about the purpose of publishing my book for the world to read—other than for a motion-picture deal. (Feel free to laugh!) My objective was twofold: Enlighten readers about a little-known piece of American history. Encourage families to … Continue reading

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Knoshing Around the World

My recent trip to Washington, DC was like attending an international food festival. My husband and I began in Korea, and by the end of the weekend, we had visited eateries representing Venezuela, China, the Middle East, and Russia. Looking … Continue reading

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An Unexpected Contact

For those of you who have read this blog and possibly my book, you know that I spent a lot of time researching the story of my family’s years in Russia beginning in 1931. I did my best to be … Continue reading

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Home at Last

My family recently had our old 8mm home movies digitized, so I have been spending the weekend traveling down memory lane. Among the hours of films were many I had seen, some I had forgotten, and many I never knew … Continue reading

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