Starting From Scratch
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by Jill Syers Clark
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About the Author
My dad got me interested in our family history after he received a printed lineage from a second cousin showing one line of our family back to 1645. As a teenager I was intrigued when I realized that I'd descended from people who came to America so early; I wanted to find out more. It wasn't until I had children of my own that I seriously began reading and researching. After the death of my maternal grandmother in 1989, I became especially interested in my Scottish heritage. My husband and I joined a Scottish society, and a clan society, plus I got to visit Scotland with my mother in 1991.
My ancestors were from Scotland, England, Germany, Bohemia, and possibly the Netherlands. After immigration they settled in MA, CT, RI, NJ, NY, PA, VT, MD, OH, and finally, MI. Three of our earliest families were STANDISH (of Mayflower fame), HARNED (Kent, England to Salem, MA), and MONROE (or MUNRO) of Bristol, RI, formerly of Assynt, Scotland. I also have ancestors who crossed the Atlantic more recently. The JUZEK family came to Detroit, MI from Bohemia about 1880, and my great-grandparents, Alexander Lumsden LAMOND and Margaret Borthwick HARKES came from East Lothian, Scotland in the first decade of the 20th century. (For a complete list of my family names, visit my personal genealogy website)
My husband, Steve, and I have been married for twenty-two years. We have two sons, neither of whom are particularly interested in family history...yet! Steve and I enjoy taking occasional day trips to the Dallas Public Library which has a fantastic genealogy and history collection on its 8th floor, as well as to southwest Arkansas to research his side of the family. I work as a volunteer in the Golden Gate Genealogy Forum on America Online where I head up the Reunion Center, co-host a Beginner chat on Saturday nights, and the Michigan chat on Monday evenings. I am a member and past newsletter editor of the Dallas Genealogical Society, and the West Michigan Genealogy Society. I'm also the Central Region Vice President and quarterly journal editor for Clan Lamont Society of North America.