Brexit and the Irish Border: Let’s Explain It!

Shout out to my friends and family in America who still think that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are all one country, and part of the UK. America has its own shitshow of problems, so it isn’t surprising that so many ‘Muricans have no idea what is going not with Ireland and Brexit. It’s okay. I’ll explain it in terms that can make this accessible to most anyone. Let’s start with the basics: One Island, Two Countries Ireland is a single island, but it is comprised of two separate countries:… Read More

A Tragic Bar Fight, 1884

A terribly true story of my great-great grandfather, Lorenzo, and his brother, Rufus, taken directly from eyewitness accounts in court records. On the afternoon of September 16, 1884, Rufus Eldridge and Lorenzo “Ron” Stevens, farmers living on adjoining properties in London, Ontario, drove their horse-drawn wagon to Nilestown, Ontario to purchase “domestic supplies”. Lorenzo was a 41 year-old bachelor who managed the family farm and cared for his mother. Rufus was his 48 year-old half-brother and close friend who was recently married and had just become a father for the first time. His son… Read More

What Happened to the 1890 Census?

Genealogy nerds like me frequently weep and fan themselves to exhaustion over a gaping hole in America’s historical record: The 1890 U.S. Census is gone. The original was destroyed. No copies exist. It has been erased from history, erased from existence. That, my friends, is no small deal. Every ten years since 1790, we have records of who lived where, with what family members, how old they were…and assorted other nuggets of personal history. Try to research your family history, and you will quickly understand what a treasure chest each census is–“oh… Read More

American Monster: Get to Know Andrew Jackson

“His wife died. They destroyed his wife and she died. He was a swashbuckler, but when his wife died you know he visited her grave everyday? I visited her grave actually because I was in Tennessee…And it was amazing. The people of Tennessee are amazing people. They love Andrew Jackson. They love Andrew Jackson in Tennessee…I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was… Read More

Game of Thrones: How it Parallels the Wars of the Roses

I’ve been a bit obsessed by the The Wars of the Roses lately. Maybe that’s hard for some people to understand, but I look at it like a really, really old season of Scandal, just with much worse hygiene. But apparently I’m not alone in my fascination, because author George RR Martin has made no secret that his A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka Game of Thrones) is based loosely on The Wars of the Roses. Cool. GRRM gets it. Now, while the books/TV show that you and I know by heart is… Read More

The Wars of the Roses in Pictures

A Totally Trust, Completely Authentic Retelling of History (to be Enjoyed With a Butt of Malmsey Wine) For nearly one hundred years in England’s history, a knot of noble families fought over the royal throne in a giant, messy multi-generational screw-you fest that history has dubbed “The Wars of the Roses”. This title is a misnomer, of course. The murder, deception, and power mongering went far beyond any battlefield. So not simply a war. And furthermore, though history tries to explain this era as being a battle between two families–each represented by a… Read More