You know you've arrived when you've been mocked by Christopher Guest. Guest, who has a gift for putting peculiar subcultures under a microscope, has set his sights on genealogy with Family Tree, a series coming to HBO and BBC2 shortly.
His forebears have held one of the more eclectic mélange of jobs I've seen, including taxi driver, fruit and vegetable peddler, furrier, shoe store proprietor, and window cleaner.
One hundred years ago, a February day in 1913, two strangers stand alone in Gallery G of the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue.
Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as Prince, has the music world intrigued with the series of singles he's been releasing. I thought I'd take a peek into his pre-Minnesota, pre-purple, ancestral past. Here are a few of the discoveries I found scattered in the branches of his family tree:
As we mourn the passing of larger-than-life mayor, Ed Koch, who loved New York City so much that he spent $20,000 to ensure he would be buried there and never have to leave, it's worth remembering his immigrant father, Leib (later Louis) Koch.
In the 10-15 years following Emancipation, there was some experimentation with surnames, so it's not unusual to find a family with one name in the 1870 census and an entirely different one in the 1880.
Under ideal circumstances, living relatives of both Williams and Bryan could provide DNA reference samples to compare against the remains to make the final assessment, but the obstacle is Williams' name.
The USS Monitor remained at the bottom of the ocean until 10 years ago when recovery efforts succeeded in bringing the ship to the surface. Along with the vessel was a surprise -- a pair of skeletons in the turret. But which of the 16 were they?
My last name is Irish and I've long been curious about my roots, particularly my Irish heritage, as I never knew my paternal grandfather. When my Dad found a great deal on a trip for one to Ireland, I felt it was tailor-made for me.
Alsace is famous for its blend of France and Germany. The Alsatians consider themselves French but only up to a certain point. In the area of food, they pick what they like but do not accept everything French.
Were Bruno Mars to go on a world tour for the release of Unorthodox Jukebox, there would likely be unsuspecting cousins in the audiences in Madrid, New York, Kiev, San Juan, Manila and Budapest. So tell me: Which box do you think Bruno Mars ticked on the 2010 census?
Though many don't realize it, "no man left behind" is much more than an expression. The U.S. military genuinely does all it can to recover soldiers from all conflicts, and for more than a decade, I've had the privilege of contributing to cases pertaining to WWI, WWII, Korea and Southeast Asia.
In just the past week, we've been regaled with the supposedly startling revelations that: Halle Berry and Sarah Palin are cousins; Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are related; Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Ryan Gosling and Celine Dion are all cousins. My reaction to all this: Yawn.
Without further ado, here are some snippets of Ms. Maddow's family history.
Being of half-Irish heritage and having been born in France, Ireland and France are the most promising for me to become president of another country. Again for reasons of heritage, Slovakia is also a candidate.
Mayor Castro's family lore rings true. His grandmother, with a family tree extending back to Coahuila and Zacatecas, came here as a young girl and was taken in by relatives.
by Khaled Hosseini
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
by Ramona Ausubel
by Helene Wecker
Published on April 23rd, 2013