About the Blog


“Stardust ‘n’ Roots” is a blog of genealogical philosophy, methodology, research, and family history.

There are stories to be told, all while researching Brenner, Deeter, Weaver, Gregg, Mieding, Smith, Hill, and Spitzer family lines.  (See the “Surname” and “Ancestral Trees” pages for more information.)

Welcome!      If you discover that one of your ancestors is mentioned in this blog, please contact me.  I would be glad to share information with you and/or learn more about ancestors we have in common.  My email address is:  GeneaPopPop [at] gmail [dot] com.

I hold myself accountable for my genealogical research by remembering my two grandchildren – Olivia (7) and Benjamin (4). To them I am just “PopPop,” not a genealogist or family historian. In 20 or 30 years, I hope they will entertain some fascination with our family’s history… and when they do, I want them to have the best records that I can leave. One of the ways I ensure such a legacy, is to use this blog as a means to record reflections on my genealogical work and the stories which I find that need to be told.
I have developed five themes to help me organize my thought:
  1. Research Roundup – ruminations about technology, methodology, and findings in my family history research. This will focus upon the actual data upon with which I am working at the present time.
  2. Stardust Stories – stories from the cloud of witness in my family tree. Here I will begin to “flesh out” the data, giving vibrance, personality, and context to our ancestors. In particular, I am working on: Brenner, Deeter, Mieding, Smith family lines (my grandparents) & Weaver, Gregg, Hill, Spitzer family lines (my wife’s grandparents)
  3. Philosophical Posts – pondering the deeper meaning of genealogy and life. This moves beyond the stories toward purposefulness. Because of my training, my philosophizing may be tinged with theological overtones. (I’ll be careful, however, not to turn this into a sectarian venture or to preach.)
  4. Legacy Logs – learnings from the collaborative nature of genealogy. I am convinced that genealogy only “works” for me when I am able to collaborate with my ancestors and my descendants. We are all in this together. My ancestors can only speak through the records that they have left (and that we can find). My descendants (my grandchildren and their grandchildren) are the listeners for whom the stories are told and the legacy that we have left. Looking back, looking ahead… that’s the genealogical task.
  5. Roots among the Rocks – reframing the metaphor of “breaking down brick walls.” I am always fascinated by the trees, bushes, and flowers that grow out of cracks in the side of a cliff. I can’t see the root system, but I know it must be strong. I would rather search the rocky ground for evidence of hearty roots than break down brick walls. I recently read that wildflowers are good for rock gardens. I suspect there are some wildflowers in my family history. I hope to find them.

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