BloodRoot

Welcome to the BloodRoot Podcast! Now available through your favorite podcast platforms.

With each new episode I hope to empower listeners to explore the deep roots of their family history by preserving stories, advocating truth, restoring context, and fostering healing.

Who we are is a fundamental question that often inspires genealogists to begin their journey. The search for our roots is deep seated in our blood and DNA, and yet it’s all more complicated than those two simple concepts. In fact, our humanity makes everything more complicated – which begs the question, why would our history be any different?

So settle in, grab a cuppa, and prepare to be inspired by our ancestors and their life journeys. Not the sterilized versions we’ve come to know – but the real stories, rooted in real people with real challenges and flaws. By celebrating our ancestors within their human complexity, we learn so much more about ourselves, what it means to be family, and how we are all connected to one another.

Join me as we uncover the BloodRoot of our family history.

Below is the episode guide and supplemental links where necessary.

Season 1: August – December, 2020

Episode 1: A History of the Beginning  (8/25/2020)

Welcome to the BloodRoot Podcast! In this premier episode, listeners will get an introduction to BloodRoot – what the podcast is all about, what types of material you may hear in a typical episode, and a little history about your host.

Episode 2: Voting For Old Abe: The Civil War Letters of Cynthia Low (9/16/2020)

Today’s episode begins with a tale of lost Civil War letters and how their re-discovery turned a family legend upside down.

Episode 3: The Mantel Clock and Breakfast with John Hunt Morgan (10/5/2020)

Join me for episode 3 as we explore a family legend tied to an heirloom clock. To uncover the roots of this story, we’ll examine the associated timeline, complicated ancestral context, and the perspective of the storyteller. Also, if you don’t know anything about John Hunt Morgan, we’ll give you a little history lesson about this Civil War Confederate General.

Episode 4: Trauma and Perspective: Including Domestic Violence in the Family Narrative (11/9/2020)

Today’s episode will feature a few family stories that help us explore the multi-layered impacts of domestic violence on our ancestors, ourselves, and the family narrative.  Follow this link to learn more about my grandfather Roy and the documentation that was produced as he entered the orphanage in 1923. Follow this link to learn a bit more about Lewis Mockbee and his connection to Eastern State Hospital.

Episode 5: A Brick Wall, Whitewashed: The Revolutionary Soldier and “Black Jenny” (12/20/2020)


Jenny was a young mother of three in 1830 when her enslaver, a Revolutionary War Veteran, decided to set the family free and then willed his property to Jenny and her oldest son, Aaron. This episode will tell her remarkable story after it remained hidden for almost 2 centuries, covered in layer upon layer of whitewashed misinformation. Why so much whitewashing? To hide Jenny and Aaron’s true relationship to the enslaving family. I’ve got some paint thinner and a chisel – we’re taking down this wall!

To see several of the documents mentioned in the episode, please see this previous blog post: Is Your Brick Wall Whitewashed? For more information about the Barton Papers – see this article from Kentucky Ancestors Online.

For those of you who caught the Easter Egg change of title for this episode prior to its publication: “To Hell in a Handbasket” was actually a reference to the attorney who handled Michael Dean’s Deed of Emancipation to free Jenny and her children. Buckner Morris was the attorney Michael used in 1830. This man later moved to Chicago and became mayor and judge in the following years. He was a well known Confederate sympathizer and is recorded as being the first documented case of this phrase being used – in 1865 – as he was making a speech and wanted to send all abolitionists “to Hell in a handbasket”. Just a little ironic?

Season 2: February 2021 –

Episode 6: RootsTech – Memories and Connections

Welcome to the launch of Season 2! Join me for a special episode as we celebrate the launch of the RootsTech Connect Conference! To help us celebrate we welcome 5 guests to share their memories of previous on-site events and their hopes for the new virtual RootsTech experience! Guests include: Linda Colston, Cynthia Maharrey, Miles Meyer, Tami Osmer Mize, and Elizabeth O’Neal.