Bradley Greenland is a freelance genealogist looking to tell the stories hidden in your family tree.
The Maternal Family Tree of Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan Van Ness was born on March 28th, 1987 in Quincy, Illinois to Jonathan Lyle Van Ness and Mary McDonald Oakley. Van Ness has been openly gay since he was young and he was one of the few openly gay students at his school. He later became the first male cheerleader and received a scholarship for cheerleading from the University of Arizona. He would later drop out of the program and pursued a career as a hairdresser at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. He is now the grooming expert on the Netflix show Queer Eye and hosts the podcast Getting Curious. He married his husband Mark Peacock in early 2020.
The Paternal Roots of Actress Angela Kinsey
Actress Angela Kinsey was born June 25th, 1971 in Lafayette, Louisiana to Billy Kinsey and Bertie Duke. When Angela was two years old, her family moved to Indonesia for her father’s job as a drilling engineer and they lived their for twelve years. The family would eventually move back to the United States and lived in Archer City, Texas. Kinsey graduated from Baylor University with a degree in English in 1993 and would then go to intern on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
How to Play Dreidel
Every year, Jewish people all over the world celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah. Among the many traditions of the eight nights of Hanukkah is playing the game dreidel. This game can be fun for everyone at this time but where does this game come from and how do you even play?
The Life and Family Tree of Rosa Parks
Rosa Louise McCauley was born on February 4th, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama to James McCauley and Leona Edwards and was the older sibling of her brother Sylvester. Her parents would eventually separate leading Rosa to move to Pine Level, Alabama with her mother and brother where they lived on her grandparents' farm.
From Poland to Argentina: A Journey for Survival
My 2x great-uncle Aron Grimland was born March 14th, 1914 in Kobryn, Poland to Abraham Grimland and Sura-Rejzla Glocer. Aron had six siblings, Soloman, Izak, Ethel, Joseph, Moshe, and Leah. Three of his siblings, Soloman, Ethel, and Joseph immigrated to the United States during the 1920s and settled in New York and Ohio. Aron married Ana Dimetman in 1938 and settled in Warsaw. While they were there Ana gave birth to their first child, Misha.
The Life and Family Tree of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Joan Ruth Bader was born on March 15th, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York to Nathan Bader and Celia Amster. She had an older sister, Marylin who died from Meningitis when she was just six years old.
The Family Tree of Baseball Legend Hank Aaron
Henry Louis Aaron was born February 5th, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama to Herbert Aaron and Estella Pritchett. He was one of seven siblings and one of which, his brother Tommie, also went on to play professional baseball. Hank Aaron grew up on 666 South Wilkinson Street in Mobile, Alabama. His father worked as a ship fitter's helper, a person who works on ships when they come in for repairs, and made $900 a year (the equivalent of $16,923 today). Hank Aaron's family was very poor, to the point where Hank would make his own baseball bats and baseballs out of materials he found in the street. Hank first tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was just 15 years old. He did not make the team that year but a year later would join the Pritchett Athletics where he made $2 per game (the equivalent to $22 today). Later that year, he would join the Mobile Black Bears, an independent Negro League team, where he earned $3 per game (the equivalent to $33 today). In the fall of 1951, Hank signed a contract with the Indianapolis Clowns where he played 26 games as a shortstop with a batting average of .366, 5 home runs, 33 runs batted in, 41 hits, and 9 stolen bases.
Finding My Tribe
I have been researching my family tree for a while and have made many discoveries throughout my journey. My family tree comes from a wide range of countries throughout Europe, but a part of my family tree that has always fascinated me are my Jewish roots. The problem with researching this part of my family tree, is that I constantly run into a problem which most people with Jewish ancestors run into, the Holocaust. Many records of Jewish people were destroyed during both the Holocaust and the years after, which makes it harder to find any information about my family.