family treeThere’s no shortage of great story ideas in the hills and hollers of Appalachia. But my favorite place to mine for stories is my own family.

A few years ago, I used Ancestry.com to research Dad’s side of the family. We knew our farm had come down through the Phillips line, but I hadn’t realized just how STRONG that line is. While we were surprised to find some Dutch and German ancestry, we also learned that we’re pretty solidly English on my great-grandfather’s side. And as much a Phillips as you can be.

Why? Because if I go back seven greats, two Phillips brothers (John and Joshua) married two Drake sisters (Elizabeth and Amy) making my eighth-great grandparents the SAME on both sides of the family. THEN, those two couples’ grandchildren, Phillip Phillips and Mercy Phillips got married (I know, I know!) and had David Phillips who left Massachusetts to settle on the property we now own.


Or maybe not. It does cut down on ancestors.

And while I may not decide to go all the way back to the 1670s to write a family saga about brothers marrying sisters whose grandchildren then marry (oh, the possibilities for how that might happen!!), it is an intriguing story that could be plopped into another century . . .

Yup, no shortage of great ideas!