Author Archives: JP in B-town

About JP in B-town

JP grew up on a sheep farm in northwest Ohio. She learned to knit by the age of ten, and loves the smell of wool. She fell in love with reading, a habit she fed with weekly visits to a nearby Carnegie Public Library. Reading fed her desire to become a writer, and her dream of traveling the world. She resides in Bloomington, Indiana, where she continues to knit and write.

Reading the landscape of my youth

Nearly twenty-five years ago I took a graduate seminar in environmental history at the University of Wisconsin. Perhaps the most important message I took from Professor William Cronon was the value of reading one’s landscape, a lesson my father taught … Continue reading

Posted in environmental history, family, Wyandot County, Ohio, Wyandot Indians | Leave a comment

Library Book Sale!

When I volunteered at the public library book sale this morning, I thought perhaps the rain would dampen people’s ardor for books, but I was mistaken. A steady stream of shoppers poured over tables of books, increasing as the noon … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Libraries, Reading, Volunteer Activities | Leave a comment

Hang on, spring is coming

Snowbirds are returning north, but this year spring is proving a bit elusive. On our return home, we stopped in Warm Springs, Georgia, a charming little town where Franklin D. Roosevelt sought relief from his polio-weary body. After visiting the … Continue reading

Posted in music

Eighteenth-Century Burial at Sea

My sixth great grandmother was laid to rest in the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1739 Ann Marie Fitzpatrick Young and her husband John left Ireland aboard a ship destined for Baltimore. They were in their early twenties, and during the voyage … Continue reading

Posted in family history, Immigrants, Irish ancestors | 1 Comment

My Occupational DNA: Washerwoman, Glover, and Cook

When I first grew interested in family history in the 1970s, it was easier to find information about male ancestors than the women in their lives. Fast forward to the 21st century and the advent of numerous digital projects making … Continue reading

Posted in family history, Kansas, women's history

What about the Women?

When I taught women’s history, I used to assign a family history project in which I asked students to trace four generations of the women in their families.  I had grown up knowing about my family’s history, and was surprised … Continue reading

Posted in music

Breaking Silence

I finished the draft of my last academic monograph in 2014, and have come to regard Indomitable (2016) as my  scholarly swan song. (I know many academics keep on with their scholarly research after retirement, but after years of an … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | 1 Comment