“Millions of Americans dig up their dead relatives. Their reasons vary: to learn who their ancestors were, to find living cousins, to prove or disprove a family legend, to walk the land where their ancestors lived…. Me? I’m a Certified Genealogist. I’m tracing my ancestry to learn about a critical part of my family history, something that truly matters in the greater scheme of begats, a legacy that will make a difference to the existence, lives, and self-worth of not only me, but my daughter, her daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. I’m after the woman who left me these damn hips and saddlebag thighs.” 

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack delves into the world of an only child in search of family, kinship, and connection, and how, through her long career as a professional genealogist and family historian, she found what’s important in life. Whether searching for dead relatives in cemeteries, treading the ground of her ancestral homesites in Ireland and Italy, or pondering her life’s experiences, Carmack strives to learn and understand the nature of her origins and living connections through profound and often humorous essays.

Meet Sharon

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack is an independent scholar who writes historical biographies, family histories, and guidebooks. The author of twenty-eight books, she holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing and is part of the English adjunct faculty for Southern New Hampshire University. After thirty-five years, she is a retired Certified Genealogist who is now pursuing an MA in History. Her work has appeared in almost every major genealogical journal, as well as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Portland Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art, Steinbeck Review, and Literary Hub, to name a few.